20 September 2018

On 17 September, EU Member States agreed on new Ecodesign requirements that will gradually remove from the market the least energy efficient servers from 1 March 2020 onwards. These new rules will also enhance further their reuse and recycling.

From Facebook likes to downloads, servers process and store our daily internet activity and for this reason they waste massive amounts of energy. In the EU, the energy needed to power servers is close to the entire residential electricity consumption of the UK.

With the explosion of digital content and internet traffic, Europe needs to look closely at the environmental impact of the ICT sector. These new Ecodesign measures for servers are a step in the right direction”, according to Chloé Fayole from ECOS, co-leader of the Coolproducts campaign.

They are expected to save 9 TWh of energy each year, which corresponds to switching off 33 million fridges.

This vote is the first in a long series foreseen before the end of the year, since the EU has committed to adopting a Package of up to 20 Ecodesign & Energy Labelling regulations on various domestic and professional products. Together, these measures could help save 165 TWh energy per year in 2030, which is equivalent to reducing the EU energy consumption by 5%.

Chloé Fayole added: “I very much hope that this particular vote will set the tone for the rest of the year.”

As part of this Package, the European institutions are also discussing key provisions which would help make products easier to repair and recycle. These would include the possibility for products to be disassembled and reassembled again, foresee mandatory provision of spare parts for several years, of documents and tools necessary for repair, designs that allow an easy access to the parts that could break or need to be extracted for recycling. Yet, some Member States are blocking these provisions, as revealed by ECOS and the EEB on Monday (link).

Even more worrying is the lack of support from the high-level Commission services, as the adoption of part of the Package is currently under threat, and could simply be left to the next Commission to deal with, resulting in massive losses for companies, consumers and the environment.

Juncker has spent four years in the Commission and only two measures have been adopted so far. Dozens of measures are ready, but this Commission freezes when finalisation comes. It’s time for the European Commission to embrace the Ecodesign and Energy Label policies as a European success. Let servers be the starting point towards a package of ambitious measures, not the final stop for the European Commission”, concluded Chloé Fayole.

For more information, please contact Chloé Fayole: +32 2 893 08 45 | [email protected]


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With the support of thr European Union (LIFE Programme and European COmmission). This work reflects the author's views and does not commit donors.