with the support of
European Directive: Public consultation – beware of the stakes for the furniture industry!
The Commission is presenting a package of Green Deal for Europe proposals to make sustainable products the norm in the EU, promote circular business models and empower consumers to act in favour of the green transition. The Commission is proposing new rules to make almost all physical goods on the EU market greener, more circular and more energy-efficient throughout their life cycle, including design, ongoing use, reuse and disposal. The proposed revision of the Ecodesign Directive (EuP).
The specific objectives are :
- to improve the sustainability of products
- to improve access to sustainability information throughout the supply chain
- Encourage more sustainable products and business models to improve value retention.
- Improve the legislative framework on sustainable products.
While the Ecodesign Directive initially concerns energy-using products, the new proposals clearly aim to extend the scope of the directive to non-energy using products. The product categories that appear in the various documents available are: electronic and ICT equipment, textiles, furniture, steel, cement and chemicals.
The proposals are structured around 14 chapters and 71 articles:
- Chapter I – General provisions (3 articles)
- Chapter II – Eco-design requirements (4 articles)
- Chapter III – Digital Product Passport (6 articles)
- Chapter IV – Labels (2 articles)
- Chapter V – Prioritisation, planning and consultation (4 articles)
- Chapter VI – Destruction of unsold consumer products (1 article)
- Chapter VII – Obligations of economic operators (11 articles)
- Chapter VIII – Product compliance (9 articles)
- Chapter IX – Notification of conformity assessment bodies (16 Articles)
- Chapter X – Incentives (2 Articles)
- Chapter XI – Market Surveillance (4 Articles)
- Chapter XII – Safeguard procedures (3 Articles)
- Chapter XIII – Delegation of powers and Committee procedures (2 Articles)
- Chapter XIV – Final provisions (4 articles)
By way of illustration, Article 5 provides for the setting of requirements, by product categories, in relation to criteria such as: (a) durability, (b) reliability, (c) reusability, (d) upgradability, (e) reparability, (f) maintainability and refurbishability, (g) presence of substances of concern, (h) energy use or energy efficiency, (i) resource use or resource efficiency, (j) recycled content, (k) repackagability and recyclability, (l) material recoverability, (m) environmental impacts, including carbon and environmental footprint, and (n) waste generation.
The proposals are subject to a public consultation until 30 May 2022, in which everyone can participate. To contribute, here is the link to access the documents and submit your views: Sustainable Products Initiative (europa.eu)
It is likely that a number of the proposed articles align with the requirements of the French AGEC and Climate and Resilience Acts. FCBA will analyse this document in detail to provide you with an analysis of the potential impacts for the furniture sector.
For all your questions
On the subject of recyclability, reusability and remanufacturing, the reading states in part that “In the case of furniture, lower quality materials and poor design contribute to the fact that, when it reaches the end of its life, it is estimated that most furniture in the EU ends up in landfill. […] The recent shift towards lower quality materials limits the possibilities for reuse and reconditioning, as products are often not robust enough to be easily moved and are not designed to be dismantled, reassembled or reconfigured.
According to statistics from the European Federation of Furniture Manufacturers (UEA), 80-90% of furniture waste in the EU is incinerated or landfilled, and only 10% is recycled. Reuse activity in the sector is considered low.
Market penetration by sector
Overall, the market penetration of new circular business models remains limited, and there is still considerable potential for scaling up these models in many sectors. Sectors such as furniture, high-impact intermediate products (cement, chemicals, steel) and electronics and ICT have low market penetration of circular business models […]: 3%, 4% and 4% respectively.