European Union expands Ecolabel criteria for circular economy computers, furniture and footwear

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Manufacturers of footwear, furniture and computers that wish to use the EU Ecolabel will now have to comply with new strict criteria including more recyclability.

The new criteria also focus on the ability to repair products and overall environmental performance, product safety and social aspects.

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EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella said: “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.”

For computers, including personal, notebook and tablets, energy efficiency and device upgradeability will need to be considered during the design and manufacturing process, along with taking into account how easy it is to dismantle, recover and recycle resources from the device.

In the case of furniture, in addition to a mandate on producing products that are more durable and easier to repair, the new criteria require manufacturers to conduct a more comprehensive lifecycle assessment, while also paying attention to hazardous compounds and residues.

For footwear, the new criteria is mainly with regard to labour conditions at manufacturing facilities.