Policy and Standardisation Recommendations
Contact for organisation: TBD
Introduction: To bin or not to bin? How testing can help design products that last longer
Panel discussion: To bin or not to bin? How testing can help design products that last longer
The early replacement of products puts a strain on consumers’ budgets and on our natural resources, leading to overconsumption of materials for manufacturing new products. The PROMPT project evidenced that the premature obsolescence of products was a systemic issue which needed answers at policy, regulatory and standardisation levels. Throughout the project, PROMPT partners have therefore made extensive use of the project's findings to develop policy and standardisation recommendations aimed at informing policymakers' choices and contributing to solving the problem at the source.
The problem of early obsolescence of products has been on the radar of national and European policymakers in the past few years. As part of its European Green Deal and Sustainable Product Initiative, the European Commission committed to take action to "make sustainable products the norm", tackling among others the problem of premature obsolescence of products.
We used the findings from the project, and notably the results of product testing, to highlight the key factors behind the short lifespan of products. Leveraging on these findings, we developed policy recommendations aimed at influencing relevant legislative initiatives such as the ongoing revision of the Ecodesign regulation, the revision of consumer law, and the development of product-specific sustainability criteria, for instance on smartphones and tablets.
7.2 Deliverable: recording of the final PROMPT public event - To bin or not to bin? How testing can help design products that last longer
Standards play a crucial role in enhancing the reliability and reparability of products, benefiting both consumers and the environment. The lack of appropriate standards has been one of the obstacles to incorporating material efficiency requirements into Ecodesign measures in the past. Reliability and reparability have emerged as top priorities on the European Union's agenda, and this is where the PROMPT project comes into play, providing a timely contribution to legislative and standardization initiatives.
By leveraging the findings from the PROMPT project, we have formulated guidelines specifically tailored for standardization experts involved in material efficiency ‘Guidelines for future standardisation experts’. These guidelines are built upon the project's extensive research, which involved developing product-specific testing programs to assess product durability and engaging in fruitful exchanges with our diverse consortium of partners, including consumer organizations, academics, and repair businesses. The recommendations encompass both horizontal aspects and product-specific considerations, with a particular emphasis on the four key PROMPT product categories: washing machines, smartphones, vacuum cleaners, and televisions.
7.5 Deliverable: Guidelines for future standardisation experts