Online Event: Boosting the Sustainable Products’ Initiative (SPI) in the EU
Wednesday 1 December 2021, 12:00 – 14:00 CET
Hosted by MEP Maria Spyraki
Co-Chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on ‘Climate Change, Biodiversity & Sustainable Development’
The March 2020 Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) provides a future-oriented agenda for achieving a cleaner and more competitive Europe in co-creation with economic actors, citizens and civil society organisations. It is one of the main building blocks of the European Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth. It is also a prerequisite to achieve the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality target and to halt biodiversity loss. The new action plan announces initiatives along the entire life cycle of products. It targets how products are designed, promotes circular economy processes, encourages sustainable consumption, and aims to ensure that waste is prevented and the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.
The CEAP namely announces a sustainable product policy legislative initiative to make products fit for a climate neutral, resource efficient and circular economy, reduce waste and ensure that the performance of frontrunners in sustainability progressively becomes the norm. By developing a legislative framework that will contribute to the placing on the EU market of more sustainable products, the European Commission has, through the upcoming Sustainable Products’ Initiative (SPI), a great opportunity to ensure Europe effectively transitions towards a modern, climate-neutral, resource-efficient and circular economy. Contemplating measures such as an extension of the Ecodesign Directive and the setting of non-quantifiable overarching sustainability principles, the SPI could also deliver on enhancing biodiversity preservation, climate protection and green growth.
The European Commission’s proposal for a new Regulation on Sustainable Batteries, one of the first measures included in the CEAP to be put forward, is by many considered as the blueprint for the SPI with regards to product passports. The Regulation suggests mandatory requirements on sustainability and safety, labelling and information, end-of-life management, obligations of economic operators linked to product requirements and due diligence schemes and electronic exchange of information. Deeming consumer protection as equally important, the EU must ensure that products placed on the internal market are safe, healthy and respectful of the planet.
In this framework, the upcoming legislative proposal on Green Claims should ensure that claims on the environmental performance of companies and products are reliable, comparable and verifiable across the EU, which would allow consumer to make greener decisions. Moreover, linked with the successful delivery of the above, the product environmental footprint (PEF) initiative presents a common European method for conducting life-cycle analysis on products to ensure that environmentally-friendly practices become the new norm, while further enabling European consumers to make well-informed decisions.
As stressed within the European Parliament’s resolution on the new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) and the New Industrial Strategy for Europe, it is crucial to engage European industry as a key stakeholder for a successful green transition. Therefore, welcoming the European Commission’s commitment towards a more circular economy, this EP Intergroup event, co-organized with the Confederation of European Paper Industries (Cepi), will bring together EU policymakers and representatives from both the private sector and NGO communities to discuss the upcoming SPI.
12:00 – 12:10: Opening remarks by MEP Maria Spyraki, Co-Chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on ‘Climate Change, Biodiversity & Sustainable Development’
12:10 – 12:25: Keynote intervention by Matjaž Malgaj, Head of Unit, DG ENV, European Commission
12:25 – 13:20: Panel discussion with the participation of:
- Anna Papagrigoraki, Sustainability Director, Cepi
- Hans Craen, Secretary General, EPBA
- Jean-Pierre Schweitzer, Senior Policy Officer for Circular Economy and Product Policy, EEB
- Emmanuel Katrakis, Secretary General, EuRIC
13:20 – 13:55: Q&As discussion with the audience
13:55 – 14:00: Closing remarks by MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen