EcoDesign Projects

EcoDesign Projects

EcoDesign Projects

This overview provides information on recently finished, on-going or planned projects with relevancy for eco-design in the electrical and electronics sector.

Eco-design of EuP methodology

The "Eco-design of EuP methodology" study aims to contribute to the creation of a methodology allowing to evaluate whether and to which extent various energy-using products fulfil the criteria established by the proposal for the selection of products (for which implementing measures might be considered). Such a methodology will be applied to products that have already been identified as relevant for certain environmental aspects and/or the volume of trade in the internal market in the context of other Community initiatives or policies such as the ECCP and the Eco-label.
As a minimum, each of the product categories listed below will be addressed by the examination of at least one representative product:
  • Heating and water heating equipment
  • Electric motors
  • Lighting
  • Domestic appliances (refrigerators, dishwashers, small household appliance(s))
  • Office equipment (copier)
  • Consumer electronics (PCs- including portables)
  • Ventilating/air conditioning equipment

The project runs from November 2004 until December 2005.

Contractor: Van Holsteijn en Kemna

Eco-design of television devices

In the context of the EuP it is important to build a consolidated scientific reference for assessing the environmental performance of specific types of energy-using products, and to evaluate the technical and economic potential of improvements without unacceptable loss of performance of utilities to consumers.
This study project aims to consolidate such a reference for the potential of eco-design in the consumer electronics sector through a case study dedicated to television devices, taking into consideration both current and future designs. The definition of television devices covers current and future screen designs, including the trend towards deconstruction.

The project ran from June 2004 until end 2004.

Contractor: Institute of Prospective Technological Studies of the Joint Research Centre
Interim report:

EPIC-ICT - Development of Environmental Performance Indicators for ICT Products on the example of Personal Computer

Within the scope of the European Commission's proposal for the EuP framework directive, mechanisms for rapid, efficient and participatory decision-making are required. One mechanism to address decision-makers in product design as well as in politics are environmental performance indicators.
Against this background, the project consortium of EPIC-ICT will develop a method to define environmental performance indicators for ICT products on the example of PCs. These indicators will relate to easy to define technical product properties, e.g. clock rates,
power demand etc. Based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), relevant environmental indicators will be defined to support and enhance eco-design requirements for the respective decision-makers. The method combines scientific soundness, public acceptance and practical applicability at the same time.

The project runs from November 2004 until April 2006.

Project consortium: IKP, Motorola, Philips, Ambiente Italia, Dell, PE Europe

Study on Environmental Product Declaration Schemes (EPDs)

The study begins by outlining the current developments within ISO and describing what an EPD is before moving on to examine various EPD and EPD-like schemes. It then compares these schemes with each other and with the current draft of ISO 14025 TR before considering how best such schemes could be integrated with other IPP tools. Finally, the report examines possible future directions within Europe and makes recommendations for the future development of this instrument.
Briefly, it concludes that the European Commission is well placed to play a role in three key areas of EPD development in Europe, namely:
  • Improving the harmonisation of EPD schemes through a Framework Directive based on an ISO or CEN standard and minimum requirements
  • Stimulating the supply side by improved access to good quality LCA data; and
  • Stimulating the demand side by strengthening the link between public procurement and EPDs

Completed in September 2002.

Contractor: Environmental Resources Management

External Environmental Effects related to the Life-Cycle of Products and Services

The purpose of the study is to give a good overview of the environmental impacts (both physical impacts and monetary quantification as far as possible) related to the various product groups which together make our economy and to identify clear patterns. The study also gives an overview of the distribution of these impacts across the various stages of the life cycle of these product groups and includes case studies on specific products and/or product-service systems.

Completed in June 2003.

Contractors: BIO Intelligence Services, O2 France
Final report:

Making Life-Cycle Information and Interpretative Tools Available

Objective of the study is to establish a baseline of knowledge about the level of awareness regarding lifecycle thinking in small European firms, retailers and consumer organisations, and their needs for further information and support. This knowledge should be suitable for use as a benchmark in future investigations. Derive from this analysis the elements needed for a Community platform to facilitate communication and exchange for the target group of this contract.

The project ran from January 2004 until November 2004.

Contractor: TNO
Description of the tasks:

Development of Indicators for Integrated Product Policy

The aims of the project are:
  • Summarise existing IPP-related indicators, assessing their usefulness for monitoring the environmental impacts of a European IPP;
  • Analyse possible ways to measure the change in environmental impacts of existing products over time, including charting this development for some products;
  • Suggest how these ways could be improved in order to create future indicators for IPP;
  • Suggest other possible indicators to measure the change in the environmental impacts of products over time, including an assessment of their data
  • collection and information needs;
  • Develop a "basket of products", representative of as much of the market and as large an environmental impact as possible, whose environmental attributes could be tracked over time as a potential indicator for the effectiveness of IPP

The project runs from July 2004 until July 2005

Contractor: Institute for Product Development (IPU)
Description of the tasks:

Internet site on life-cycle assessment tools and services and life cycle inventory data in support of European Integrated Product Policy

Objective of the project is to improve availability and accessibility of selected life-cycle instruments with appropriate quality on the European scale in support of Integrated Product Policy (IPP).
The contract comprises two main tasks that are thematically related to each other but can be carried out contemporaneously:
  • 1. To establish a directory of life-cycle assessment tools and service providers that can support the wider up-take of life-cycle thinking in Europe.
  • 2. To collect life-cycle inventory data for a European LCI database.

The project runs from January 2005 until December 2005.

Contractor: PE Europe
Description of the tasks:

Database for energy-saving devices

For the project "Development and Implementation of a European-wide Public Data Base of Energy-efficient Household Appliances, Entertainment Electronics and Office Equipment" data about energy-saving devices are gathered from twelve partner countries. The data base is intended to be a means for the cross-linking of existing instruments, such as the European Union label for household appliances or the energy label of the Community Energy Label Germany (GEEA label), and serves as guideline assistance for procurement and purchase.

The project is funded by the European Commission.

Project webpage (in German):


The project "MikroNetz" aims on developing a switched power supply unit using Microsystem technology and methods for the implementation of environmental aspects in the design process of Microsystems.
The involved partners in the project are small and medium sized enterprises as well as larger company. They all have experience and competence in all needed areas from the development and manufacturing of Asics, ferrite, planar transformers as well as electronic systems. The research institutes involved transfered know-how (patent), method development (manufacturing processes, Microsystem technology and environmental evaluation) and system engineering.

The project is funded by the German BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research).

Evaluation of the Environmental Impacts of Products (EIPRO)

This study supports the development of an EU Integrated Product Policy by clarifying which products have the greatest environmental impacts from a life-cycle perspective. For this purpose a methodology for identifying the products needs to be developed and applied. It is carried out with partner institutions of the European Science and Technology Observatory (ESTO).
Step one of the study began with a literature review of existing work to identify such products. Step two was to develop an operational methodology to identify the products with the greatest environmental impacts. This resulted in a transparent methodology that allows building on the methods and results of previous research as far as possible and complementing this with a new systematic analysis of the environmental impacts of products for the EU-25. In a third step the methodology has been refined and applied.

The project runs from January 2004 until 2005.

Further information:

Green Electronics - Heute High Tech - morgen Schrott

Webpage in German!
Aims of the project are to inform involved persons about the benefit of the german Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act and the necessity of implementing it. A platform is provided, where interested groups can exchange their opinions.

Contractor: Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.

Further information:


The "learn ecodesign" website is developed as a supporting tool for a project partially funded by the EC Leonardo Program. The program seeks to prepare for the 21st century by improving the quality of vocational training systems and their capacity for innovation which are key factors for mastering technological and industrial change and its impact upon work organization and the competitiveness of enterprises. It is concerned with enabling vocational training to prepare for the professions of tomorrow, to anticipate change, to visualize the future, to prepare and experiment with new ways and new methods.
Achieved knowledge through a general introduction on ecodesign can be specified with an ecodesign training kit. The training kit is divided into three parts.
  • Part I.) Introduction to ecodesign
  • Part II.) Trainer's guide to implementing ecodesign
  • Part III.) Company guide to implementing ecodesign
An extra category called "cases" provides a choice on realized ecodesign projects. The user can choose between twelve different industry sectors and nine ecodesign strategies. Further information can be gathered in the library-section.
The learn eco-design website is developed by 6 European organizations:
  • Centre for Innovation and Development (CIR) (Czech Republic)
  • Estonian Institute for Sustainable Development (SEI-Tallinn) (Estonia)
  • The Institute of Environmental Engineering (APINI) (Lithuania)
  • VVT (SIA Vides Vadibas Tehnologias) (Latvia)
  • INETI/CENDES (National Institute of Engineering, Technology and Innovation) (Portugal)
  • BECO Group BV
Further information:

Refining and applying the pro-active ecodesign method 'Eco-Pas'

The Eco-Pas system (Eco-efficiency Parametric Screening) estimates the potential environmental impact of products based on functional requirements, known in the early phases of design. These contacts with the technical parameters, such as the Bill of Materials, needed ad input for traditional LCA methods. The project aims at refining and applying the Eco-PaS method.
This entails:
    1) the integration of fuzzy set theory in Eco-PaS;
    2) the shift from mere ecological to combine economic/ ecological evaluation;
    3) the inclusion of a large library of functions (bearing types, motors, gears, structural components and surface treatment techniques);
    4) the development of a web-based prototype; and
    5) testing of Eco-PaS in a real life design situation.

Further information: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

demi - design for the environment multi-media implementation

The demi project is funded by the UK's Teaching Learning Technology Programme (TLTP). The aim of demi is to explore and expand on the UK Government's Sustainable Learning Agenda for a UK Higher Education (HE) design audience and develop a learning experience that integrates sustainable thinking into design curricula. The outcome is a resource delivered on the World Wide Web which connects and forms alliances between designers and their everyday practice and issues as broad ranging as aesthetics, fuel poverty and climate change.

Further information: