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Standardization complements the European Union’s Ecodesign Regulation towards a European Circular Economy – A view from Richard Hughes, Chairman of CEN/CLC/JTC 10


08 Jun 2018



European Standardization is fully involved in the EU Energy transition, being a key tool in Europe to reach the EU 2020 climate and energy targets, which are:

  • 20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels);
  • 20% of EU energy from renewables;
  • 20% improvement in energy efficiency;

We need products that are more energy efficient in order to reduce energy consumption, and we need products and materials, for which value is maintained for as long as possible. So, on 2 December 2015, the European Commission launched a package of measures to support the EU’s transition to a circular economy. A well-functioning circular economy requires Standards to enhance the sustainability of products and materials, and ensure the competitiveness of industry.

CEN and CENELEC are committed to integrating efficiency aspects in their Standards as the better environmental performance of products throughout the EU Single Market guarantees a safer and cleaner planet making a better life for European citizens, while also supporting the industrial competitiveness and innovation of our European industries.

Standardization on material efficiency aspects for Ecodesign

The European Commission recognizes that European Standards are essential complementing tools to EU legislation for a Circular economy, supporting, among others, the Ecodesign and the Energy Labelling Regulations. Consequently, the European Commission requested the three European Standardization Organizations – CEN, CENELEC and ETSI – to develop standards on material efficiency that would establish future ecodesign requirements on durability, reparability and recyclability of products. In response to the standardization request M/543 as regards ecodesign requirements on material efficiency aspects for energy-related products, CEN-CENELEC Joint Technical Committee 10 on Energy-related products - Material Efficiency Aspects for Ecodesign (CEN/CLC/JTC 10) is developing a set of standards that will:

  • Define parameters and methods relevant for assessing durability, upgradability and ability to repair, re-use and re-manufacture of products;
  • Address the ability to access/remove certain components, consumables or assemblies from products to facilitate repair or remanufacture or reuse;
  • Address reusability/recyclability/recoverability indexes or criteria;
  • Address the ability to access/remove certain components or assemblies from products to facilitate their extraction at the end-of-life for ease of treatment and recycling;
  • Establish a method to assess the proportion of re-used components and/or recycled materials in products;
  • Address the use and recyclability of Critical Raw Materials to the EU, listed by the European Commission; and
  • Address the documentation and/or marking regarding information relating to material efficiency of the product taking into account the intended audience.

CEN/CLC/JTC 10 Chairman, Richard Hughes, on the 25th anniversary of the EU Single Market and the EUSEW week, shared with us his views on the importance of standards for a EU circular economy and the related work of CEN/CLC/JTC 10.

Click on the picture to see the video.

Richard Hughes currently works for AMDEA, which is the UK trade association for manufacturers of small and large domestic appliances. Previously, he worked in the ICT sector, where he advised internal development departments how to comply with various standards, mostly concerning product safety. He has been involved in standardization, and the laws and regulations they support, since the mid 1980s.

More information on CEN-CENELEC Joint Technical Committee 10 can be found on the:

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