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Ecodesign regulation: Council adopts position

On 22 March 2023, the Council adopted its position ('general approach') on the proposed regulation establishing a framework for setting ecodesign requirements for sustainable products. The new regulation will replace the existing Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC and enlarge the scope to develop environmental sustainability requirements for almost all kinds of physical goods placed on the EU market. (Excluded are certain food products, medical products, etc. (see Article 1 (2)).

A new "Digital Product Passport" will provide information about products' environmental sustainability. Criteria such as sustainability, presence of substances of concern, repairability, or the availability of spare parts could subsequently become essential factors on the market and boost demand for "green products." The regulation also aims to facilitate the movement of such products in the Single Market. It will help consumers and businesses make informed choices when purchasing products and help public authorities perform better checks and controls.

The Council's position improves the framework for the Commission's empowerment in creating ecodesign requirements. It reinforces the ambition of this regulation through an immediate ban on the destruction of unsold textiles ( exemption for micro and small enterprises and a 4-year transition period for medium-sized companies). The ban tries to reduce the environmental impact of clothes or accessories that are produced but never used, particularly since the rapid growth of online sales.The Council's position excludes motor vehicles from the groups of goods covered by this regulation since specific laws address the environmental impact of automobiles.


Disclosure Requirements: 

Under Art 20 of the proposal, companies that destroy unsold consumer goods will, in the future, be obliged to disclose information about this process publicly; for instance, on the number and type of products or the reasons for their destruction. The information needs to be disclosed either on an easily accessible page of their website or for companies subject to the Non-Financial Reporting Directive or the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, it should be considered a best practice to include the information in the Sustainability Report.

Next Steps:

As the regulation is currently in the legislative process, it remains open to potential modifications and amendments to ensure the final outcome meets the evolving needs. The general approach agreed formalises the Council's negotiating position. It provides the Council presidency with a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament, which will start as soon as the Parliament adopts its position.

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