Standardisation and Policy
Joint Initiative on Standardisation
In June 2016, after contributing extensively to its drafting, ECOS signed the Joint Initiative on Standardisation (JIS). It brings together policy makers, Member States, industry, and societal stakeholders to improve the European Standardisation System and make it more effective, transparent and inclusive. The JIS will implement three key actions aimed to improve the participation of NGOs in the standardisation process at national, European and international levels. ECOS is contributing to this and also part of preparing a study aimed to evaluate the economic and societal impacts of standards, and to consider the free availability of standards.
Our common efforts across the years with consumer association ANEC and trade union ETUC to increase our rights in the standards development process have finally paid off. On 1 January 2017 CEN and CENELEC introduced the 'Right of Opinion' for societal stakeholders. Now, ECOS, ANEC and ETUC can contribute throughout the entire development process of standards. We can provide comments and express a 'favourable' or 'not favourable' opinion on draft standards during Public Enquiry and Final Vote, two major phases in the development of standards.
ECOS’ contribution to the Long-Term Strategy of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), encouraged ETSI to promote sustainability and support the effective participation of societal stakeholders in the development of ICT standards. We achieved this through a collaboration with our partners from the SME organisation SBS and societal stakeholder organisations ANEC and ETUC.
Making standards serve society
Standards can serve society if the standardisation system changes. This was the conclusion of the event held together with ANEC and ETUC that examined to which degree EU standards meet the needs of civil society. As the first event of its kind, the fully attended conference explored how to make the European Standardisation System more inclusive and how to ensure that civil society can contribute to the standardisation process most effectively.
ECOS Director Laura Degallaix and
Commissioner Bieńkowska at the signing of the JIS
ECOS continued to raise awareness of the large obstacles to use low-GWP refrigerants in the same standards that permit large quantities of environmentally damaging HFCs. Our efforts led to the F-Gas Consultation Forum acknowledging those barriers and the launch of a new Standardisation Request by the European Commission to the European standardisation organisations aimed to address some of these barriers through improved or new standards.
Nanomaterials: Going big on small
Climate Change, Circular Economy &
Over 120 organisations around the world signed our joint 'Declaration on Waste Containing Nanomaterials'. The declaration sets out demands to ensure that a precautionary approach is taken with waste containing nanomaterials as too little is still known about their impact on human health and the environment.
Our joint conference on nanomaterials provided a unique opportunity to analyse OECD nanomaterial dossier information and discussed the state of EU governance on nanomaterials. The event helped demonstrate that the information we have so far on nanomaterials is not sufficient nor reliable for regulatory risk assessment.
Together with German NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), we successfully encouraged the revision of the German air pollution control regulation to refer to existing European standards. The EU standards lay down important treatment requirements for temperature exchange equipment, such as refrigerators. This as a first step towards combating dangerous gas releases that fuel climate change.
The publication of our unique paper on the shortcomings of current product testing methods triggered a number of actions and reactions in the standardisation and Ecodesign communities.
ECOS Paper: Product testing practices and loss of energy savings
Creation of CENELEC ad-hoc group
Our work on this issue encouraged the European Commission to adopt an 'Omnibus Amendment' on verification tolerances in Ecodesign and Energy Labelling regulations. This closes the loophole of abuse by manufacturers and the mislabelling of products.
The ad-hoc working group on consumer-relevant testing within CLC/TC59X formalises discussions and explores methodologies for higher consumer relevance and real-life representation of testing standards. This lays the ground for more systematic examinations and improvements of current testing methods.
We hosted the first ever event on real-life representation of test methods for energy using products. The platform we provided for this topic brought together NGOs, industry, policy makers and standardisation bodies.
Picture 1 from right: Chris Spiliotopoulos (ECOS), Robert Nuij (EC), Michał Zakrzewski (CECED)
Ecodesign work back on track
Energy Label revision bids farewell to plusses
Our engagement in the revision of the Energy Labelling Directive has resulted in the rescaling of the label. The Energy Label will now change back to the original A-G scale, and an EU product database will be created.
Through coordinated pressure put on the Commission by the Ecodesign community, the long-awaited Ecodesign Working Plan 2016 - 2019 was finally released. It contains seven new products which ECOS will be working on, and complements the EU’s mission to have a true Circular Economy.
MarketWatch was completed in 2016. Together with 15 EU partners, the project tested products online and in shops to see if they stuck to the energy consumption limits indicated on the Energy Label provided by manufacturers. Our report showed that 1 in 5 products aren't following the rules, which may result in 100TWh of lost energy savings.
Digi-Label was launched in 2016. The project sets out to make the EU Energy Label easier to understand and more readily available online and in stores. The project runs until 2019, alongside 10 European partners with strong expertise in the energy labelling of products.
*Expenditure to be approved at the Annual General Assembly in June 2017.
Standardisation work €930 530 (58%)
Communication €19 549 (1%)
Governance & Organisational development €19 674 (1%)
Office & Administration €252 894 (15%)
European Commission & EFTA €973 676 (60%)
Foundations & Other €649 267 (38%)
Miscellaneous €18 003 (1%)
Miscellaneous €18 003 (1%)