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Information requirements to enable the repair or upgrade of products: EU policy tools and other voluntary labels for computers

Alfieri, Felice; Cordella, Mauro; Sanfelix, Javier

FG Transdisziplinäre Nachhaltigkeitsforschung in der Elektronik

Extending the lifetime of products can mitigate, from a life cycle perspective, their environmental and social impacts. One of the options to extend their lifetime is repairing and/or upgrading the product, when possible. A key measure in support of this objective is the availability of relevant information to users and professionals to enable repair/upgrade of products. Requirements on the provision of repair information have been introduced by different policy tools and labels for a variety of products and services on the market. In the case of computers, minimum requirements have to be fulfilled to enter in the EU market according to the Commission Regulation (EU) No 617/2013, while more ambitious requirements are associated to voluntary tools such as the EU Ecolabel and the EU Green Public Procurement (GPP) for Computers, as well as to other labels such as Blue Angel (the German Ecolabel), TCO Certified and EPEAT. Provision of repair information is also included in the Scoring System on Reparability developed by the Joint Research Centre. The aim of this work is to review these initiatives to present a classification and comparison of existing information requirements for computers in terms of: i) repair aspects covered, ii) availability of the information to various target groups, and iii) communication vehicles. The analysis focuses on sub-categories of computers that are relevant in terms of market share such as laptops, desktop computers, all-in-one computers and tablets. The results of the analysis can offer a useful basis for the improvement and harmonization of information requirements on computers, potentially facilitating their implementation by manufacturers and allowing more sustainable purchase decisions of consumers and public administrations.