Enterprises once again face the EU "energy conservation and environmental protection test"

On August 11, the EU EUP Directive came into effect. The EuP Directive is another European Union's proposed directive on the environmental design of energy-consuming products following the two green directives of WEEE and RoHS. Although it is only a framework directive, it is more operative and covers a wide range of products. For Chinese companies, the directive is undoubtedly a more subtle technical barrier to trade. In the face of another "green" test, the relevant export enterprises in China should study the countermeasures in a timely and effective manner and should not be underestimated.

Coping with the EUP Directive: Checking for missing traps from scratch

Just as the EU's WEEE and RoHS directives are still causing headaches for many Chinese companies, a more rigorous and more extensive directive, the Energy-Efficient Design Guidelines for Energy-Efficient Products (EUP Directive), is also available to Chinese exporters. before. “After the entry into force of the EU EuP Directive, the impact on the future of China's related industries will be more serious than the WEEE and RoHS directives.” The relevant person in charge of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Mechanical and Electrical Products said that the EuP Directive covers all products that use electricity and involves An entire industry chain from design and manufacturing to use, maintenance, recycling and post-processing.

Zhao Gang, an engineer at the KEMA Certification Center, said in an interview that the EuP directive fundamentally requires improving the efficiency of resource utilization, and that concept changes occur from the product design end; for related companies, it is necessary to design the source from the design concept. The update will take into account the impact on energy, natural resources and the environment throughout the product life cycle. Future products will pursue the goal of low resource consumption and low energy consumption.

According to the reporter, since the directive runs through the entire life cycle of the product, and the introduction of the directive does not stipulate the technical details, it has great operational flexibility during execution, so the EUP directive will affect all large-scale electronics manufacturers and Most small manufacturers. For many Chinese companies, the directive is undoubtedly a more subtle technical barrier to trade.

Coverage is more extensive In fact, the eco-design requirements for EuP products have been brewing in the EU for many years. In recent years, the impact of electrical products on the environment has gradually received attention. Countries have set targets and standards for environmental performance improvement of products. This trend is the basis for the EU's current directive on environmentally friendly design of electrical appliances. As early as 2001, the EU announced electrical The draft document (EEE) for electronic equipment and the minimum energy efficiency requirements framework directive (EER) for terminal electrical equipment are drafted. Among them, the EEE Directive is proposed by the European Commission's Enterprise Bureau. The EER Directive is proposed by the Transportation and Environment Bureau. Although the two departments that propose the draft Directive have different management scopes, the above two directives all target the same type of products, and the content is inevitably duplicated and intersected. Does not comply with the European Integrated Environmental Policy (IPP). Based on the EEE Directive and the EER Directive, the EuP Directive combines the two directives into one, changing the EU environmental protection policy, from a single and isolated management target approach to a comprehensive reduction of the negative environmental impacts of the product throughout its life cycle. . On August 1, 2003, the European Commission submitted the Eup directive to the European Parliament and the European Council. After repeated discussions, the proposal was not formally adopted until July 2005, and Member States were requested to August 11, 2007. A few days ago, the directive was transformed into national regulations and entered the implementation stage.

Although the EuP instruction is only a framework directive, it is more versatile and covers a wide range of products. According to the contents of the EU EuP Directive, EuP products in principle include all energy-consuming products placed on the market, products that generate, convert and measure these energy sources (excluding transportation vehicles), and for loading energy-consuming products, and A component that is sold directly to the end user as a separate component on the market. Of course, it also includes the 10 categories listed in the WEEE Directive. The energy consumed by the product includes electrical energy, solid fuels, liquid fuels, and gaseous fuels. After the directive comes into effect, the European Commission will implement environmentally friendly design for heating and hot water equipment, electric motor systems, lighting for home and service industries, household appliances, office equipment for home and service, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. method.

The EuP Directive requires product designers to consistently design the product with the following concepts: to consider the environmental design of the product throughout the supply chain; to select more environmentally friendly raw materials and mechanical designs; and to reduce the environmental impact of product design. To achieve the goal of environmental design, it is also necessary to increase the utilization rate of resources by: minimizing the use of raw materials and utilities (such as water supply, power supply, etc.); prohibiting the use of hazardous substances, promoting reuse and recycling; Increase product functionality and extend product life; achieve zero pollution and zero waste; reuse components and accessories as much as possible and recycle raw materials.

Design companies will be shuffled by the EuP Directive for every detail, the company must be managed and tested in terms of technical energy consumption, and will be detailed in the technical reports that must be provided. This also means that the increase in costs is inevitable. That is to say, during the product design phase, the company's integration of environmental factors may lead to additional costs, such as the cost of adaptation of the company's internal organization, the necessary environmental information and knowledge acquisition costs, and the implementation cost of the design. Producing and maintaining integrated documents may also incur additional costs and fees for certification. Like the RoHS Directive, the EuP Directive not only brings specific raw material cost pressures, but also brings huge supply chain management costs. As an EuP directive covering the entire product lifecycle, its supply chain management is clearly re-stretched, including not only upstream but also production, sales, and recycling details.

In addition, the RoHS directive and the WEEE directive add only some hardware investments involving domestic enterprises, such as increasing procurement costs (because of the higher cost of materials without harmful substances), and the EuP directive requires companies to comprehensively consider the impact of products on the environment from the design source.

It is expected that after the impact of the EuP directive, more companies in China will be forced to go to the OEM road, and Chinese companies in the field of product design creation will face reshuffle.

Zhao Gang told reporters that the EuP directive will have a great impact on energy-consuming product manufacturers. First of all, enterprises need to spend a certain amount of manpower and resources for the collection and integration of various environmental factors. Secondly, according to the requirements of environmental factors, enterprises purchase environmentally friendly materials, improve product design plans, and carry out product ecological design and development. The concept of ecological design is A new "revolution" in product design has had a great impact on the original product design concept; again, the EuP directive is a new method directive, and products within the scope of the directive need to be affixed with the CE mark to allow circulation in the EU market. Therefore, products that are included in the scope of the directives need to be CE-certified by a qualified third party, and they can be placed in the EU after they have been approved for the CE mark.

Taking the mentality to check for missing gaps Because the EuP Directive is still only a framework and it will increase costs, the attitude of domestic related companies on the EuP Directive is somewhat negative. "The EuP Directive is still stuck in the framework-directed directives, and there are no implementation rules. At present, domestic companies do not know how to deal with the EuP Directive. This may be the cause of the domestic companies' ignorance and contempt for the EuP Directive." The relevant person in charge of the Chamber of Mechanical and Electrical Import and Export said. However, without instructions and implementation rules, it is not equal to the enterprise, and this directive must be entered into the formal implementation level at a certain time in the future, and it will definitely have a great impact on related enterprises. Therefore, domestic companies should fully understand this directive, make technical research and development, reserve, and be ready to welcome changes in this directive, rather than neglect it. ”

Zhao Gang told reporters that the current manufacturers of energy-consuming products should pay close attention to the research progress of related EuP products, and update the product development stage with reference to the European ECODesign requirements, of course, before the introduction of specific standards (except for existing energy efficiency) Companies that require refrigerators, hot water boilers, and fluorescent ballasts are not yet able to determine specific standards. They can only minimize the energy requirements of current products.

On the other hand, export enterprises should keep abreast of the main contents of EU EuP directives, and combine their own product defects to “check for missing gaps”; enterprises must increase investment in science and technology and talents, and conduct targeted research on foreign markets. Requirements to improve the ability of enterprises to resist technical barriers; to improve the quality of their products, especially environmental performance, to establish a scientific quality management system, to ensure good raw materials, production safety and export inspection, to ensure that products comply with safety, health, Environmental quality requirements.

At present, some foreign companies are worthy of reference for local enterprises. For example, the product design awareness is DfE, which is the product design for the environment, adding some additional considerations in the product design process. Secondly, adding the LCA concept to the product design (ie Product life cycle), from the beginning of product design, consider the environmental load that a product may add during its final cycle. At the same time, refer to some energy efficiency standards, such as EnergyStar, TCO requirements, and so on.

At present, it is difficult for Chinese companies to meet the requirements of the EuP Directive, but if they do not reach it, they will face greater difficulties. Industry insiders also said that because many of the rules of the EuP directive are not fixed at present, it is also an opportunity for enterprises. At present, enterprises should strengthen research and actively develop products that conform to environmental protection trends, starting from the design and research and development links, in order to better avoid the risks of trade barriers.

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