Since it was approved back in 2003, the application of the Eco-design Standard UNE 150301 has now been transformed into an internationally applied standard: the UNE-EN ISO 14006 has been the road to take in order to develop more sustainable products and services and to improve the efficiency of industrial processes in over 150 Spanish companies and organisations.
In 2005, Fagor Household Appliances was the first company that “eco-designed” products, and voluntarily acquired environmental responsibility commitments beyond what was being required by legislation under the Eco-design Standard UNE 150301. Since then,over 150 organisations have taken the same road towards eco-innovation. The latest company to do so was the ALD Ingeniería Arquitectura y Equipamiento studio of Gipuzkoa (Basque Country) in November 2011.
As far as an organisation is concerned, the main benefit in incorporating this environmental management system is that it allowsthe environmental impact of the products and services designed to be minimized, from the production phase right up until their use is discontinued. So it is a tool for eco-innovation purposes and for communicating the environmental commitment of each organisation in the products they design and manufacture, in other words, an eco-design management system that facilitates the incorporation of the environmental variable into product design.
The applying of the standard also makes it possible to comply with the new legislative requirements: green public procurement and the European ecological design directive for energy products.
The list of companies that are currently eco-designing includes organisations that belong to a whole range of sectors:from architects' studios to furniture manufacture, including domestic appliances, engineering, lifts, the automotive sector, construction, research or lighting projects. Over 50% of them are Basque companies.
ISO 14006: eco-design criteria on a world level
Drawn up at the heart of AENOR, the Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification, the Eco-design Standard UNE 150301 was in force from 2003 until July 2011, when the Eco-Design Standard ISO 14006 was published. This new international standard replaces the UNE 150301, whose sphere of application was exclusively national. It is not very common for a national UNE standard to be turned into an international ISO standard, and it is in fact the first standard of the International Organisation for Standardisation that has its origins in the Basque Autonomous Community and the second to originate in Spain.
Since the requirements are practically the same in both standards, the transition to the international standard certificate is very straightforward for the Spanish organisations that are already certified by the UNE 150301.
In conjunction with AENOR, Ihobe, the Public Environmental Management Corporation of the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community, has been part of the Eco-design standardisation process on a world level and is a member of the ISO Committee responsible for managing it. As part of its clear commitment to promote the life cycle concept among companies in the BAC (Basque Autonomous Community), Ihobe offers a whole range of free support services, including “Expert Advice for introducing the Eco-design Standard ISO 14006", a service that is part of the Programme for Eco-efficiency in the Basque Company 2010-2014.
January 14, 2012.