ARTICLE23 June 2022
Position on the Ecodesign requirements for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR)
The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise welcomes the proposed Regulation and sees this as
an important step towards a more circular economy in Europe and an enabler to reach climate
and other sustainability goals.
Photo: Ernst Henry Photography AB/Scantech Strategy Advisors
Our key messages:
- Swedish Enterprise welcomes that the Commission’s legislative proposal is in the form of a regulation, as this provides increased harmonisation in the EU single market which is a prerequisite for the development of the circular economy.
- The usage of Delegated Acts to produce product-specific legislation deviates from standard procedures used when developing regulations covering products, as well as from the current process used in the Ecodesign Directive. The process for setting the ecodesign requirements needs to be clarified further in the Regulation.
- Establishing circular economy policies demands the involvement of actors who represent the product’s whole value chain and a wide representation of the business community in the Ecodesign forum therefore needs be ensured. The process for setting up the forum and deciding its members needs to be clarified in the Regulation.
- The Regulation is interlinked with several other current or coming European legislation (for example Chemicals legislation) and it is crucial to avoid double regulation when setting the requirements in the ESPR. The interlinkage with other legislations in general needs to be clarified in the Regulation.
- The regulation includes numerous definitions and these needs will need to be aligned with applicable definitions in other European legislations and relevant EN and ISO standards.
- The process for selecting products, for drafting future product-specific legislation based on environmental performance, needs to be further clarified in the Regulation. It is important to use an LCA-based perspective to ensure priority based on total environmental benefit.
- The performance requirements set out in the upcoming product-specific legislation must promote and enable innovation and technological development, as well as safeguard technological neutrality. Furthermore, it must be possible to comply with and verify, the requirements.
- The information requirements in the Digital Product Passport must be set on a need-to-know basis in relation to the purpose of the passport. The requirements also need to be closely intertwined with other initiatives under the EU’s digital agenda and must safeguard knowledge-based assets. All this must be further clarified within the Regulation.
- The information requirements on Substances of concern (SoC) needs to be product-specific and they should be conducted in a systematic and stepwise manner, based on relevant and requested information. The Regulation needs to be complemented with information on the process for defining reporting requirements for SoCs.
- Swedish Enterprise is generally positive to the proposal for a ban on the destruction of unsold consumer goods. However, there is a need of clarifying and complementing the Regulation on this topic regarding reporting requirements and exemptions.
- Standardisation must continue to have a central role in both defining the methods and in demonstrating compliance with the upcoming product requirements. This is central in enabling further technical development and innovation. Thus, the European Commission should refrain from setting common specifications.
- Swedish Enterprise supports the proposed efforts to increase and coordinate market surveillance throughout the European Union.
- Swedish Enterprise sees that the Regulation and the coming product specific legislation, could prove challenging for SME’s and stresses the need to support them. The Confederation sees it as positive that the Regulation suggestions for how Member States and the Commission can support SMEs.