Ecolabel & Eco-Management and Audit Scheme Regulation (EMAS)
What is it?
Launched in 1992, the Eco label is a voluntary tool integrated in the broader EU Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) policy, supplementing other mandatory instruments, such as the eco design requirements and the energy label. Complementing information provided to consumers, the Eco label Regulation 66/2010/EC aims at promoting best performing products from an environmental point of view.
The establishment of new or revised criteria for certain product groups is carried out by the Commission in cooperation with member states and stakeholders, including industry experts or NGOs. Envisaged criteria are discussed in the Ad-Hoc Working Group (AHWG) as well as in the European Union Ecolabel Board (EUEB), with draft criteria then being adopted via a Commission Decision (comitology procedure).
Why is it important?
The EU Eco label currently covers a huge range of different products and services, ranging from tissue paper, all-purpose cleaners to paints, hard floor coverings to TVs and computers, light bulbs to heat pumps. While the scope of the Regulation goes in general beyond our sector, more and more criteria are developed for our industry’s products as implementation of the Ecodesign and Energy Label Directives progresses. The objective is to progress from 25 product groups in 2010 to targeting 40-50 product groups under the Eco label Regulation by 2015. The work plan 2010-2015 indicates a non-exhaustive list of product groups to be considered as priorities.
EU Ecolabel criteria focus on product life stages with the highest environmental impact and, as a consequence, differ from one product to the other. Eco label criteria for electronic equipment focus mainly on the level of efficiency in terms of energy consumption in the use phase, since this represents the overriding environmental impact of these products. The EU Eco Label can also be used for demonstrating conformity of products with eco design requirements established under the Eco Design Directive as long as the EU Eco Label criteria correspond with the established eco design requirement.
Product labelling is one tool for providing information to the consumer; it may, however, not always be the preferred option, especially in the area of components and professional equipment. Therefore, we support that the Eco label remains one tool among others in the toolbox for providing environmental information. In particular, it must not undermine the success of the Energy Label. It should keep its voluntary character as a label of excellence, awarding the best environmental performance of a product within its category.
How we’ve been engaged
After having been involved in the review of the Eco Label Regulation in the context of the Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan, Orgalime and different sectors of our industry are following the implementation of the Regulation on individual product groups. We provide an overview of ongoing implementation of EU product policy, including the establishment and review of EU Eco label criteria for our sector.
- DG ENVI webpage on Eco label
- Regulation 66/2010/EC on the EU Ecolabel
- Eco label Working Plan 2011-2015