The EU Ecolabel is a voluntary scheme that rewards products and services for having less negative impact on the environment.
At the heart of the EU Ecolabel is the idea of encouraging producers to go beyond legislation in reducing the environmental impact of their products and services. It identifies those goods that tend to be within the top 10-20% of the most environmentally friendly within their category. This means products that contain less hazardous chemicals, are designed to last longer and easier to repair, and that are manufactured in way that generates less waste and CO2. The label is thus one of the EU’s tools to achieve the transition to a circular economy and toxic free environment.
The EU Ecolabel is designed to help citizens and businesses make sustainable choices. Confronted with a wide variety of environmental claims and greenwashing, the scheme allows them to buy with more confidence. Manufacturers can use the label only after a national authority has verified that the product fulfils the scheme criteria.
Moreover, the EU Ecolabel is the only EU wide voluntary label which is based on a multi-stakeholder forum. The EEB officially represents environmental NGOs at EU level in the EU Ecolabelling Scheme.
Despite the voluntary nature of the requirements, and some room for improvement when it comes to levels of availability and consumer recognition, the EEB is convinced of the importance of the scheme.
This is why we advocate for retailers to extend their offer of EU Ecolabelled products, thereby making it easier for consumers to find more sustainable alternatives when shopping.
In addition to delivering direct benefits by driving both producers and consumers towards more environmentally friendly products, the EU Ecolabel criteria can have impacts far beyond the direct labelling of the certified products. For example, the label’s criteria are an inspiration for Green Public Procurement. Denmark is one of the countries that relies on ecolabels and has set a target to base all of its public procurement in certain areas on reliable schemes such as the EU Ecolabel and the Nordic Swan by 2030. Generally, the EU Ecolabel sets an independent environmental benchmark for all stakeholders – including many producers.
products and services available on the EU market
of consumers who know the EU Ecolabel trust it (Eurobarometer)