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The European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) recently adopted a set of groundbreaking rules aimed at promoting ecodesign, circularity, and energy efficiency throughout the lifecycle of products.
In this blog post, we’ll explore these new EU rules and explain how the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) are instrumental in making product creation more sustainable.
The primary objective of the new EU rules is to extend the lifespan of products, make them easier to repair, upgrade, and recycle, thereby reducing their environmental impact. Here are some key highlights of the EU’s sustainable product regulations:
Manufacturers are now prohibited from designing products with intentionally limited lifespans. Instead, they are required to offer software updates, consumables, spare parts, and repair guidelines to extend product life. This move empowers consumers to enjoy longer-lasting products.
Every product must come with a “product passport” containing accurate and up-to-date information. These passports help consumers and businesses make informed choices, facilitate repairs and recycling, and increase transparency about a product’s environmental impact.
Economic operators must report annually on the number and percentage of unsold goods they discard and provide reasons for such actions. Based on this information, the EU Commission will identify products for which a destruction ban should be implemented, including unsold textiles, footwear, and electronic equipment.
The EU Parliament has urged the Commission to prioritize certain product groups in its working plan, including iron, steel, textiles, furniture, tires, detergents, paints, lubricants, and chemicals.
These rules represent a significant shift away from the “take, make, waste” model, promoting a more sustainable approach to production and consumption. The aim is to protect the environment, save energy, and help consumers make eco-conscious choices while saving money in the long run.
In addition to the ambitious push for sustainable product regulations, the European Parliament has also taken a resolute stance against greenwashing and misleading environmental claims.
With a sweeping vote in favor of new rules on consumer empowerment for the green transition, the Parliament aims to put an end to deceptive practices that have long plagued the market.
Generic and unsubstantiated environmental claims, such as ‘environmentally friendly’ and ‘natural,’ will be prohibited unless accompanied by detailed evidence. Additionally, the misuse of terms like ‘biodegradable,’ ‘climate neutral,’ or ‘ecological’ without proper backing will also face stringent restrictions.
On top of this, consumers will receive vital information about repair limitations before purchase, and a new guarantee stamp will highlight not only the legally required coverage period but also any manufacturer-offered warranty extensions, incentivizing companies to prioritize product durability.
These comprehensive measures are a significant step towards a more transparent and eco-conscious marketplace, empowering consumers to make genuinely sustainable choices while encouraging companies to provide durable and environmentally responsible products.
But how do these new regulations affect manufacturers? What measures should you take to adhere to the new EU rules for sustainable products? And what tools exist to help accelerate the shift to sustainable product creation?
Previously, we explored the benefit of digitalization as part of a sustainability strategy. Now, let’s take a look at two specific digital solutions that can help your organization make environmentally friendly decisions in product creation.
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a comprehensive solution for Product Lifecycle Management. It enables organizations to integrate people, processes, and data seamlessly, making product creation simple, successful, and sustainable. With 3DEXPERIENCE, teams can collaborate efficiently and access the same data in real-time, ensuring that all decisions are relevant and efficient. This platform provides a cohesive ecosystem, making it easier for organizations to expand or streamline their operations as needed.
Lifecycle Assessment is a systematic evaluation of a product or service’s environmental impacts throughout its entire lifecycle, from raw material extraction to disposal or recycling. LCA considers factors like energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and waste generation.
By using an LCA solution, your organization can identify areas for improvement in terms of environmental performance and make informed decisions about their products or services.
The EU rules for sustainable products mark a significant milestone in the global effort to combat environmental challenges. By prioritizing ecodesign, circularity, and energy efficiency, these regulations aim to reshape how products are created, consumed, and disposed of. It’s all about the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit.
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform and Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) play a crucial role in helping organizations make informed, eco-friendly decisions throughout the product lifecycle. Embracing the principles behind the EU’s ruling is essential for businesses looking to benefit from sustainable production methods.
Together, we can create a world where sustainable products are the norm, saving resources, reducing waste, and safeguarding our environment for future generations.
Reach out to our team of PLM experts to discuss how digitalization and Lifecycle Assessment can help you get ahead of the new EU rules for sustainable products.