Many manufacturers not ready for upcoming EU sustainability regulations

Recently, companies have been facing increasing pressure to create sustainable products that minimize negative impacts on the environment. Investors now consider sustainability metrics when making investment decisions, and consumers are actively choosing brands that prioritize sustainability and take meaningful actions toward it.
Source: Gerd-Altmann;

Despite some companies implementing sustainability measures, a significant number are unprepared for the upcoming regulations approved by the European Union (EU). According to a recent Deloitte report, less than 50% of organizations are considering the environmental impact of the products and services they are developing.

Upcoming Regulations for Manufacturing Companies

The next generation of products and services will need to comply with a growing number of environmental regulations and sustainability goals. Among these regulations is the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Directive (ESPR), which will replace the current Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC). Manufacturers of energy-consuming products will be required to reduce their products’ energy consumption and minimize environmental impacts throughout the product life cycle under the ESPR framework.

The EU has also recently approved the Green Claims Directive, a regulation aimed at combatting greenwashing and false environmental claims made to consumers. This directive seeks to curtail the proliferation of public and private environmental labels for various products.

Future-Proofing Companies

With the ESPR and Green Claims directive considering the full life cycle of products, it is expected that environmental data will be obtained through life cycle assessments (LCA).

“Transparently reporting on their sustainability efforts is crucial for businesses to achieve their sustainability goals and develop a future-proof strategy,” says Frans-Willem de Kloet, CEO of Ecochain, an LCA software company that assists companies in reducing their environmental footprint.

De Kloet emphasizes the need for companies to establish a robust in-house footprinting system to ensure accuracy, credibility, and accessibility of environmental footprint data. This enables companies to maintain control over their data, track improvements, and conduct annual footprint comparisons. “LCA software can support this transition cost-effectively and collaboratively” adds de Kloet.

According to a survey conducted by Fictiv, the challenges that companies face in terms of sustainability include limited control over supplier and partner sustainability standards, difficulties in scaling sustainability projects, and lack of funding, among others.


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