EU report confirms Ecolabel must keep benefitting consumers and the environment
PRESS STATEMENT - 30.06.2017
Today the European Commission has decided to maintain its EU-wide Ecolabel and ensure more products display it. 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. The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) applaud the move to strengthen this valuable tool.
It took 3 years for the EU Commission to evaluate the effectiveness of the EU Ecolabel. 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. 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
M. Goyens: “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.”
P. De Pous: “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. A boost to its uptake through government purchasing is particularly welcome.”
Notes to editors
Factsheet on the EU Ecolabel
ANEC, BEUC, ECOS, EEB joint letter: “Let’s reinforce not reduce Ecodesign and Ecolabel”, October 2016.
 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.