With the Sustainable Product Policy Initiative, the European Commission wants ‘green products to become the norm’. It recently launched a consultation on the Initiative’s roadmap. The aim is to publish a legislative proposal in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The FleishmanHillard EU Roundtable on the Sustainable Product Policy Initiative on Thursday 24 September 2020 discussed these upcoming changes which will fundamentally impact the business models of a wide range of companies.
What is in the EU’s Sustainable Product Policy Initiative?
The Sustainable Product Policy Initiative will bring substantial changes in terms of product design, production processes and consumers’ rights. The bulk of it will consist of broadening the scope of the Ecodesign Directive to as many products as possible.
Strengthening the safety by design principle and fostering the phase-out of hazardous substances from material cycles is also important. Sirpa Pietikäinen, member of the ENVI Committee and Shadow Rapporteur for the European Parliament own-initiative Report on Circular Economy, underlined the absolute need to ‘phase out risky chemicals’ during the discussions.
The initiative will also include measures to tackle premature obsolescence, mandatory labelling. The provision of information in the form of a digital product passport is also under consideration.
The introduction of minimum sustainability requirements will have important implications. It increases the pressure to phase out non-recyclable materials and materials with a high climate impact. Unsustainably sourced raw materials are also in focus. Considerable impacts are expected on textiles, to electronics, to batteries and vehicles, food, and plastic and packaging.
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October 24, 2019