EU report confirms Ecolabel must keep benefiting consumers and the environment

Today the European Commission decided to maintain its EU-wide Ecolabel and ensure more products display it.

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) applaud the move to strengthen this valuable tool.

For 25 years, this voluntary scheme has been helping consumers to choose the most environmentally-friendly products. The EU Ecolabel has also contributed to boost green jobs. [1]

It took 3 years for the EU Commission to evaluate the effectiveness of the EU Ecolabel. [2] Recent discussions at the EU Commission level were surrounded by uncertainties over the future of the label. However, support from Member States, industry and NGOs helped shape a positive outcome.

Both organisations welcome the Commission’s decision and highlight the following points:

  • The EU Commission has rightly recognised that the EU Ecolabel is a win-win for consumers, the environment and the economy and deserves to appear on more products.
  • The Commission will strengthen its Ecolabel promotion efforts so that consumers and manufacturers know about the label.
  • The Commission wants to speed up the procedure to develop criteria. To this end, the number of criteria may be reduced. While this could generate more Ecolabel products, both BEUC and the EEB believe that any efforts to simplify the scheme should not undermine its ambition. The top priority should be to preserve the environmental excellence of products and services over their full life-cycle.

On the Commission’s decision

Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, commented:

“The Ecolabel is one of the EU’s most tangible successes for consumers. Many want to shop sustainably but often feel lost in the jungle of ‘green’ options. [3] It is great news that the flower label will keep guiding consumers towards the greenest detergents, textiles and many more products and services.”

Pieter De Pous, Policy Director at the EEB, said:

“For the past 25 years the EU Ecolabel has promoted the manufacture and expansion of more resource-efficient products and services. It’s an invaluable, yet simple instrument to improve the daily lives of millions of people by helping them to make the right choice for them and for the planet.”

On the future of the label

Goyens added:

“Only a robust and reliable label can win the trust of consumers. To ensure the Ecolabel keeps rewarding the greenest products only, its criteria must remain ambitious.

“Today, consumer awareness is unequal among Member States, ranging from 66% in France to only 16% in the Czech Republic. We applaud the Commission’s willingness to better promote the label and push for a wider offer of Ecolabel products across the EU.”

De Pous added:

“The EU must deploy strong policies to make possible the transition to a circular economy. The Ecolabel has a clear role to play as a sign-post for the best environmentally performing products. We welcome the aim to boost its development through enhanced use in public procurement.”


Notes to editors

Factsheet on the EU Ecolabel

Open letter regarding EEB and BEUC concerns on the future of the EU Ecolabel Regulation and on the fate of specific product groups, December 2016.

ANEC, BEUC, ECOS, EEB joint letter: “Let’s reinforce not reduce Ecodesign and Ecolabel”, October 2016.


[1] See EU Commissioner Vella speech at 2017 Green Week.

[2] The EU Commission was due in February 2015 to publish an evaluation of the Ecolabel to inform the EU Parliament and the Council. Shortly before, it decided to finalise first its Fitness Check exercise to ensure the Ecolabel legislation is fit for purpose. Both reports have been published today.

[3] An EU 2015 survey found that 26% of consumers often buy green products and 54% sometimes.