Coolproducts campaign to improve the effectiveness of the Ecodesign Directive


The Ecodesign Directive is one of the most important regulations in the fight against climate change. “The Coolproducts for a Coolplanet coalition” is a group of European non-governmental organisations working to ensure the EU Ecodesign Directive and related Energy Labelling policies are as ambitious as possible for the good of consumers, businesses and the environment. The Coolproducts campaign, created with the aim of promoting and supporting the Ecodesign Directive, has recently published a document that demonstrates the effectiveness of the Directive can be improved. Based on the analysis of five products for which there is a good basis for comparative data (washing machines, refrigerators, dryers, dishwashers and televisions), the analysis shows that the Directive could achieve energy savings almost double than those achieved with the measures taken. This report has analysed the most explicit criterion that EU decision-makers have to rely on when setting Ecodesign regulations on energy-related products: the least life cycle cost (LLCC) criterion. This criterion has some merits. Its precision and quantitative nature frame the discussion on the ambition of Ecodesign requirements and make decisions more robust and transparent. Other regions can more easily replicate or be inspired by the levels set in the EU. The use of the criterion requires preparatory analysis that can bring a useful evidence base to decisions. But there are limitations too. The concept is somewhat unsuitable for product groups characterised by a lack of correlation between prices and energy efficiency, such as some IT and consumer electronics. Its focus on the end-user benefit may undermine some broader societal benefits of Ecodesign measures. In terms of implementation, two major risks have been identified: it neglects the potential of possible combinations of interrelated improvements or integrated designs, and it leads to decisions based on outdated cost estimates that fail to anticipate market dynamics. Reinforcing the rules to set Ecodesign requirements would reduce the risk of ineffective policy decisions, unleash additional energy savings, and further challenge the EU industry to take the leadership in greening the world economy. To read the complete analysis, click here.