Since the beginning of the discussions on the EU's circular economy package to make sustainable products the norm, industriAll Europe has been highlighting the missing social dimension. For industriAll Europe, truly sustainable products are made under good working conditions and social aspects are requirements of sustainable production.

IndustriAll Europe has therefore joined a coalition of civil society organisations and trade unions that have issued a joint letter urging EU Member States and the Council to endorse the social and due diligence provisions of the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR).

The main aim of the ESPR is to improve the circularity, energy performance and other environmental sustainability aspects of EU products. Provisions to strengthen the social and due diligence dimensions within the ESPR were approved with a large majority by the European Parliament in July 2023. However, the members of the coalition, which includes environmental, consumer rights and trade union organisations, fear that the social dimension may nevertheless be neglected. Together they stress that true sustainability requires the integration of social and due diligence aspects into the ESPR policy.

The letter outlines several socio-economic benefits expected from the inclusion of social sustainability and due diligence requirements in ESPR, including better working conditions, empowerment of local communities, supply chain resilience, enhanced reputation and consumer trust, long-term cost savings, market access, regulatory compliance, risk mitigation, and promotion of innovation and competitiveness.

The partners also stress that minimum social criteria for products on the EU market can contribute to fairness, prevent distortions of competition and be consistent with human rights principles.

For industriAll Europe, sustainability needs to be good for people and the planet and a circular economy in Europe must lead to good jobs. This Regulation could help to achieve this, by ensuring that products made or sold in Europe are produced under good working conditions.

Signatories: European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Danmarks Naturfredningsforening, Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS), European Network for Social Integration Enterprises (ENSIE), Equinox Fashion Revolution Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), France Nature Environnement, Global 2000, IndustriAll Europe, Journalists for Human Rights, Polskie Stowarzyszenie, Zero Waste, Rreuse, Solidar, Swedwatch, VšĮ "Žiedinė ekonomika", Zero

Joint letter: EN