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TUV Rheinland: Making Every Day Repair Day

  • Published on March 15, 2022

In 2021, the worldwide mountain of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) totaled an estimated 57.4 million tonnes. This represents a 21% jump in the five years since 2014 (with e-waste on a predicted course to reach 74 Mt by 2030). Global e-waste generation is thus growing annually by 2 Mt, or about 3 to 4%, a problem attributed to higher consumption rates of electronics (increasing 3% annually), shorter product lifecycles, and limited repair options.

A circular economy will make repair easier.

The circular economy focuses on designing waste out of the resource ecosystem and maximizing the value of resources by keeping them in use for as long as possible. One of the measures is extending product lifetime and enabling re-use, where products are repaired instead of new ones purchased.

The European Union (EU) has already introduced several initiatives to promote greener approaches to EE. These include the Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive, and Ecodesign Directive.

The EU's "Right to Repair," enshrined within its trailblazing Circular Economy Plan, is already triggering a change in Europe by enforcing minimum repair and durability standards. In France, a self-declared repairability index was introduced in 2021, aiming to inform consumers on how easily electronic devices can be repaired, providing them with this transparency at the point of purchase.

As repair and durability are enforced and incentivized, fewer resources need to be extracted and processed, protecting nature and reducing carbon emissions and waste streams.


Approach to Repairability

Third-party repairability tests also help strengthen your competitive position in the market by demonstrating your commitment to sustainability.

Our experts are always up-to-date with regulatory changes, and can efficiently support you in meeting the relevant regulations and testing requirements in the area of repairability.

TÜV Rheinland Repairability Service for French Repairability Scoring Index

Product scope covers:

  • Computers / Laptops
  • Televisions
  • Smartphones
  • Lawnmowers (wired, battery-operated, and robotic)
  • Washing machines

*There will be additional product categories within the French Repairability Scoring Index from 2022 onwards: top-loading washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, tablets, and high-pressure cleaners

The TÜV Rheinland Repairability Standard is based on EN 45554 (partly) and the French “Repairability grid” and consists of three steps:

  • Documentation - determined by the manufacturer’s commitment to make technical documents available to repairers and consumers.
  • Disassembly of tools - determined by the possibility of disassembly according to instructions and wearing parts can be replaced by the user.
  • Availability of spare parts and repair service - determined by the commitment to the availability of spare parts, where the product can be repaired, as well as repair costs.

Besides the French Repairability Scoring Index, TCO Certified, a global sustainability certification for IT products, introduced circular IT management in its generation 9 standard. It drives the development of products that can live longer by requiring the availability of batteries, key replacement parts, and service manuals.

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