• Client: EC - DG GROW
  • Implementation period: 2020 - 2021 (Ongoing)
  • Geographic coverage: European Union

How can policy ensure that only sustainable products are sold in the EU?

The European Green Deal includes a Circular Economy Action plan (published in March 2020), of which a core component is a revised and ambitious product policy, aiming at increasing the sustainability of the products placed on the Internal Market.

The project supports the Commission, DG GROW, in its Impact Assessment of a range of measures supporting the uptake of sustainable products:

  • introducing high-level “Product Sustainability Principles” in legislation.
  • creating economic incentives for sustainable products and for circular business models (repair, maintenance, sharing);
  • introducing a Product Passport containing the information necessary to increase the efficiency of maintenance, repair, re-manufacturing and recycling;
  • extending the product and requirements scope of the Eco-design Directive;
  • improving the enforcement of these requirements;
  • monitoring the progress towards the market uptake of sustainable products.

These reflections are combined into policy options, whose impacts on society and the environment as a whole, but also on specific stakeholders, is assessed quantitatively and qualitatively. This work is supported by an extensive consultation of stakeholders.

The project is coordinated by Trinomics in cooperation with Technopolis, Fraunhofer Institute – ISI, Economisti Associati (FWC lead) and Bio Innovation Service. The project will run from December 2020 to November 2021.

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This investigation provided the following preliminary results:

  • A proposal for a revised legislation on sustainable products, with an extended product scope (beyond energy-related products) and an extended set of requirements (beyond energy efficiency) compared to the existing Ecodesign Directive;
  • A proposal for a digital Product Passport containing the information needed to perform circular processes (maintenance, repair, recycling) in an efficient way;
  • The design and evaluation of policy options along environmental, economic and social metrics, taking into account the input from a broad range of stakeholders;
  • A concept for supporting the implementation of the revised legislation on enforcement and monitoring.