Since 2001, the European Environmental Citizens' Organisation for Standardisation, ECOS, has taken a leading role in spearheading environmental protection in the development of standards on behalf of European environmental non-profit organizations.
CEN Environmental strategy
For example, ECOS played a key role in the development of the CEN mandatory approach on addressing environmental issues in product and service standards and is contributing to its effective implementation. Moreover, ECOS is working closely with CEN to initiate the development of a CEN tailored approach to addressing hazardous chemicals in product standards.
Ecodesign of energy-related products
One of ECOS’ flagship programmes is its contribution to achieving ambitious ecodesign requirements for energy-using and energy-related products, under the EU Framework Directive on Ecodesign. ECOS’ input managed to secure a legal requirement for a 10% efficiency increase in the minimum energy performance of air conditioners sold in the EU from 2013.
The use of hazardous chemicals in audio-visual equipment
In 2012, ECOS contributed to the revision of a standard on the safety of audio-visual equipment, which contained a clause likely to open the doors to the widespread use of hazardous chemicals (e.g. some brominated flame retardants) in TVs and similar equipment. ECOS helped build a consensus that the flammability clause needed to be excluded and as a result the relevant international standards were not passed. However, there are continued efforts from other stakeholders representing private interests to reinstate this clause and ECOS and other societal stakeholders continue to engage with this issue.
ECOS advocated for closing the loopholes in a standard related to Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), with potential detrimental effects on collections rates, thereby resulting in less WEEE ending up in household waste.
Regulation for European Standardization
A new EU Regulation for European Standardization entered into force on 1st January 2013.
The Regulation reflects the positive contribution to standards development ECOS and other societal stakeholders have made over the past ten years. It takes into account many of ECOS’ recommendations including the consideration of environmental aspects in standards, increased transparency, more balanced representation and effective participation of societal stakeholders in the European Standardization System. The Regulation also recognizes European stakeholder organizations involved in standardization and foresees financial support for them.
Collaboration with CEN and CENELEC
CEN and CENELEC started an active and regular dialogue with European stakeholder organizations, including ECOS, where revision of their internal rules and regulations were discussed with a view to ensure balanced representation and effective membership of stakeholders, in anticipation of the entry into force of the new Regulation for European Standardization.