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Material efficiency and the circular economy

Material efficiency refers to activities designed to reduce the use of material resources during production and consumption, as well as measures to improve the reusability, recyclability and durability of products, components and materials.


The EU Eco-Design Directive for energy-related products (2009/125/EC) sets out energy efficiency performance requirements for a wide range of product categories and current efforts are underway to consider how material efficiency aspects may be integrated into future revisions of the Directive.


Similar to the way in which standards have been developed to stipulate test methodologies to demonstrate compliance with the energy efficiency requirements, metrics and standards are intended be established to support the enforcement of regulatory requirements for resource efficiency of energy-related products.


Under procedures set out in EU Regulation 2012/1025/EC, in July 2014, the European Commission submitted a formal standardisation request to the relevant European standardisation organisations to develop the standards required.


Together with ECOS and the European Environmental Bureau, the SNS is actively involved in the ongoing discussions around the content and format of the material efficiency standards to be developed. Our joint position paper can be viewed here.


If you are interested in providing input or being part of our ad hoc expert panel, please get in touch.


In December 2014, the SNS also joined the newly established BSI committee on Sustainable Resource Management and the Circular Economy. This technical committee aims to develop standards to support increased resource circularity and material efficiency.   

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