Sustainable products to be standard across the EU

In future, only durable, repairable and energy-efficient products manufactured in a resource-efficient way will be sold on the internal market. This is the essence of the new Ecodesign Regulation that was adopted by the EU Member States in late 2023.

Nachhaltige Produkte bald EU-weit Standard© Adobe Stock / Ms_Tali

The main objective of this Regulation is to stop the destruction of consumer articles, such as textiles and shoes, that are fit for use.

„The new Ecodesign Regulation looks at products’ entire lifecycles, from product design to product use, repair and recycling. For this reason, it has strong potential for ushering in a climate-friendly circular economy and for the creation of green lead markets”, says Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck.

Ecodesign is also seen as a major factor for future competitiveness of the industrial sector, which will increasingly focus on a strong circular economy and the recovery of raw matreials.

Transitional period of 18 months for small and medium-sized enterprises

The new Regulation notably contains requirements concerning products’ materials efficiency, energy efficiency and resource efficiency, their ecological footprint and with regard to water, soil and air pollution caused over a product’s entire lifecycle.

Once the Regulation has entered into force (presumably in Q2 2024), the European Commission will introduce specific product rules based on these requirements, starting with furniture, textiles and shoes, iron, steel, aluminium, cleaning products and chemicals. A transitional period of 18 months is to support small and medium-sized enterprises as they implement the necessary changes.