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Corporate Social Responsibility


Ecodesign means taking into account the environmental impacts of a product at the early stage of design. Ecodesign is based on a life-cycle approach: the environmental impact of the product is analysed throughout its life-cycle, from cradle to grave. The EU has developed a coherent and integrated framework for the ecodesign of products placed on the EU market: the Ecodesign Directive, which allows analysing all the environmental impacts of the product at once, thus avoiding uncoordinated action (for example: a toxic substance is eliminated, which increases energy consumption).

Ecodesign Working Plan

According to the Ecodesign Directive, the Commission has to set out a Working Plan, which includes an indicative list of products to be considered as a priority for implementing measures during the next 3 years. The current Working Plan covers the period 2009-2011.


As defined by the OECD and Eurostat, eco-industries are activities which produce goods and services to measure, prevent, limit, minimize or correct environmental damage to water, air and soil, as well as problems related to waste, noise and eco-systems. This includes technologies, products and services that reduce environmental risk and minimize pollution and resources such as waste and waste water management, renewable energy sources, environmental consulting, air pollution and control, eco-construction.


EU Emissions Trading Scheme


Energy-using products: products which consume energy during use. For example, all household electric appliances are EUPs. The Ecodesign Directive has been known as the EUP Directive because it covered initially only energy-using products. On 16 July 2008, the Commission proposed to extend the Ecodesign Directive to energy-related products, which include not only energy-using products but also products which do not consume energy but have an impact on energy consumption during use, such as windows.


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


Integrated pollution prevention and control


Methodology for the Ecodesign of Energy-Using Products. The MEEUP is the methodology developed by the Commission to assess whether a product falling into the scope of the Ecodesign Directive should be addressed by an implementing measure. If yes, the methodology also identifies which ecodesign requirements are appropriate for this product.


Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances (Regulation 1907/2006/EC)


Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy: the two main policies covered by the Action Plan. Sustainable Industrial Policy is under the responsibility of DG Enterprise and Industry and aims at setting the right business environment so that greater sustainability becomes an asset for industry's competitiveness and a source of innovation. As described in the Action Plan, SIP mainly includes:

  • sustainable product policy, which supports the manufacturing and marketing of more environmentally friendly products, notably by fostering their uptake by consumers;
  • support to eco-industries, to foster the competitiveness of environmental industries and favour their uptake by traditional industries;
  • climate change policy, to help industry adapting the new CO2 constrain.

Sustainable Consumption and Production includes complementary policies under the responsibility of DG Environment.


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

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