European Commission publishes Circular Economy Action Plan (GEN - 1093.00)

Resource efficiency, recycling and product footprint to be integrated in Ecodesign framework


2020 - European Commission publishes Circular Economy Action Plan
© Copyright European Union 2020

GEN - 1903.00. The European Commission has unveiled its new Circular Economy Action Plan, one of the flagship initiatives of the European Green Deal. The Action Plan provides an overview of upcoming policies to reduce resource use and improve the circularity of European value chains. It includes a Sustainable Product Policy Framework, the main aim of which is to widen the Ecodesign Directive beyond energy-related products and include sustainability and circularity principles.

To ensure more sustainable and circular product design, the Commission will focus on improving product durability, reusability, upgradability and repairability, addressing the presence of hazardous chemicals in products, increasing recycled content in products, enabling remanufacturing and recycling, reducing carbon and environmental footprints, restricting single-use and countering premature obsolescence, banning the destruction of unsold durable goods, incentivising product-as-a-service models and digitalising product information including digital passports, tags and watermarks

In the first instance, the circular economy policies will address certain key product value chains, including electronics, ICT, batteries, vehicles, packaging, plastics, textiles, construction materials, food and water. The Action Plan also includes a focus on the EU’s waste and chemicals policies.

Recommended Actions

Members may find it insightful to read the full report and are advised to closely follow the development of the new Ecodesign framework. The first legislative proposals are expected in 2021. Even though the initial focus is not on HVACR equipment, the industry should prepare for the increased focus on product circularity and environmental footprint and give consideration to the need for standardised LCA methodologies in their sector.

Related documents and links

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  • GEN - 1093.01 – Circular Economy Action Plan