Danish product groups report on progress

National IPP research, development, programme getting "well into its stride" one year on

A groundbreaking Danish programme to make products take systematic regard of environmental considerations is "well into its stride" a year after its launch (ENDS Daily 14 January 1999), according to the national environmental protection agency (EPA). Developments are being keenly watched following Sweden's declaration that it will make integrated product policy (IPP) a cornerstone of its EU presidency in the first half of 2001 (ENDS Daily 13 January).

Three multi-stakeholder groups last week reported on work to develop recommendations for sectors representing very different challenges - transport, electronics and textiles.

The transport panel is developing a benchmarking system to help the market "favour environmentally optimised transport". Work is also under way to establish a uniform method for measuring emissions data for ships and trains outside Danish territory, to complement a system already available for internal transport. Other projects include environmental management systems for smaller truck operators and ships, and promoting green accounts to enable transport buyers to get more information on the environmental impacts of their decisions.

"We're experiencing a lot of interest from within the sector, particularly because cleaner technology has a much shorter history here than in product areas such as electronics or textiles," says an EPA official. According to transport ministry proposals published last week to accompany Denmark's climate change strategy, the panel's work could directly reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 1% by 2010 (ENDS Daily 29 March).

The textiles panel is focusing on garments made from textiles produced in an environmentally friendly way and bearing the EU's flower ecolabel. These will hopefully go on sale in spring 2001, the EPA says, although problems with supply of suitable fabric have still to be overcome. The panel recently established an information centre for the textiles sector, and will make its information strategy a priority in the coming year.

The electronics panel has had some difficulty in establishing a consensus on a programme, but has studies at an advanced stage on labelling, promoting green purchasing by local and national government and establishing information on components, which are largely imported, as well as general rules for constructing environmentally friendly electronics.

Follow Up:
Danish EPA, tel: +45 32 66 01 00.

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