The Ecodesign and Labelling directives have the potential to not only deliver energy savings but also to positively impact the innovation activities and competitiveness of the manufacturers of the regulated products. With regard to the upcoming revision of the directives in 2014, it is therefore of great importance to identify and optimize the factors that influence the innovation friendliness of the regulations. Such factors include the level of ambition of the regulation, industry participation in setting standards, the technical capabilities of regulators as well as the stability, speed and predictability of the regulatory process. So far, experience with the Ecodesign and Labelling regulations has shown that for some industry sectors, the reaction to, and involvement in, the legislative process was very positive; while, by contrast, other sectors have acted in a rather defensive way. Whereas for some sectors, even in the early phases of the regulation process, the directives seem to have stimulated innovation, in other sectors no such effect has been observed.
Our study aimed to provide empirical evidence of the impact of the Ecodesign and Energy/Tyre Labelling implementing regulations on R&D and technological innovation by combining analysis of primary data gathered through company case studies with the analysis of secondary data, such as patent statistics and R&D funding. Furthermore, a typology of manufacturers was designed in order to characterise the companies’ responses to the legislative process. Based on the findings, the following key policy recommendations on how to enhance the innovation and R&D impact of the implementing regulations were derived:
- Increasing stringency of regulatory requirements
- Improving market surveillance and control
- Recasting of the Labelling classes
- Taking into account sector specific innovation dynamics
- Complementary measures such as Green Public Procurement.
You can download the report in the link below.