Circular economy: Commission expands Ecolabel criteria to computers, furniture and footwear

The Commission has adopted a new set of ecological criteria under the EU Ecolabel scheme for computers (personal, notebook and tablet computers), furniture and footwear. Manufacturers who wish to benefit from the EU Ecolabel have to comply with strict requirements that focus on the environmental performance of the product, but also cover product safety and social aspects. “The EU Ecolabel promotes Europe’s transition to a circular economy, supporting both sustainable production and consumption. Thanks to transparent ecological criteria, consumers can make conscious choices, without compromising on the quality of the products. Similarly, the Ecolabel rewards those manufacturers who choose to design products that are durable and repairable, promoting innovation and saving resources”, said Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella. To be eligible for the EU Ecolabel, computer manufacturers will need to consider energy efficiency and device upgradability during the design and manufacturing process, along with taking into account how easy it is to dismantle, recover and recycle resources from the devices. In the case of furniture, the new criteria require manufacturers to conduct a more comprehensive life cycle assessment, while paying special attention to the hazardous compounds and residues, which could contribute to indoor air pollution.  Following the provisions of recognised international labour standards, special attention was given to improving Corporate Social Responsibility with regard to labour conditions which will apply to the final footwear assembly site. The criteria revision is valid for six years following its date of adoption.