In January 2011, the European Commission published its Flagship Initiative for a Resource Efficient Europe under the Europe 2020 Strategy. It established the importance of using all types of natural resources efficiently for the European economy and environment. The Initiative is expected to boost productivity, improve competitiveness, drive down costs and secure growth and jobs for Europe.
The Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC) is an integral part of the proactive European environmental policy, addressing the important issue of sustainable environmental and economic development in terms of climate change and resource depletion. Inspired by the Integrated Product Policy (IPP), this Directive adopts a life-cycle oriented approach, beginning at the product design stage, in order to reduce the environmental impact of priority product groups, i.e. products that have significant environmental impact and a large potential for improvement in efficiency.
The project aims to assess the implications of resource efficiency in ecodesign. The first project stage will identify the most important materials from a resource efficiency perspective and investigate how these materials can be regulated using ecodesign.
Based on these outcomes, Fraunhofer IZM will develop a proposal for improving material efficiency in MEErP. The basic objective is a critical review of how the MEErP incorporates non-energy resources and material efficiency aspects into the environmental assessment and selection of improvement options. The MEErP will be improved in order to strengthen how materials are used for ecodesign within the ErP framework.
The resulting EcoReport Tool will be updated to address the use of materials and resources more specifically in terms of impact assessment and allow more meaningful assessment of ecodesign options with respect to resource use.
Fraunhofer IZM will demonstrate the effects of the changes in MEErP methodology and the EcoReport Tool by applying it to various examples.