Ecodesign Preparatory Study for Mobile Phones, Smartphones and Tablets


The Ecodesign Directive establishes a framework for setting requirements for energy-related products with the aim of ensuring their free movement within the internal market of the European Union.

According to the Ecodesign Working plan 2016-19, "Given their specificity, a separate track is proposed for ICT products... that will also fully take into account their circular economy potential, which is particularly relevant in the case of mobile / smart phones".

Within this context, DG GROW launched this preparatory study on mobile phones, smartphones and tablets in order to assess the feasibility of proposing Ecodesign and/or Energy Labelling requirements for these product groups. The study will also investigate in more detail the potential for environmental improvement, including, in particular, aspects relevant to the circular economy, and provide the elements needed for the identification of policy options in the subsequent impact assessment.

The Ecodesign Directive aims to improve the energy efficiency of products such as mobile phones, smartphones and tablets through a framework for setting requirements for energy-related products, while ensuring the free movement of such products within the internal market of the European Union. To prepare draft implementing measures for products under this Directive, the European Commission shall make a series of analyses and assessments, which are being called Preparatory Studies. The methodology of these studies is described in the Methodology for Ecodesign of Energy-related Products (MEErP).

This study provides the European Commission with a technical, environmental and economical analysis of mobile phones, smartphones and tablets in accordance with Article 15 of the Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC. It is based on the MEErP and analyses the following areas:

  • Task 1: Scope (Definition, standards and legislation)
  • Task 2: Markets (Volumes and prices)
  • Task 3: Users (Product demand side)
  • Task 4: Technologies (Product supply side, includes both BAT and BNAT)
  • Task 5: Environment & Economics (Base case LCA & LCC)
  • Task 6: Design options (Feasibility and economics of design options)
  • Task 7: Scenarios (Policy, scenario, impact and sensitivity analysis)

Tasks 1 to 4 have a clear focus on data retrieval and initial analysis and Task 5 to 7 have a clear focus on modeling. It is prescribed that Task 1 to 4 can be performed in parallel and Task 5 to 7 sequential.

In addition, a working document (inputs for a draft regulation) was prepared.


April 2020 until Februar 2021


  • European Commission


  • Vito (Belgium) (Framework contract manager)

The Flemish Institute for Technological research (Belgium) is a leading European independent research and technology organisation in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development, elaborating solutions for the large societal challenges of today. VITO’s research agenda tackles the major societal challenges we are facing today. VITO focuses on five different research programmes: sustainable chemistry, energy, health, materials management and land use.

  • Fraunhofer IZM (Germany, project lead)

Fraunhofer Institutes IZM (Institute for Reliability and Microintegration) covers with its research scope ICT hardware and a long track record in sustainability aspects of electronics. This includes product group studies right from the beginning of the ErP, then EuP Directive back in 2005.