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3 lessons to learn from the launch of the reparability index

November 16, 2022

The French agency ADEME* published in early June its feedback on the implementation of the reparability index. In its final report, the agency details the feedback from companies and consumers, but also a qualitative analysis of the scores.

Since January 1, 2021, the reparability index is compulsorily displayed at the point of sale for 5 product categories: washing machines, televisions, laptops, smartphones and electric lawnmowers.

The calculation of this index is based on 5 criteria:

  • the level of freely available documentation and its duration of availability ;
  • the ease of disassembly of the product (type of tools, fasteners, etc.);
  • the duration of availability of spare parts;
  • the price ratio between the spare parts and the product price;
  • and other additional sub-criteria specific to the product (such as remote assistance, the possibility of resetting software and the motherboard,...).

*ADEME: Agency for the Environment and Energy Management, also known as the "Agency for Ecological Transition". ADEME participates in the implementation of public policies in the fields of environment, energy and sustainable development.

The 3 lessons of the reparability index 👇

1. A lack of transparency that discredits 👩‍💻

  • The index faces limitations in practice. Indeed, there is no independent control body to verify the scores which are currently calculated by the manufacturers themselves. Moreover, the index does not allow consumers to make a real comparison of the life span of products between them since there is not yet an official website referencing all the scores. The index therefore lacks transparency today.
  • Following the study that was conducted, it appears necessary to inform consumers about such a device. A communication work from production companies but especially from distribution companies is essential to enhance the value of such a rating and to raise awareness on its relevance.
  • Finally, the actors of the civil society plead for more transparency and easy access to the calculations in order to allow a control of the notes.

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2. Self-repair, a trend for the future 🚀

  • The repair sector is growing! As the ADEME points out in its report, several actors have observed an increase in the use of repair in recent years:

"Doubled spare parts orders seen by Spareka, 10% increase in non-warranty sales seen by Acer, repair requests up at Fnac-Darty.”

  • These figures are explained by a very strong attraction for repairable products, thus :

86% of Europeans say that the reparability index is an important criterion when choosing a product.

  • This is why the index will be expanded to include 4 new pieces of equipment starting in 2022: top washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners (robot, canister, sweepers) and high-pressure cleaners. Later, other facilities should continue to join the list.

3. The reparability index, a first step towards the durability index 🍃

  • The reparability index is well received by consumers (high awareness, good general perceived usefulness) thanks to a context conducive to its deployment with the first lockdown in March 2020 leading to an increase in repair, and also thanks to a general awareness in favor of environmental protection.
  • The AGEC law* provides for the implementation of a sustainability index, which would complement or replace the reparability index, as of January 1, 2024. The durability index is perceived by the actors as more useful than the reparability index, and more likely to be understood by the consumer. Indeed, durability integrates 3 components: reliability, reparability and improvement.

*AGEC law: the Anti-Waste for a Circular Economy law promulgated in February 2020, aims to change production and consumption patterns towards a more circular model. This law is based on 5 pillars: the end of disposable plastic, better consumer information, the fight against waste, action against programmed obsolescence and better production.

🔥 What Pimster brings

Pimster improves the access to documents and information about the product, which are two data taken into account in the calculation of the reparability score. Indeed, the interface we propose allows easy access to the technical information of the products.

But we also offer the consumer the possibility to consult the documentation related to the product by proposing a user guide in video format, which allows to instruct the customer efficiently.

Finally its information is easy to access as you just need to scan the QR code placed on the product to access the assembly instructions, the first time handling and maintenance tips regarding the product. 🤸‍♀️

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Finally, this index is a first step towards the sustainability index. With Pimster, we have been fighting since the beginning for the improvement of the sustainability of products. We are working to change mentalities and to thwart certain preconceived ideas:

  1. The easy solution is to repair and not to replace. The optimization of the act of purchase, and of the purchasing power is on the side of the repair and not of the replacement.
  2. Being modern means repairing and making your equipment last, but it does not exclude being technologically up to date.
  3. This index seeks to optimize the life cycle of products and not to keep moribund equipment alive.

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