EPEE hosts informative Circular Economy and Ecodesign seminars – 15 September 2016

15 / 09 / 2016

The European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) was delighted to welcome a range of stakeholders and decision-makers to a landmark seminar on the Circular Economy and Ecodesign on 15 September.

“The seminar further showcased EPEE as being a key industry leader and convener, providing a forum for open discussion, debate, and information sharing,” said Andrea Voigt, Director General of EPEE.

“We look forward to hosting similar events in the future, as we fully appreciate the need to work together with our industry partners, as well as NGOs and EU decision-makers, to ensure that policies best reflect the situation on the ground and maximise benefits for all concerned.”

The morning session was dedicated to the Circular Economy. After a brief introduction by Andrea Voigt, Hugo-Maria Schally, Head of Unit “Sustainable Products” at DG Environment in the European Commission, outlined where the Commission stood on the Circular Economy Strategy, in terms of implementation. He also reiterated the founding principles and mechanisms of the Strategy.

Carolin Spirinckx, Project Manager Sustainable Built Environment at VITO EnergyVille, followed with a presentation on the Circular Economy Package and the link with the Life Cycle Assessment, the Environmental Product Declarations, and the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) entering the built environment in Europe. Ms Spirinckx called on companies and trade associations active in the construction sector to openly and “constructively” participate in the European alignment phase of the PEF.

Stéphane Arditi, Policy Manager on Products & Waste at the European Environmental Bureau, raised a number of questions on the Extended Producer Responsibility aspects of the Circular Economy Package. He invited industry to take an active part in this debate and engage more with civil society organisations.

The Circular Economy seminar was concluded by Ferenc Pekar, Policy Officer in Unit “Sustainable Products” at DG Environment of the European Commission, who emphasised the importance of setting resource efficiency criteria in future Ecodesign requirements and ensuring coherence between the various strands of legislation.


The afternoon session on the Ecodesign framework started with a presentation by Bram Soenen, Belgian national expert sitting on the Ecodesign Regulatory Committee, who shared his insights on how industry can best support EU and national authorities during the process.


Matthias Meier, Technical Consultant and Convenor of CEN-CENELEC WG7, explained the interrelation between standardisation activities, the Ecodesign framework, and the importance of drafting standards that are easy to read and to use, verifiable, and do not prescribe design specifications. He invited EPEE members to get involved in the standardisation processes and provide input.

Finally, Paul Waide, Director at Waide Strategic Efficiency, concluded the day with a “looking-forward” presentation on the “system approach” in the Ecodesign framework but also in other pieces of legislation. He called for a coherent strategy to access the energy savings potential from optimised product systems.

Speakers’ presentations:
Circular Economy Seminar presentations
DG Environment presentation on Circular Economy
Ecodesign Seminar presentations
Matthias Meier presentation on Ecodesign & Standardisation

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