Green hotels and floor coverings to get even greener
BEUC NEWS - 02.02.2017
Next time you go on holiday or renew your floor covering, make sure you look out for the Ecolabel. The EU Commission has just strengthened the environmental criteria that floor manufacturers and hospitality businesses should meet if they want to display the ‘EU Ecolabel’.
This logo helps consumers select products and services with the least impact on the environment. 65% of consumers who know the Ecolabel trust it. It also boosts green jobs and innovation. Nearly 39,000 products and services available on the European market already sport this label, including types of washing powder, tissue paper or computers.
What is the added value of sleeping in one of the 800+ ecolabelled hotels or campsites? It means the location relies on environmentally-friendly products, such as ecolabelled detergents or energy-efficient appliances. The new criteria ensure that hotels improve labour conditions, save water and minimise food waste, among other measures.
Thanks to BEUC’s efforts, hotels will have to use more renewable energies if they want to be ecolabelled. This update is the perfect timing for 2017, the United Nations’ International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
As for floor coverings, BEUC succeeded in toughening indoor air quality requirements. The Commission decided to drastically restrict the use of hazardous substances such as formaldehyde, which is a cancer-causing chemical. Flame retardants and halogenated compounds such as PVC are now banned in floor coverings. Using wood in floors that is produced in sustainable ways has also become one of the conditions to obtain the flower label.
Now it is up to the EU Commission and Member States to widely promote the EU Ecolabel among producers. Even if companies do not seek certification, experience shows that manufacturers often use the criteria as a benchmark to improve their products. The label is celebrating this year its 25th anniversary.