The Korea Eco-Label – Even the government abides by it

January 8, 2008

Korea Eco-label

The Korean Eco-label has been run by the Ministry of Environment (MOE) and Korea Eco-Products Institute (KOECO) since 1992, “certifying Eco Labels to qualifying eco-products for excellent quality and performance, as well as general environment-friendliness during the entire production process”.

The label has to include the reasons for certification.

The Korean Eco-Label has a significant consequence for the Korean Government:

In addition, Eco-Label certified products are target products that public agencies are obligated to purchase from July 2005, in compliance with Act on the Promotion of the Purchase of Environment-Friendly Products.

It would take a review of all the national schemes to work out whether this is unusual: a government committing itself (or public bodies) to purchase eco-friendly products. If there is such a review, I’d be interested to see it.

What intrigues me in the long-term is whether any conflict will arise between the purposes of a scheme like this and the needs of either the government department assessing product/service claims or the government in general to be seen to be acting in an eco-friendly manner. To be clear, I’m not suggesting anything about Korean practice, just about the principle of governments setting standards that apply to themselves and being seen to meet these – and the influence of businesses on governments to grant certificates.

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

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