The EU Eco-label: flowering across Europe

December 3, 2007

Eco-label

The European Union Eco-label or Flower is

a voluntary scheme designed to encourage businesses to market products and services that are kinder to the environment and for European consumers – including public and private purchasers – to easily identify them.

I don’t recall ever seeing the Eco-label. Just how far has it spread?

Combining information from several official pages…

Established in 1992, the EU Eco-label scheme is open to any product or service, except food, drink, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The scheme is run by the (aptly-named) European Union Eco-labelling Board (EUEB). There are currently twenty-three product categories which can receive this award, ranging from tourist accommodation service, home appliances, cleaning materials, and mattresses to office supplies, gardening and Do It Yourself products, and already more than 250 licences have been awarded for several hundred products. Products covered by the scheme can be searched at Eco-Label catalogue.

Hmmm. The armchair critic swings into action. [Ed. Oops. A bit later he sits down and takes a breath.]

The EU is one of the largest markets in the world. It has an enormous range of manufacturers and products. The Eco-label was established in 1992; it’s now 2007; that’s 15 years. 250 licences have been awarded for several hundred products. That’s 17 licences per year. At this glacial pace, Europe’s products will be labelled by the next Ice Age. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never seen it?

However, according to Ecolabels : Directgov – Environment and greener living, “In the UK products with the Flower label include kitchen rolls, toilet tissue, paints and clothing.”

So I must not be looking in the right place.

Update – 2008/02/20:

Somewhere I picked up some really, really bad statistics. There’s actually several thousand eco-labelled products!

And now I’ve started looking for – or perhaps stopped overlooking – the flower, I can see it all over the place.

You can find the EU Flower throughout the European Union as well as in Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.

Update – 2008/02/03: In the UK the Ecolabelling Competent Body is the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

This entry is part of the Infomancy Eco-Symbols Series.

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2 Responses to “The EU Eco-label: flowering across Europe”


  1. We are a textile based company dealing in the manufacture of processed and knitted fabric and many more. We want to certify ourselves with EU Flowering .

    Kindly guide us how to go about it.

    REgards

    Jyotsna Kotian

  2. infomancie Says:

    Dear Jyotsna,

    I must note that I am not officially connected with the Flower, so I can’t give you legal advice, but I can point you in the right direction…

    The (English language) homepage for the Flower is http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecolabel/index_en.htm . The “How to Apply?” pages start at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecolabel/how_to/index_en.htm (also available from the Eco-label section menu).

    Application Procedure ( http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecolabel/how_to/howtoapply_en.htm ).

    Please do read that page for yourself! There looks to be a lot of support for the process from the Eco-label team, more than I can list here.

    My understanding of this is… As you’re applying from outside the EU, you can choose which country to apply through. Select and contact one of the organisations listed in the “Competent Body” page (link on that Procedure page). There is also a link to the “Application Guide” page. There are several relevant documents there, all available in numerous EU languages.

    There are fee reductions for companies fulfilling various criteria, which may be worth investigating.

    I hope this helps and you are successful in your application.

    Regards
    Peter


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