Ecodesign for a Circular Economy: Regulating and Designing Electrical and Electronic Equipment

Project Details

Description

The Earth is a closed system and with the exception of energy, the resources available to us are finite, but our consumption and productions systems are typically linear systems where resources are extracted, used and wasted. The circular economy is proposed as an alternative and is defined as a consumption and production system based on closed loops that minimise resources, energy flows and environmental degradation. In this PhD thesis, I have examined how ecodesign can close the material loops in the circular economy for electrical and electronic equipment. The study examines how to improve resource efficiency through regulation and how companies can design products for closed material loops.

The study of the European product policies showed that the policies can improve resource efficiency, but the potential of the product policies and their synergies can be utilised further. The Ecodesign Directive plays an important role as it can set minimum performance requirements for several resource efficiency aspects. The studies of Bang & Olufsen and Tier1Asset revealed that existing ecodesign guidelines can be applied to improve the recyclability and the reconditioning potential, but it can be necessary to develop both product and company specific guidelines. The analysis revealed that activities or product attributes of importance to a circular economy are not solely driven by ecodesign.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date01/02/201301/02/2016