This study will be based on the methodology developed by VHK for the European Commission for Ecodesign of Energy-using Products (MEEuP methodology) in 2005.

The study on machine tools commenced on January 1, 2010, and covered a period of 31 months. Timeline

The study comprises 7 tasks as follows:

Part A – Present Situation

Task 1 – Definition
Task 2 – Economic & Market Analysis
Task 3 – User Requirements
Task 4 – Assessment Base Case 

Part B – Improvement Potential

Task 5 – Technical Analysis BAT and BNAT
Task 6 – Ecodesign Improvement Potential
Task 7 – Policy and Impact Analysis


Task 1 – Definition

This task should classify and define the energy-using products covered by the lot and the "level playing field" for ecodesign. The product classification and definition should be relevant from a technical, functional, economic and environmental point of view, so that it can be used as a basis for the whole study. It is important to define the products as placed on the Community market. The product classification and definition have to be agreed with the Commission, after having consulted the stakeholders, and should be confirmed throughout the other tasks of the study. Standards and existing legislation for the defined energy-using products should be investigated.

Task 2 – Economic & Market Analysis

Sales and trade volumes for the defined products within the EU-27 should be assessed. A clear picture of the product stock available on the EU market should be provided and its growth and replacement rate be forecasted. Insight in the latest market trends so as to indicate the place of possible ecodesign measures in the context of the market structures and ongoing trends in product design should be given. A practical data set of prices and rates to be used in a Life Cycle Cost (LCC) calculation should be provided.

Task 3 – User Requirements

User requirements can —in part— be influenced by product design and product information. Relevant user-parameters are an important input for the assessment of the environmental impact of a product during its use and end-of-life phase, in particular if they are different from the standard measurement conditions.

Task 4 – Assessment Base Case

For this assessment one or several representative products per product definition have to be selected as the "Base-Cases" for the whole of the EU-27. On these Base-Cases most of the environmental and Life Cycle Cost analyses will be built throughout the rest of the study. The Base-Cases are furthermore the point of reference for the improvement potential and the impact analysis.

The Base-Cases are a conscious abstraction of reality, necessary for practical reasons. Having The question if this abstraction leads to inadmissible conclusions for certain market segments will be addressed in the sensitivity and impact analysis.


Task 5 – Technical Analysis BAT and BNAT

Best Available Technology (BAT) entails a technical analysis not of the current products on the market but on currently available technology, expected to be introduced at product level in the shorter term. Best Not yet Available Technologies (BNAT) summarise the state-of-the-art in research and development for a product, indicating market possibilities in the longer term. The environmental performance of BAT and BNAT both provide part of the input for the identification of the improvement potential.

Task 6 – Ecodesign Improvement Potential

Identify design options, their monetary consequences in terms of Life Cycle Cost for the user, their economic and possible social impacts, and pinpointing the solution with the Least Life Cycle Costs (LLCC) and the Best Available Technology (BAT). The assessment of monetary Life Cycle Costs is relevant to indicate whether design solutions might impact the total user’s expenditure over the total product life (purchase, operating, end-of-life costs, etc.).

The distance between the LLCC and the BAT indicates —in a case a LLCC solution is set as a minimum target— the remaining space for product-differentiation (competition). The BAT indicates a target in the shorter term that would probably be more subject to promotion measures than to restrictive action. The BNAT indicates possibilities in the longer term and helps to define the exact scope and definition of possible measures. The intermediate options between the LLCC and the BAT have to be described, and their impacts assessed.

Task 7 – Policy and Impact Analysis

This task looks at suitable policy means to achieve the potential improvement, e.g. implementing LLCC as a minimum requirement, the environmental performance of BAT or BNAT as a benchmark, using dynamic aspects, legislative or voluntary agreements, standards, labelling or incentives, relating to public procurement or direct and indirect fiscal instruments. It draws up scenarios 1990–2025 quantifying the improvements that can be achieved versus a Business-as-Usual scenario and compares the outcomes with EU environmental targets, the societal costs if the environmental impact reduction would have to be achieved in another way, etc.


January 20, 2010
Kick-off meeting with the European Commission

June 2010
Publication Draft Task 1-3 Reports

July 12, 2010
1st Stakeholder Meeting, Brussels; period for comments

February 2011
Publication Draft Task 1-5 Reports

March 28, 2011
2nd Stakeholder Meeting, Brussels; period for comments

November/December 2011
Publication Draft Final Report

March / April 2012
Final Stakeholder Meeting, Brussels; period for comments

August 2012
Publication Final Report

Answers to most policy related questions or how the European Commission will use the results of this preparatory study can be found on

Further questions can be addressed to: