The directive aims at improving the environmental performance of products throughout the life-cycle by systematic integration of environmental aspects at a very early stage in the product design. Through this revision the energy and resource efficiencies will be extended to a much wider range of products and a reduction of demand on natural resources can be achieved. This will contribute to the security of energy supply and to the achievement of greenhouse gas emission targets in the EU. According to the Council press office’s point of view, this directive could at the same time cause economic savings for the businesses and end-users.
The current eco-design rules deal only with energy-using products, such as washing machines, freezers or hair-driers; In the future, products such as windows, insulation materials, or certain water using products like shower heads or taps are covered as well.
The eco-design directive foresees the establishment of requirements that energy-related products must meet if they are to benefit from free movement within the Community. These requirements will have to be decided under the comitology-procedure by the Commission, following an impact assessment.
The new rules require manufacturers of energy-related products to consider already at the design stage the environmental impact of those products throughout their whole life cycle, thus facilitating environmental improvement in a cost-effective way.