The EU Eco-label: flowering across Europe
December 3, 2007
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.