CSA Group report explores barriers to repairability
EP&T MagazineElectronics Regulations & Standards Engineering Supply Chain Editor Pick engineering repairability
Research outlines barriers to improving products in Canada across four sectors
As Canada transitions to a circular economy, repairability has emerged as a significant opportunity. Although the benefits of extending the lifespan of products and their parts through repair and reuse are clear, barriers persist that prevent Canadians from undertaking repair activities. Understanding the factors that hinder repairability and how to overcome them will be critical in advancing a circular economy in Canada.
Today, CSA Group published a research report titled Landscape Review of Repairability in Canada which explores the current environment of repairability in Canada and identifies existing barriers across four product categories: automotive, agricultural, home appliances and consumer electronics.
The CSA Group research, developed in collaboration with the Circular Innovation Council, identifies three barriers that must be addressed to realize the benefits repair can offer, including: (i.e. 1) consumer perceptions and willingness to participate in repair activities, (i.e. 2) the availability of tools, parts and technical knowledge to execute repairs, and (i.e. 3) the technical barriers inherent to the products themselves.
With these determinants outlined, the report highlights how standards and regulatory requirements can help to ensure that new products are designed with repairability in mind, and that the tools needed to repair products including manuals and software, are easier to access. The report also outlines opportunities for enhancing consumer protections and awareness.
Increase the value of products
“Extending the life of products and their parts is crucially important to establishing a circular economy in Canada,” says Michael Leering, director, business excellence and environment standards, CSA Group. “To move the needle on repairability, we must better understand the challenges impeding reuse and repair for organizations and individual consumers. We hope that this research will contribute to identifying not only the barriers, but the opportunities for standardizing and implementing value retention processes.”
“Circular Innovation Council recognizes the opportunity repairability represents to increase the value of products by extending their useful life and facilitating reuse to reduce the need for new and minimize the economic and environmental losses of disposal,” says Jo-Anne St. Godard, executive director, Circular Innovation Council. “We are pleased to support CSA Group through our collaborative work on this research report, ensuring repairability has a strong place in Canada’s marketplace and consumers are empowered to participate in this aspect of the Circular Economy. ”
The report was informed by a literature review of technical and academic papers, policy documents, repairability score cards, and position papers, as well as stakeholder interviews with experts from government, industry, academia and consumer advocacy organizations.