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IPP and Eco Design

Past projects

 

Environmental, Technical and Market Analysis concerning the eco-design of television devices (tv devices)

In the light of the European Commission proposal for a directive on establishing a framework for the setting of eco-design requirements for energy-using products, the Directorate B - Growth and Innovation carried out a study on environmental, technical and market analysis concerning the eco-design of television devices.

The aim was to contribute to developing a scientific reference for the potential of eco-design in the consumer electronics sector through a case study dedicated to television devices. The analysis covered the relevant environmental, technical and market aspects. This included:

  • summarising and assessing knowledge about environmental impacts of TV devices on a life cycle basis;
  • defining relevant environmental performance indicators ;
  • assessing to which extent product design influences the environmental performance;
  • assessing the technical and economic possibilities to improve the environmental performance of the TV devices in the market and evaluating the potentials, strengths and weaknesses of possible regulatory or self-regulatory measures to achieve such improvements.

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Eco-design in SMEs

The Directorate B - growth and Innovation study on eco-design in SMEs develops how eco-design in SMEs can be stimulated in the Community and identifies best practises, bottlenecks and conditions for giving support. It analyses why SMEs apply eco-design to a lower extent than large firms, which support instruments and infrastructures are in place in the Member States in the field of integrated environmental protection and which role they can play for eco-design dissemination. The study concludes that the most effective measure is to strengthen a market environment that rewards environmentally sound products through a mix of instruments. For SMEs this would be especially effective if complemented by a dedicated initiative that (1) improves the visibility of current and future market opportunities; (2) transfers best practice of eco-design dissemination; (3) supplies technical eco-design information; and (4) includes a standing feed-back mechanism.

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Eco-design: European State of the Art

Directorate B - Growth and Innovation has analysed the state of art of eco-design in the 15 Member States as well as in trans-national companies in the context of a European Integrated Product Policy. It turns out that eco-design is well implemented in some of the big international companies (e.g. Phillips, Sony) and that R&D on eco-design methods and tools is quite well-covered by public and private research. Actual environmental product design in SMEs, however, is lagging behind. In a few front-runner countries eco-design programmes have been available some 10 years now. On the other extreme, in some EU Member States hardly any activity takes place regarding eco-design. On the basis of this analysis, measures to stimulate eco-design are identified, i.e.., identify priority product groups and set supporting activities concerning eco-design, create or support networks for eco-design, create incentives for eco-design through product-related instruments like eco-lables and others, stimulate tool transfer from front-runner countries.

The results of specific studies carried out in this context are summarised in a document containing 1.) the results of a survey among the Fortune 500 large (transnational) companies, which assesses the level of application of eco-design in leading companies; and 2.) 15 country studies analysing the state of the art of eco-design, addressing related method development, dissemination, education, as well as actual application of eco-design. The verbal country analyses are based on detailed inventory tables, which are presented in the annex and contain plenty of specific information for the interested reader.

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