The Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC is the cornerstone of the EU’s sustainable industrial policy, which aims at fostering an improved environmental performance of products in the internal market. It establishes a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements through Implementing Measures for energy-related products. The Ecodesign Directive serves the goals of climate policy, consumer protection, and free circulation of products at the same time.
According to Article 16, the Commission should establish Working Plans which determine the list of products for which a preparatory study shall be conducted during a given period and eventually Implementation Measures shall be adopted. So far, three subsequent phases of implementation have taken place:
- The transitional period (starting from 2005);
- The First Working Plan (2009-2011); and
- The Second Working Plan (2012-2014).
For the latter two Working plans, supporting studies have been conducted with the aim to identify priority products. The objective of the current project is to support the Commission in developing the next Working Plan (2015-2017) by:
- Developing a convincing classification of product groups; and
- Setting up an indicative list of priority product groups (indicative number of 20) for Ecodesign (and Energy Labelling) legislation, taking into account the criteria of Article 15 as well as existing Ecodesign Regulations and ongoing regulatory processes.
 Article 15 of the Ecodesign Directive includes three specific criteria, namely:
- (a) the product shall represent a significant volume of sales and trade, indicatively more than 200 000 units a year within the Community according to the most recently available figures;
- (b) the product shall, considering the quantities placed on the market and/or put into service, have a significant environmental impact within the Community; and
- (c) the product shall present significant potential for improvement in terms of its environmental impact without entailing excessive costs.