Addressing resource efficiency through the Ecodesign Directive

A review of opportunities and barriers

image of Addressing resource efficiency through the Ecodesign Directive

The European Union has initiated a number of initiatives to improve resource efficiency in Europe. The Ecodesign Directive is one of the policy instruments that could aid the transition towards a more resource efficient economy. So far, the Directive has mainly been applied to set requirements related to energy efficiency, but there is potential for setting legal standards that increase product durability and promote the future re-use and recycling of components and materials. This paper examines the potential benefits and disadvantages in applying the Directive for this purpose, and analyzes the potential to apply certain types of legal standards. There is a need for continuous development of indicators and methods in order to allow for a broader range of legal standards in the future. The study provides some short and long term recommendations on the way forward.



What role for the Directive in a policy mix for resource efficiency?

This chapter discusses the policy mix and various approaches to the coordination of policy instruments to achieve desired policy outcomes. We first discuss these issues on a general level. We then review the evidence regarding interactions between the Ecodesign Directive and other policy instruments, some emerging issues, and the potential for “new” types of interactions. We then go on to discuss the complexities of the “extended product” approach, and the “system” approach; shall we try and regulate mainly the product in a narrow sense, or take into account how the product functions within a larger system of products, functions and systems? In relation to this, some comments on multifunctional products are also provided. Finally we discuss the link between legal standard-setting and industry- driven standardization.


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