On September 14, 2020, the European Commission (EC) announced the start of a public consultation on the roadmap and inception impact assessment for a sustainable products initiative within the European Green Deal (FPF reported) and in coordination with the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP; FPF reported). The initiative “aims to make products placed on the EU market more sustainable” and is set to “revise the Ecodesign Directive and propose additional legislative measures as appropriate.” This includes widening the scope of the directive beyond just energy related products to create sustainability principles and requirements “to contribute to keeping climate and environmental impacts linked to resource and energy use, production and use of products within planetary boundaries.”

Focus will be placed on “ensuring high environmental performance of all products,” and initial priority is on product groups identified under the CEAP including electronics, textiles, furniture, and “high impact intermediate products such as steel, cement and chemicals.” Potential policy options encompass placing measures on production processes including on recycled content and tracking the presence of hazardous substances in products.

Feedback on the roadmap is open until November 2, 2020. A further public consultation is scheduled for later this year, followed by adoption by the EC at the end of 2021.

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EC (September 14, 2020). “Sustainable products initiative.”

Chemical Watch (September 15, 2020). “Commission seeks views on plans for broadening Ecodesign Directive’s scope.”