CEN approach on addressing environmental issues in product and service standards 

The key objective of the “CEN approach on addressing environmental issues in Product and Services Standards” is to put in place a general framework to promote and ensure a better inclusion of environmental aspects in European Standards.
By systematically addressing environmental issues in standardization, the environmental impacts of products and services can be reduced.
The CEN approach intends to address particularly those Technical Bodies and Sectors with significant environmental impacts while raising awareness on environmental issues in all CEN Technical Bodies.


The CEN approach allows to:

  • Work by priorities and target those Technical Bodies with the most relevant environmental impact;
  •  Provide extensive and varied support to all CEN Technical Bodies allowing them to select the most appropriate option(s): training, generic and tailored workshops, environmental guides, the Environmental Framework (more detailed information: http://www.cen.eu/about/helpdesks/environmental/Pages/default.aspx);
  • Initiate the environmental thinking at the earliest stage of the standard drafting with the introduction of mandatory elements in the standardization process: 
    - Inclusion of an environmental clause in the TC Business Plan, 
    - Inclusion of an environmental clause in New Work Item proposals and formatted decisions on adoption of New Work Items (implemented in PROJEX-ONLINE), 
    - Standing item on TC meeting agenda, 
    - Inclusion of environmental issues while reviewing TC title and scope;
  • Make a transparent system available to all stakeholders in order to: 
    - Communicate reports on Technical Bodies environment-related activities, 
    - Monitor progress and review results, 
    - Take corrective actions, 
    - Give appropriate guidance, 
    - Identify possible gaps.


The implementation of the CEN approach involves the following key actors:

  • CEN Technical bodies
    Take all necessary actions to systematically address environmental issues in the standardization drafting process.
  • CEN Strategic Advisory Body on Environment (SABE)
    Ensure that adequate processes are put in place to provide CEN Technical Bodies with appropriate support and expertise and increase environmental awareness.
  • Stakeholders (e.g. Consumer and Environmental NGOs, European Commission, Industry federations…)
    Participate in the relevant committees to express their opinions and particular requirements on the inclusion of environmental aspects in European standards.
  • NSBs
    Promote initiatives and projects at national level and share best practices among CEN members.