Monday, 13 July 2009

Ecolabel: the label for green retailers

The European Ecolabel is a voluntary scheme, established in 1992 to encourage businesses to market products and services that are kinder to the environment. Products and services awarded the Ecolabel carry the flower logo, allowing consumers - including public and private purchasers - to identify them easily. Today the EU Ecolabel covers a wide range of products and services, with further groups being continuously added. Product groups include cleaning products, appliances, paper products, textile and home and garden products, lubricants and services such as tourist accommodation.

While the logo may be simple, the environmental criteria behind it are tough, and only the very best products, which are kindest to the environment, are entitled to carry the EU Ecolabel. What is more, this is a label that consumers can genuinely trust. The criteria are agreed at European level, following wide consultation with experts, and the label itself is only awarded after verification that the product meets these high environmental and performance standards.

The EU Ecolabel is a rapidly growing brand. Many producers wanting to sell their products across Europe have realised the benefits that the European Ecolabel brings. Products bearing the Flower logo can be marketed throughout the European Union and the EEA countries (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein).
The voluntary nature of the scheme means that it does not create barriers to trade. On the contrary - many producers find that it gives them a competitive advantage.
Ecolabel criteria are not based on one single factor, but on studies which analyse the impact of the product or service on the environment throughout its life-cycle, starting from raw material extraction in the pre-production stage, through to production, distribution and disposal.
The flower logo helps manufacturers, retailers and service providers gain recognition for good standards, while helping purchasers to make reliable choices. The EU Ecolabel is part of a broader action plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy adopted by the Commission on 16 July 2008.

Over the past ten years, the "Flower" has become a European-wide symbol for products, providing simple and accurate guidance to consumers.All products bearing the "Flower" have been checked by independent bodies for complying with strict ecological and performance criteria.
There are currently twenty-three different product groups, and already more than 250 licences have been awarded for several hundred products.

The EU Eco-label is administered by the European Eco-labelling Board (EUEB) and receives the support of theEuropean Commission, all Member States of the European Union andthe European Economic Area (EEA).The Eco-labelling Board includesrepresentatives such as industry,environment protection groupsand consumer organisations.
Check for the manufacturers and retailers who have this label and/or for more information on this topic.

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