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Ecodesign for sustainable products regulation (ESPR)

Introduced by the European Commission in March 2022, the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) is a ground-breaking proposal to enhance the environmental sustainability of products marketed within the EU.

The bedrock for this initiative is the European Green Deal. It has far-reaching implications for business in the EU and is expected to be ratified in 2024.

The ESPR establishes ecodesign requirements for consumer and construction products

The ESPR establishes ecodesign requirements for a wide range of consumer and industrial products including, but not limited to,

  • Textiles and footwear
  • Furniture and mattresses
  • Packaging
  • Construction materials
  • DIY products
  • Electrical and Electronic (E&E) devices
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Household appliances
  • Light sources
  • Motor vehicles

The ESPR will supersede the existing Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC

Enacted in 2010, the current Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EU will be superseded by the Ecodesign for sustainable products directive (ESPR). The ESPR offers a more ambitious approach and introduces several novel features including

  • Emphasising circularity in product design to boost durability, reparability, and recyclability
  • A ban on the destruction of unsold consumer goods
  • Instituting a fresh framework for defining ecodesign requirements, anchored on life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Introduction of a Digital Product Passport (DPP)

The influence of the ESPR on product design, manufacturing, and usage within the EU is projected to be substantial. It’s estimated to provide consumers with energy cost savings of up to €120 billion annually and curtail greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 40% by 2030.

Currently, under negotiation by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, the ESPR proposal is anticipated to be ratified in 2023.

The benefits of the ESPR are numerous and include

  • Lessening the environmental footprint of products sold within the EU market
  • Stimulating job growth within the green economy sector
  • Positioning the EU as a forerunner in sustainable manufacturing

As a critical legislative piece, the ESPR will radically reshape how the EU designs, produces and utilises products. It forms a vital component of the EU’s Green Deal, a strategy aiming for climate neutrality by 2050.

It will enable the setting of performance and information requirements for almost all categories of physical goods placed on the EU market (with some notable exceptions, such as food and feed, as defined in Regulation EC/178/2002).

Requirements under the ESPR framework

The framework will allow for the setting of a wide range of ecodesign requirements, including on

  • product durability, reusability, upgradability and reparability
  • presence of substances that inhibit circularity
  • energy and resource efficiency
  • recycled content
  • remanufacturing and recycling
  • carbon and environmental footprints
  • information requirements, including a Digital Product Passport

Eurofins sustainability services offers a range of testing, inspection and certification services which can help you prepare for the Ecodesign for sustainable products regulation. Contact us to see how we can help. Or review our services.

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