EUP – Eco-design of Energy Using Products

The Directive for Eco-design of Energy Using Products has been proposed in response to the increasing national legislation in some EU countries specifying environmental standards for End Use Equipment. As these regulations vary from one member state to another, the directive aims to standardise the environmental requirements for these products throughout the European Union, and thus ensure the free movement of these goods throughout the Union, while also encouraging high environmental standards in design.

The directive will apply to all products dependant on energy for their intended use, including equipment for the generation, transfer and measurement of energy and any parts intended for use in such products. This would apply mainly to electrical and electronic equipment, but also to non-electrical goods such as petrol powered lawnmowers, leaf blowers and radio control cars. It does however exclude motor vehicles. The conformance of products with the directive shall be indicated by the CE mark, and will be a requirement for sale within the European Community.

In order to meet the requirements of the directive the manufacturer must assess the environmental aspects of the product throughout its life cycle and evaluate alternative design solutions with the aim of reducing the damage caused to the environment by the product. Where relevant, this assessment must account for the following factors throughout each stage of the products lifecycle:

  1. Predicted consumption of materials, energy and other resources.
  2. Anticipated emissions to air, water and soil.
  3. Anticipated pollution through physical effects such as noise, vibrations, radiation and electromagnetic fields.
  4. Expected generation of waste material.
  5. Possibilities for reuse, recycling and material recovery.

This assessment must be performed whenever the products design is reviewed, and must be documented for assessment by the member state authorities. Information about the environmental aspects of the product should also accompany the product when placed on sale to allow consumers to make an informed choice.

Laws and penalties shall be introduced by individual member states in order to deal with non-compliance.