Trend: EuP (energy using product) statistics for manufactured products will be required in the European Union next year. (Is this a preview of new regulations for the US?)
Ephraim Schwartz in his Reality Check column at InfoWorld describes the E.U.’s EuP (energy using product) requirements and the impact. Only companies selling in Europe will be affected immediately. Excerpts below.
...the E.U.’s EuP (energy using product) initiative will require manufacturers to track the amount of energy used in the creation of a product from cradle to grave. This includes the energy used to extract raw materials, to push materials through the supply chain, to deliver the product, and finally to dispose of the product at the end of its lifecycle.
Part of the purpose of the EuP regulations ... is to promote recycled materials....
There are supply chain and software issues as well. IT will have to find a data “container” that keeps information in a coherent form for analysis, and to generate reports in a form that’s usable by engineers, marketing departments, and regulators.
EuP will require substantially more information capture and new XML definitions, with the cross-enterprise information transfer posing a big problem....
While current regulations require information collection down to all layers of the supply chain, the adoption of EuP requires adding the uses of energy in the refinement of a product.
Until now, most manufacturers have put in an enormous infrastructure to build and sell products without a thought to environmental attributes. So there is no doubt the cost of doing business will go up in the short term.
But in the future, products meeting EuP minimum standards will receive a CE (Conformité Européenne) approval logo on their packaging. The E.U. will create an ecological profile of the energy used during the lifetime of a product so that green-minded consumers can compare similar products.
And once companies realize that they can’t actively ignore environmental attributes, they will develop standards and it will become part of how they operate. In time, it will reduce waste and the need for new raw materials and ultimately reduce cost.