The Reason for the IPS
Until very recent times, product manufacturing and marketing have been based solely on criteria of economic yield and result optimization. Very little consideration has gone to the social and environmental impact of production processes.
All products have some environmental impact somehow, whether in manufacture, use or disposal. The life cycle of a product is often long and complex. It covers all areas, starting with natural resource procurement and moving through design, manufacture, assembly, marketing, distribution, sale and use, ending with the product’s disposal as waste. Furthermore, a product’s life cycle also involves many different stakeholders, such as designers, industries, logistics operators, distributors, retailers and consumers.
Moreover, views on competitiveness have shifted in the EU. Advanced competitiveness now includes, among other ingredients, a commitment to business excellence based on a commitment to move towards a kind of production that is responsible in terms of business expansion, a kind of production that addresses personal development and is gentler with natural resources and the environment. For such a strategy to be effective, it is vital for companies, managers, researchers, consumers and environmentalists to become engaged voluntarily with the objectives identified by parliaments and governments.
In recent years, Spanish companies have made significant investments in sustainable management to suit the demands of the authorities, their clients and especially end consumers, to whet their competitive edge and to internalize the values of corporate social responsibility. Their efforts are not always recognized by their clients/consumers, because there is no objective yardstick companies can hold up as a guarantee of their material or product’s sustainability throughout its life cycle (that is, the cycle that includes a product’s origin, processing, distribution, use and final recycling).
Companies must respond by proactively managing their activities’ impact on the ecosystem. Companies must act pursuant to sustainability policies and guarantee that their business or product meets and satisfies society’s demands. They must provide consumers with products manufactured with sustainable materials.
Only coordinated action to ensure the rational use of natural resources, responsible consumption and competitive, sustainable production can make significant progress possible. Action such as this, arrived at by consensus, must be based on serious, meticulous analysis, and it must be put into the form of standardized, measurable parameters in which definitions, scientific advances and the applicable regulations are an ever-present factor. Finally, the parameters must evaluate the implementation and enforcement of such factors.
Only coordinated action to ensure rational use of natural resources, responsible resource consumption and competitive, sustainable production can make significant progress possible.
Our Starting Point
Integrated Product Policy seeks environmental hegemony in all industries.
Current legislation lies within (and is implemented under) the policy that the European Union has legitimately designed to spur each of the phases and stakeholders in the product life cycle to improve products’ environmental performance and prevent and ultimately reduce or eliminate adverse effects.
This policy, which is called “Integrated Product Policy” (IPP), seeks environmental hegemony in all industries. It applies to a list of products that together account for 70 to 80 percent of the environmental impact of private consumption.
IPP includes both voluntary and mandatory measures, such as price correction through tax breaks for consumers and government aid for producers; the prohibition of harmful substances; voluntary agreements; eco-labelling and public procurement to stimulate the demand for organic products and improved product design guidelines.