7 Policy analysis illustrated with case studies

Integrated Product Policy

7.1 Introduction

After reviewing the ideas of ecological economics and industrial ecology (including more specific issues related to life-cycle assessment (LCA), eco­-design and input-output analysis), it is time to draw policy recommendations in this chapter. I also present two case studies to illustrate the extent to which real­life, product-oriented environmental policies correspond to these theoretical rec­ommendations.

The review of policy recommendations (section 7.2) starts with the list of basic conditions that a policy has to fulfil. Then the most important objectives for the IPP are discussed in hierarchically descending order of importance. I also offer some additional comments on their potential implications for increasing the competitiveness of the EU economy.

Case studies illustrate policy-making initiatives undertaken within the frame­work of product-oriented environmental policies, on which the IPP is going to build. The first, in section 7.3, describes a particular product – a car, while the second, in section 7.4, refers to policy making in a particular country – the Netherlands. Each case study starts with a general motivation for its selection. Then, I try to analyse whether the implications reviewed in section 7.2 have been satisfied and attempt to evaluate both cases on this basis. A summary and conclusions in section 7.5 close this chapter.