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Ecodesign and Sustainable Products Regulation

Key product lifecycle considerations for manufacturers.

What is the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation?

The Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) is a pivotal new regulation applicable to products placed on, or sold in, the European (EU) market.

The ESPR is designed to put sustainability and circularity at the heart of design of every single product, improving products’ energy performance, and other environmental and sustainability aspects. The proposal builds on the existing Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC), which currently only covers energy-related products.

What does the ESPR cover?

The ESPR will cover almost all physical products sold within the EU, with some notable exceptions, such as food and feed.

It will span many sustainability and environmental-related requirements including:

  • product durability, reusability, upgradability, and repairability;
  • presence of substances that inhibit circularity;
  • energy and resource efficiency;
  • recycled content;
  • remanufacturing and recycling;
  • carbon and environmental footprints; and
  • information requirements, including a Digital Product Passport.

How does the ESPR affect manufacturers?

The ESPR will have a significant impact on global manufacturers. The ESPR will be implemented via product-specific regulations such as personal protective equipment (PPE) regulations, battery regulations, textile product regulations and the construction products regulation (CPR).

The Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation applies to any products sold within the EU, whether or not a product is produced within the region. New measures such as the Digital Product Passport aim to allow easy access and sharing of product data.

What is a digital product passport (DPP)?

DPP is a key part of the ESPR. It is a tool that allows organizations to share a product’s lifecycle data. This includes information such as the materials that have gone into making the product, where those have been sourced, usage instructions, its carbon footprint, and any hazardous materials involved. It will also include things like end-of-life recycling and disposal instructions.

DPPs are designed to be easy to use for consumers and stakeholders. Products will be required to have a code included on the packaging, such a barcode or QR code, that individuals can scan to see all available data.

Introduction of DPPs will allow consumers to fully understand the impact of their purchasing decisions. With this product information readily available, they are given the knowledge and opportunity to make more sustainable decisions.

DPPs are not meant to be static, and should be updated throughout a product's lifecycle, ensuring a greater level of transparency for industry stakeholders, as well as consumers.

How to meet ESPR requirements related to product-level regulations

Manufacturers can meet the requirements of the ESPR and associated product-level regulations, and secure market access for their products into the EU with BSI. We have several solutions including carbon footprint verification, CE marking, Kitemark™ certification for carbon neutrality, product testing and supply chain due diligence auditing services that can help you accelerate progress towards a sustainable future.