APPLiA: the role of repair for the green transition

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Fostering sustainable production requires that products entering the market are durable, repairable and resource-efficient. According to data collected from the APPLiA membership, “81% of the requests to manufacturers for a repair of a product resulted in an actual repair in 2016, which then increased up to 91% in 2018”, Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA Director General, explained. These statistics clearly highlight how the repairability of appliances is at a high rate for European consumers. Promoting repair in Europe is an integral part of the “Circular Culture”. In this context, APPLiA highlighs that consumer protection and safety is vital to earning the trust of citizens and not to impede efforts made towards establishing a circular economy. The repair of home appliances requires a specific set of technical skills that most consumers or non-professional repairers simply do not possess. If an appliance is not properly repaired and safety testing procedures are not respected, safety within the home could be compromised. For this reason, “repairers need to comply with the applicable regulations for repairs of electrical equipment, but also need to have relevant insurance covering liabilities resulting from the service”, said Falcioni. At a time when pressure is growing on manufacturers to make repair easier for consumers, preserving the safety of the home and the people who live in it, remains a key prerogative for the industry while playing a critical role in enabling the green transition. With this in mind, consumers should be incentivized to choose repair over replacement, bringing products back into conformity in a timely and qualitative manner. This entails the implementation of “a clear hierarchy of remedies where repair would take precedence”, detailed Falcioni. Building on this, Falcioni announced that APPLiA is supporting a study book produced by its sister organisation APPLiA Hungary, aimed at training young generations of technicians in Europe, that will soon be made available to all professional repairers.