SOLIDAR co-signs a joint letter calling to support the consideration for social and due diligence aspects under the ESPR

In this letter, SOLIDAR, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and other partners call on EU Member States and the Council to support the provisions concerning social and due diligence dimensions within the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR), which were approved with a large majority by the European Parliament in July 2023.

Ecodesign is an approach to integrating environmental considerations and limiting the environmental impact of products at the design stage. The EU’s 2009 Ecodesign Directive focused on products that consume or are related to energy (washing machines, computers, motors, fans, windows, taps and shower heads, insulation materials, etc.). In 2022, the EU Commission launched a legislative review to extend the Ecodesign policy framework beyond energy-related products to other sectors such as textiles, furniture, detergents, intermediate products, etc., with the aim of making “sustainable products the norm”.

The joint letter to decision-makers, co-signed by a group of civil society organisations and trade unions, underlines that true sustainability cannot be achieved without taking the social dimension into account, and that it is not possible to make sustainable products the norm without integrating social and due diligence aspects into the ESPR policy. The inclusion of social sustainability and due diligence requirements in the scope of the Ecodesign Regulation is an important step towards a more holistic and responsible product design and production process. By integrating these dimensions, the Regulation will not only address environmental considerations, but also recognise the complex interplay of environmental, social and ethical factors in modern product design and consumption.

The letter highlights some of the socio-economic benefits of including social sustainability and due diligence requirements within the scope of the Ecodesign Regulation and concludes that ensuring that products are produced in a way that respects human rights, pays fair wages and supports local communities can contribute to a fairer and more just society.