European sign to mark ecologically pure goods Ecolabel (or European flower) was introduced in 1992 and is valid on the territory of the European Union and countries of the European Economic Zone which includes also Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. This voluntary marking encourages sustainable consumption and sustainable production of goods and services.
The term “sustainable development” assumes that production process and consumption process should have cyclic character and shouldn’t harm ecosystem at any stage of product life cycle.
For each group of products Ecolabel has its own criteria of compliance assessment, but all of them are united by striving to reduce harmful impact on environment along the whole life cycle of a product. Approximately every 4 years criteria are revised, taking into account technical innovations (evolution of materials and production processes, reductions of emissions). They are determined on scientific base for the whole product life cycle and take into account: the most significant impact on environment (impact on climate change, impact on nature and biological diversity, energy and resources use, waste formation, emissions at all objects, environment pollution due to physical effect and use and emission of harmful agents); replacement of dangerous agents with safer ones, including the use of alternative materials and constructions where it is technically possible; potential of reduction of environmental impact with the help of durable products use and recycling; positive balance among improvement and deterioration of ecological situation (including aspects of health protection and safety at different stages of product life cycle); social and ethical aspects where it is appropriate; criteria set for other ecological signs, officially recognized on national or regional level; reduction of experiments on animals where it’s possible.
You won’t see Ecolabel mark on products that contain substances that are toxic, environmentally dangerous, oncogenic, mutagenic or toxic for humans’ or animals’ reproduction system.
Thus, Ecolabel mark provides customer with true, scientifically grounded information about product impact on environment and gives an opportunity to make choice in favor of safer analogue.
Today Ecolabel mark is given to about 2000 products from different fields and popularity of the sign is constantly growing as many producers who want to sell goods in the European Union realized its competitive advantages, due to high standards it emphasizes their production among competitors. Certification is voluntary which means it doesn’t create obstacles for trade.
If a customer sees Ecolabel mark on the product he\she understands that:
- product was developed taking into account reduction of environmental impact along the whole product life cycle;
- its ecological criteria were developed by stakeholders and assessed by independent experts;
- at each stage of life cycle were made the best solutions for environment protection and received product is competitive in price-quality ratio;
- the product is made with creation of minimal waste.
- Ecolabel logo helps producers and suppliers of goods and services get recognition for high standards, and customers – to choose quality and safety.