Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


The EU is developing an integrated product policy (IPP). Such a policy opens a new area for environmental improvements. Rather than taking production processes or substances as the focus, such a policy covers all products and their environmental effects, while taking a life- cycle perspective as the leading principle. So, the product innovation process forms a new key to reducing environmental impacts. Eco-design (often called "design for environment" in the United States) refers to the systematic incorporation of environmental factors into product design and development. It can play an essential role in IPP.

In this context, a number of European scientific institutes participating in the European Science and Technology Observatory (ESTO) network have performed an analysis of the state of the art of eco-design in EU Member States. Eco-design is a rather new phenomenon, and is still ill the diffusion stage. The project analysed the motives of industry to apply eco- design in practice (demand side), and also analysed activities concerning method development, dissemination and education (supply side). For each EU Member State, a country study was performed (published in Part II of this study). Furthermore, an inquiry was made to the Fortune 500 transnational companies about the implementation of eco-design (also published in Part II). Part I gives the comparative analysis and elaborates a number of policy implications. The confines of the project in terms of time input per Member State and project duration imply that this report primarily has to be seen as a quick scan of the state of the art of eco-design in Europe, and a qualitative analysis of success factors. In the view of the project team, any higher expectations have to be regarded as unrealistic, and can only be met by a study that is set up on a fundamentally different footing.

Additional information

Authors: TUKKER A, TNO-STB, (NL);HAAG E, Kathalys/TNO Industrie (NL);EDER P (EDITORS), IPTS, (ES)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR: 19583 EN (2000), 68pp Euro: free of charge
Availability: Available from the European Commission, DG XII Communication Unit, rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 200, B-1049 Bruxelles (BE) Tel: +32-2-2950001 Fax:+32-2-2958220
ISBN: ISBN: Not available
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