3 April, 2020

EcoDesign changes

27 September, 2017

While energy efficiency has been top of the agenda for the compressed air industry for years, the emphasis is set to change as far as the EU Commission is concerned. Instead, there will be a greater focus on resource efficiency and not purely on energy efficiency.

This is seen with CEN and CENELEC having a JWG 10: ‘Energy-Related Products – Material Efficiency Aspects for Ecodesign’. This move, towards what is known as the circular economy, takes into account all the impacts of a product from cradle to grave; it recognises that the world’s resources are finite and the throwaway society is not sustainable in the long term.

It means that customers will be given far more information about the whole life cost and environmental impact of goods and services and there will be incentives to consider whole life ownership. The new procurement standard published in April this year; ISO 20400:2017 – ‘Sustainable Procurement – Guidance’ shows the increasing importance of purchasing as a key activity in improving productivity and sustainability.

This emphasis on whole life costing will affect compressed air systems far more than energy labelling, which to date has been the main focus of time and effort within Lot 31. Like other industries the compressed air sector will need to rethink its business model based on ever increasing sales and shift to extending the lifetime of equipment.

It suggests that future innovation, and research and development, may be better focussed on designs that allow simpler servicing, disassembling, repurposing parts and minimising waste during disposal. It will also place greater importance on the availability and economic feasibility of spare parts and make it easier for machines to be upgraded.

As a member of Orgalime, the Engineering Industries Association and Pneurop, BCAS provides a voice and has an input into these changes in EU Directives. The Society is also a source of information and advice to help its members comply and be competitive.

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