Integrated Product Policy
Integrated Product Policy (IPP) is an environmental policy toolbox currently being discussed within the European Union. Its aim is to green markets through an integrated use of policy tools to green consumption (demand-side) and to green product development (supply-side). As a policy concept, IPP aims to take a life cycle perspective (‘cradle-to-grave’), include all relevant stakeholder viewpoints, and consider (in the case of products) the product development process from idea generation to product management and reverse logistics (ie., ‘end-of-life’ management (EOLM).
The IPP discussions are part of a growing trend within certain environmentally advanced countries in Northern Europe towards product-oriented environmental policy. This represents a new shift in thinking toward governmental policy measures to reduce environmental impacts at the ‘front-of-pipe‘, eg., product development and design stage, rather than relying on ‘end-of-pipe’ technologies or ‘middle-of-pipe’ measures (eg., waste minimisation, and pollution prevention).
The types of policies included in Integrated Product Policy include:
• measures aimed at reducing and managing wastes generated by the consumption of products;
• measures targeted at the innovation of cleaner products;
• measures to create markets for cleaner products;
• measures for transmitting information up and down the product chain; and
• measures that allocate responsibility for managing the environmental burdens of product systems.
Environmental product policy (EPP) applies the following policy tools: extended producer responsibility, economic measures such as eco-taxes, eco-labels, and green procurement in an attempt to lower the environmental impact of products at various stages of their life cycle. In an attempt to harmonize the various integrated policies that have been implemented in member countries, the European Union is proposing an Integrated Product Policy (IPP) Directive as a basis for a common framework throughout the EU.
For more information on IPP tools, visit The Centre for Sustainable Design's website.
For more information on the EU's proposed IPP Directive, please visit the European Union website at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ipp/home.htm