SESEC bridging mutual understanding on standards of Eco-design and Green/Green-design products of Europe and China


On October 19, 2019, the Eco-design and Energy Labelling Experts’ Workshop was held in Brussels under the EU – China Industrial Policy Dialogue led by China MIIT and EC DG GROW.

Approximately 40 participants attended this workshop and experts from both China and EU made presentations on topics covering policies, strategies, regulations, and standards for Eco-design, Green-design and Energy Labelling for both sides.

Dr. Betty Xu from SESEC was invited by the European Commission’s DG GROW and made a presentation on “China Eco-design and Green/Green-design standardization”.

Under the scheme of long-standing EU – China Industrial Policy Dialogues (European Commission, MIIT and related organizations in China), and based on the work of the Industrial Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Working Group, EC DG GROW has concluded that the People’s Republic of China wishes to accelerate the adoption of Eco-design-style standards and legislation.

In early 2019, the EU – China Eco-design and standards cooperation project was launched. Three seminars were to be organized by EC DG GROW, the Eco-design and Energy Labelling Experts’ Workshop is the second of the three seminars.

SESEC learned that there are differences in common understanding between the two sides regarding Eco-design. In Europe, Eco-design refers to “Eco-design Directives” or “Eco-design Requirements for Energy-related Products, Directive 2009/125/EC”.

Implementing energy efficiency goals is done in a two-part process. First, directives and standards are developed and provide the framework to define classifications and ways to measure or calculate energy efficiency. Then, these standards and directives feed into regulations. The regulations define the minimum energy efficiency classifications that can be brought to the market.

Three points in EU Eco-design Directives can be defined:

  1. The scope of Directive 2009/125/EC is energy-using and energy-related products
  2. Energy efficiency of energy-using and energy-related products is the focus of the Directives
  3. Some other mandatory ecological requirements are also stated in the Directives; the regulations and standards for these ecological requirements are under discussion in the EU.

By contrast, China’s definitions of Energy Efficiency, Eco-design and Green-design products are as follows:

  1. Energy Efficiency refers to energy efficiency only, and it is not regarded as Eco-design.
  2. Green Design is Eco-design. Recently, China changed the term Eco-design to Green-design.
  3. Green-design products are related to energy efficiency, which is the only ecological requirement for products in China.
  4. The scope of Green-design products is not necessarily energy-using and energy-related products. Green products in China also include products like furniture, coating, and construction glass. For example, there are the standards GB/T 35607-2017 – Green product evaluation- furniture and T/CAGP 0022-2017T/CAB 0022-2017 Technical specification for green design product assessment –  lead-acid battery.


After joining the workshop and conducting a detailed study of China’s Energy Efficiency, Eco-design, and Green/Green-design concepts, SESEC concluded that there are still differences in understanding between EU and China and that further comparisons and clarifications from both sides need to be investigated. SESEC will continue studying both sides and make a detailed report to bridge mutual understanding.