'Ecodesign' aims at improving the environmental performance of products throughout their life cycle by systematically integrating environmental aspects at the earliest stage of product design - Definition from the European Commission - COM(2008) 660.
Ecodesign in the Energy using Products Directive (EuP)
The EU Directive 2005/32/EC (Commonly referred to as 'The EuP directive') establishes a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-using products (EuPs), and sets provisions for allowing products to be placed on the market. Mandatory, technical ecodesign requirements are set through product-specific Implementing Measures.
The EuP Directive, which is the first Directive on ecodesign, prioritised energy-using products using electricity or fuel.
The second Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC) has an extended scope which also covers energy-related products (ErPs). This Directive includes energy-using products, which consume, generate, transfer or measure energy during use, but also other energy-related products, which do not consume energy but have an impact on energy during use, such as windows or insulation materials.
Both Directives are framework Directives, according to which mandatory product requirements are set through specific 'Implementing Measures' for each product group.
An Ecodesign Working Plan 2009-2011 (established in COM(2008) 660) sets out a list of energy-related products that are the priorities for the adoption of Implementing Measures. These are of direct relevance to standardization activities within CEN and CENELEC as the European standardisation organisations (ESOs) must be involved in the development of Implementing Measures.
So far, specific standardization mandates have been drafted for each product group and submitted to the ESOs after the approval of the draft Implementing Measures.
An Ecodesign Working Plan 2012-2014 was adopted by the European Commission at the end of 2012. It adds a few new energy-related products to the list of the Working Plan 2009-2011. Both Working Plans are available on the dedicated EC website.
European Commission's Ecodesign Mandate
Considering the increased number of product groups to be taken into account in the field of Ecodesign, the European Commission issued at the end of 2011 a new Ecodesign horizontal mandate, M/495 'Standardisation mandate to CEN, CENELEC and ETSI under Directive 2009/125/EC relating to harmonised standards in the field of Ecodesign', which was accepted by CEN and CENELEC.
As this mandate will replace any future individual mandates in the Ecodesign domain, it requests the development of European Standards that support the Ecodesign Implementing Measures for a wide range of products:
- Boilers and combi-boilers (gas and oil fired boilers, heat pumps and mCHP)
- Water heaters (gas, electric, oil)
- Personal computers (desktops and laptops) and computer monitors
- Complex Set Top Boxes
- Non directional household lamps
- Directional lamps and household luminaires
- Household tumble dryers
- Commercial refrigeration (display cabinets and cold vending machines)
- Solid fuel small combustion appliances
- Professional washing machines, dryers and dishwashers
- Professional refrigeration (service cabinets, blast cabinets, walk-in cold rooms, chillers, remote condensing units)
- Distribution transformers
- Sound and imaging equipment
- Laboratory and industrial ovens and furnaces
- Machine tools
- Air conditioning and ventilation systems
- Domestic ventilation; Local room heating products
- Central heating products using hot air to distribute heat (other than CHP)
- Domestic and commercial ovens (electric, gas, microwave)
- Domestic and commercial hobs and grills
- Non-tertiary coffee machines
- Networked standby losses
CEN and CENELEC response to the mandate constitutes a genuine challenge:
- the content of M/495 will be regularly updated by the European Commission to take into account and to include the latest legislative developments occurred in the Ecodesign field at EC level;
- as a consequence of the broad diversity of products targeted by the mandate, over 40 CEN and CENELEC Technical Committees are currently - or will be - involved in mandated standardization work.
To coordinate Ecodesign technical work to avoid overlap or even conflict of activities between the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre (CCMC), the relevant Technical Committees and the EC services, an efficient and smooth mechanism needs to be put in place to ensure proper communication. To this end, a 'CEN-CENELEC Ecodesign Coordination Group' was set up as a discussion, coordination and communication platform bringing together all parties involved by mandate M/495. The Group will be operational as of April 2013.