What is meant by Eco-Labeling Programs...?
Ecolabelling is a voluntary method of environmental performance certification and labelling that is practiced around the world. An ecolabel identifies products or services proven to be environmentally preferable within a specific category.
Rising awareness of environmental issues has led to the practice of “green marketing,” which involves positioning a product or service to communicate its environmental benefits.
- A natural consequence has been the proliferation of eco-labeling programs, which designate products or services that meet specified environmental performance criteria.
- In 2008 there were over 300 national and international eco-labels in use around the world, spanning a wide range of industries. ISO identifies three types of eco-labels:
• Type 1: Based on satisfaction of multiple environmental criteria, verified through third party certification, and normally requiring periodic recertification.
• Type 2: Self-declared environmental claims (e.g., manufacturer logos).
• Type 3: Quantified declarations of environmental parameters based on life-cycle assessment, primarily for business-to-business communication.
Unlike Type 2 claims made by manufacturers and service providers, the leading eco-labels are mainly Type 1, awarded by independent third-party organizations.
- For example, the ENERGY STAR label awarded by the U.S. government was described earlier in this chapter. The following are some of the most widely recognized labels around the world.
• Blue Angel :
- This German label, introduced in 1978, is oldest in the world.
- It is awarded to products and services that are environmentally beneficial over their life cycle and also meet high standards of occupational health and safety and fitness for use.
- It applies to 80 product categories, and about 3700 labels have been awarded.
• EcoLogo :
This Canadian program, launched in 1988 as Environmental Choice, has certified over 7000 North American products and services based on compliance with life-cycle environmental criteria.
• Green Seal :
- This U.S. eco-label, launched in 1989, provides science-based environmental certification standards covering a wide variety of products.
- It is favored by large institutional purchasers, including government agencies and universities.
• Nordic Swan :
This eco-label, launched in 1989, is jointly supported by Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. It applies to 60 product categories, and about 1200 labels have been awarded.
• Eco Mark :
The Eco Mark symbol was launched in 1991 by the Japan Environment Association and uses environmental criteria to determine environmental impacts throughout the product life cycle. It applies to 64 product categories, and about 5200 labels have been awarded.
• EU Flower :
This is a European Union eco-label launched by the European Commission in 1992, based on evaluation of product life-cycle environmental impacts. Criteria have been published for 23 product groups and the label has been awarded to 350 products.
• Green Mark :
This Taiwanese mark was launched in 1992 by Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration to guide consumers in purchasing “green” products and to encourage manufacturers to design and produce them. It applies to 41 product categories, and about 450 labels have been awarded.
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