The label is awarded only to those products with the lowest environmental impact in a product range. Product categories are carefully defined so that all products that have direct “equivalence of use”, looking from the consumer’s standpoint, are included in the same product group.
The Label certifies several kind of productgroups. Currently there are 23 Productgroups which can be certified by the eco label e.g. Computer, TV, Lightning equipment etc.
Awarding Institution & criteria
The Competent Bodies are responsible for awarding the label. Each Member State of the EU and participating accession country has designated a Competent Body which is responsible for receiving applications from manufacturers, retailers, service providers or importers for the award of the Eco-label to their products and services. The decision to award an Eco-label is in the hands of a Competent Body who in the case of the same product marketed in other countries will consult other national Competent Bodies.
The functioning of the Eco-label scheme consists of: the preparatory work and establishment of new criteria, the award of the label to products and services and the revision and prolongation of existing criteria.
Relevance on the market
The EU Eco-label award scheme has been in operation since 1993 (revised in 2000), when the first product groups were established. Eco-labelling is a voluntary scheme, establishing ecological standards which applicants for the Eco-label must meet. It is for the producer, retailer or service provider to decide whether or not to apply for the sign according to the defined ecological criteria.
The Eco-label scheme provides incentives for increased use of environmentally friendly products. Since 1993 143 licenses for the use of the logo have been granted for several hundred products. The geographical spread of the awards is wide, with main applications in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
According to the EU consumers Associations (Charlotte de Roo) one fourth of the consumers is aware of the places where the Eco-labelled products can be purchased. And that there is a growing interest for developing the criteria for labelling of new products, like mobile phones, toys etc.
Copyright: European Commission