Position paper: Material efficiency standardisation activities (M/543) to support Ecodesign

The high-profile project for the development of generic assessment methods for Ecodesign material efficiency aspects (M/543) underwent its Secretarial Enquiry stage last autumn. The managing committee of the project, CEN-CLC/TC 10, received a considerable amount of comments on the standard series by national standardization body experts, which clearly reflects the high importance and political sensitivity of the methods. As a result, the documents are still undergoing significant changes, constituting 2018 as a pivotal year in defining the shape these standards will take in terms of structure, content and ambition.

ECOS’ membership in all the WGs under this project and our active role in every stage of their development allows us to have a spherical view of how far these methods are fulfilling the purpose defined in M/543. This position paper outlines our thoughts on the current status of the deliverables, by analysing the following positions:

  1. Postponing regulatory measures that address material efficiency aspects until after the M/543 standards are made available is neither necessary nor justified.
  2. The focus of standardisation activities must remain on technical assessment methods that are objective and independent.
  3. Acknowledging the project’s goal of contributing to a circular economy is crucial to ensure effective deliverables.
  4. A toolbox approach is necessary to achieve a comprehensive collection of assessment methods.
  5. Facilitating repair is a key element of the circular economy and must be recognised as such.
  6. Information provision and access is currently insufficiently addressed in the standards.

The full paper is available here.