The current number of ecolabels around the world is 400. It’s no surprise that customers can find themselves confused, not being able to differentiate one from another. Therefore, making a greener choice can sometimes become difficult. Customlabels has shared with us this interactive infographic to have an overview of ecolabels around the world. The aim is to empower people to discriminate between products that are harmful to the environment and those compatible with a more sustainable lifestyle.
Our guest blogger Hannah Findlay from Customlabels, explains everything we need to know about ecolabels. If you wish to dig in deeper on all the variety of ecolabels of different countries you can check out the interactive infographic as well as this guide to read and truly UNDERSTAND a label when buying organic and natural brands.
Without more ado, we let you with this full article on the what’s and why’s of ecolabels!
What are ecolabels?
In everyday language, ecolabels are often confused with environmental labels. There are many different types of environmental labels, such as those which address a single issue (like the Energy Star label) or those which cover multiple criteria. Therefore, environmental labels are a much wider term, whereas eco-labels are a subgroup of environmental labels, with special criteria of comprehensiveness, independence and reliability.The current number of #ecolabels around the world is 400. It’s no surprise that customers can find themselves confused and make a more #sustainable choice can sometimes become difficult #greensolutions #tech Click To Tweet
Ecolabels vs Environmental labels
What makes ecolabels different from other environmental labels is the fact that they are voluntary certifications of environmental performance, not a mandatory way of quality control. They are granted by an independent third party organisation (non-profit, for-profit or governmental), and not influenced by the company who seeks certification. A product or a service is granted an eco-label only if it is in compliance with the criteria of a labelling scheme. The ecolabelling schemes follow a cradle-to-grave approach, meaning the whole life-cycle of a product is taken into account.
An ecolabel is basically a label which identifies overall environmental preference of a product or service within a specific product category based on life-cycle considerations, from raw material extraction to manufacturing and disposal.
Why are ecolabels important?
Ecolabels do not aim to replace the existing legislation, but they do provide recognition to the product, and send a straightforward message to customers. The ecolabel clearly communicates that the product has reached a higher standard of environmental protection within the same product category. It’s based on sound scientific evidence, with the criteria being continuously updated to meet the latest technological developments.
The transparency of the certification process makes ecolabels different from environmental logos or internal company certifications, which might not be as accurate. Via ecolabel symbols, the customers are informed about the impact on the environment and health of the products they buy. As for the business owners, although the benefits might not be as obvious, getting an ecolabel offers good marketing opportunities, as the products stand out from the others because of their green performance, thus gaining a competitive advantage. Ecolabels empower people to discriminate between products that are harmful to the environment and those more compatible with environmental objectives.#Ecolabels clearly communicate that the product has reached a higher standard of #environmental protection within the same product category. It’s based on sound scientific evidence, with the criteria being continuously updated to… Click To Tweet
What is the process to earn an ecolabel?
The process of certification is rather standardised in every country. The applicants present all the required technical information on the product they want to certify to the ecolabelling organisation. Usually, there is an initial fee, which sometimes differs depending on the size of the company, or even gets lower for the applicants from developing countries.
After applying for the label, the ecolabelling organisation can perform an audit to verify compliance with their labelling scheme. There are some ecolabelling schemes, though, which accept declaration based on the documentation only, without any further controls. If the product is considered compliant with the criteria, the product is awarded an eco-label.
Companies usually need to pay a yearly fee for the use of the label, with the certification being renewed periodically. Though this is a standard way of getting an ecolabel, the criteria and ecolabelling schemes differ depending on the country. For example, although Nordic Swan, a regional label localised in Scandinavia, is the most rigorous ecolabelling standard for environmental sustainability, it does not yet integrate requirement for social responsibility. At the same time, though most ecolabels are focused on environmental criteria only, Ecomark, the most well-known Indian eco-label is awarded to products which meet both environmental and quality criteria.
Are there any Worldwide ecolabels?
At the time being, there’s no worldwide accepted ecolabelling system, nor an official recognition of them. Taking into account the growing demand for sustainable economy and green products, the number of ecolabelling schemes has been growing exponentially in recent years. The current number of ecolabels around the world is 400. It’s no surprise that customers can find themselves confused, not being able to differentiate one from another. Therefore, making a greener choice can sometimes become difficult.
We’ll try to shed light on the most well-known ecolabels, their managing organisations, and product categories they apply to. Check out the interactive infographic below:
Customlabels.net is a Canadian based company with production facilities and offices in the USA and Europe. It provides and delivers the finest quality custom labels for business, promotional and personal purposes worldwide. Furthermore, the company provides their customers with free graphic design consultation service and helpful printing instructions for the best labelling results.
Can’t wait to learn more about the kind of ecolabels you can find on the different brands of products? Check out this full guide to read and truly UNDERSTAND a label when buying organic and natural brands.
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