The steel industry welcomes the release of the recently proposed Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) by the European Commission. The European Union needs strong legislation to achieve its ambitious objectives set in the Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan, which can improve its competitiveness on global markets and set an example to other economies. The success of this general framework legislation relies on numerous related delegated and implementing acts to be released, the revision of already existing ones and their mutual coherence. It will extend the scope to a wider range of products to strengthen the circularity criteria, to introduce new information requirements for products and to provide more sustainable information alongside sustainable products for customers on the European market. Living up to this ambition will require a sustained, coherent and forward-looking thrust from the European Commission. The European steel industry is ready to assist in that challenge.
Key areas are: harmonisation, requirements, digital product passport and substances of concern.
In conclusion, the European Commission proposal is an important but also challenging starting point towards the transition to the circular economy, which is a key contributor for achieving climate neutrality targets. However, its effectiveness will greatly rely on the new requirements with appropriate relevance for products levels in delegated acts and overall coherence of related legislation. Driving the transition to more sustainable products requires also the creation of lead markets, as well as incentivising them to keep the pace and motivate others, whilst harnessing the current potential from industry. The steel sector is looking forward to cooperating with the European Parliament and the European Council for enhancing the current text.
The full text of the position paper on the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation is available below.
Brussels, 07 December 2023 – The inclusion of transformative industrial technologies for the decarbonisation of energy-intensive sectors, such as steel, in the list of net-zero technologies in the general approach adopted by the Council on the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA), sends a positive signal at a crucial time when governments are deliberating urgent measures to protect the climate at COP28 in Dubai. Parliament and Council should now seize the opportunity to reach an ambitious agreement to promote EU-made green products in public auctions of net-zero technologies and to drive Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) in Europe. Promoting lead markets and CCUS are essential tools for sustaining the transition to low-carbon steelmaking, says the European Steel Association.
Brussels, 01 December 2023 – Further delays in implementing EU sanctions against Russian steel semifinished products would have a perverse effect, ultimately fuelling Putin’s war machine against Ukraine. The EU Council should reject additional exemption requests from a few member states defending the lucrative business model of few steel rerollers. The trade dynamic that takes advantage of cheap steel imported from Russia while aiding the supply to its military and related downstream sectors must come to an end, states the European Steel Association.
Industriall & EUROFER joint statement