The European Commission has tasked our longstanding partner Deloitte, who will be supported by IEEP and SERI, with a “Study to support Ecodesign measures to improve reparability of products”. The project is based on a previous study on the “Socioeconomic impacts of increased reparability“, carried out by BIO Deloitte, ICF-GHK and SERI on behalf of the European Commission.
The new follow-up project aims to further the understanding of the repair sector in the EU with respect to its resource saving, economic and employment potential. This requires a detailed analysis of the repair sector in the EU member states; a sizeable challenge given the complexity and diversity of the sector.
The main objective of the original report was to identify a suitable policy scenario to improve reparability by analysing impacts of applying reparability requirements on four suitable product groops (domestic washing machines, domestic dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and coffee machines). It describes a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario concerning the number of repairs, which is compared several ‘alternative scenarios’.
The study concluded that increased repairability can be socially, economically and ecologically beneficial. It demonstated that supporting repairability is an important contribution to the extension of the service life span. Particularly the availability of spare parts – besides a repair and recycling friendly design – are crucial to strengthen repairing as a key for a longer life span. The study therefore recommends to consider these aspects in future EU EcoDesign guidelines.
Nevertheless as little is known from the literature on the different repair activities in the EU Member States, the assessment of that study needs to be revised and updated based on primary data collected through a comprehensive data collection process. This will strengthen the robustness of the results and of the conclusions of the assessment.
Over the course of the summer of 2017, we analysed the situation in Austria, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, Sweden and Poland – with more countries to follow soon. SERI is supported by THE Austrian and European expert on this issue Sepp Eisenriegler (RUSZ – www.rusz.at) and Ana Carina Pereira in Porto. A first interim report was discussed with representatives from the European Commission on 11 September. Later in the year, the results will be presented at a stakeholder workshop in Brussels and published shortly thereafter.