It has been 25 years since the EU Ecolabel scheme was launched and adopted in EU law as a voluntary ecolabel award scheme. 25 years on, the EU Ecolabel continues to help consumers lead a healthier, safer and more sustainable lifestyle across Europe and beyond.
The EU Ecolabel promotes Europe’s transition to a circular economy, where materials stay in a loop, so new products begin when old ones end. This drives manufacturers to produce goods that:
- Promote green innovation and sustainable industries
- Generate less waste and CO2 when they are made and used
- Use energy, water and raw materials more wisely
- Last longer and are easier to repair
- Are easier to recycle
Helping consumers make conscious choices without compromise on the quality of products and services.
With over 39,000 products and services on the market, the EU Ecolabel is recognised across Europe as an accreditation verified by independent experts against a strict criteria – a label consumers can trust.
What is ecolabelling?
‘Ecolabelling’ is a voluntary method of environmental performance certification and labelling practised around the world. An ecolabel identifies products or services proven environmentally preferable overall, within a specific product or service category.
In contrast to green symbols, or claim statements developed by manufacturers and service providers, the most credible labels are awarded by an impartial third party for specific products or services that have been independently assessed to meet transparent environmental leadership criteria based on their life-cycle considerations.
Why does it matter?
With environmental claims on products and services being so common in today’s marketplace, it can be difficult to tell between ‘greenwashing’ and reliable claims. Ecolabel offer consumers an easy point of reference to do good.
The EU Ecolabel guarantees a high level of transparency, reliability and scientific credibility, helping consumers conscious of environmental performance the reassurance that their green demands are well-met.
Trusted for their stringent assessment of environmental impact from production, to use and through to disposal – the strict criteria is developed in a collaborative, transparent way involving scientists, NGOs and stakeholders to raise the profile of environmental impact and help consumers make environmentally responsible choices.
How do I become a more ethical consumer?
- Do your homework – Do some research on trusted and established eco labelling schemes in your country.
- Look out for ambiguous or misleading claims – Keep a look out for marketing buzzwords like ‘eco’ or ‘good for the planet’ and have a look at how they are substantiated. Unless a product or service is certified by an independent authority, it wouldn’t be wise to assume so.
- Don’t get lost in the eco-noise – It’s a big and confusing world of green claims. Pick your battles and focus your efforts on where they would have more of an effect i.e. learning which trusted eco labels apply to the products you buy most often.
- Ask questions – Don’t be afraid to ask for more information. Unsure of what something means? Have a look on the company’s website or ring up customer services to find out more.
Initial EU Ecolabel accredited products
Initial offers customers an extensive range of hand hygiene products accredited with the EU Ecolabel and Nordic Swan Ecolabel – the official ecolabel of the Nordic countries. Initial is committed to sustainable consumption and production and all our products have fulfilled a stringent environmental and climate criteria for sustainable excellence.
Initial’s EU Ecolabel accredited products meet criteria that guarantee:
- A reduced amount of chemicals
- Limited substances harmful to the aquatic environment
- Increased biodegradability
- Less packaging
- Reduced impact from consumption of resources
- Restricted use of hazardous substances
- Satisfaction of performance and quality tests
Independent experts verify that EU Ecolabel products and services continuously comply with the label’s criteria. Minimising the use of hazardous substances which can harm health, animal and plant life, the EU Ecolabel looks at every stage of the product’s life – from the extraction of raw materials, to production, packaging and transport, right through to how consumers use and dispose of it – delivering green solutions aligned to our customers’ beliefs.