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EU Ecolabel

The EU Ecolabel is a voluntary award scheme for the most environmentally friendly products on the market. New legislation (Regulation 66/2010) published recently has tried to improve the use and process of awarding the label, as well as creating a designated body responsible for Ecolabel enquiries.


The EU Ecolabel is a voluntary labelling scheme which was first introduced in 1992 under Regulation 880/92  (later amended by Regulation 1980/2000) to encourage businesses across Europe to market products and services which are kinder to the environment and in turn allow consumers to make the choice on what kind of products and services they want to buy.  There is a wide range of products and services which can apply for the label and this range continues to grow year on year. However only the most environmental products/services are allowed to bear the label and in order to get it, a strict criterion must be adhered to.

The Ecolabel criteria is not based on one single factor, but on studies which evaluate the impact of the product and service  on the environment throughout its life cycle; from the raw materials through to the production and disposal. The new Regulation aims to streamline the rules and procedures for awarding the label.



The new Regulation 66/2010 aims to improve the use and operation of the Ecolabel while avoiding previous pitfalls in awarding it to the wrong products.  Under Article 6 of the new Regulation there is a list of general requirements for establishing an Ecolabel criterion, which must:

  1. Be based on environmental performance of products, taking into consideration EU environmental objectives.
  2. Clearly set out the environmental requirements
  3. Be determined on a scientific basis and consider the whole life cycle of products.
  4. Include requirements to ensure that products using the Ecolabel actually fulfill their function adequately
  5. Not award the Ecolabel to good containing substances which are classified as ‘toxic, hazardous to the environment, carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction’ as defined by Regulation 1272/2008. Unless it can be shown that products with such substances have a higher overall environmental performance than those without.


In addition any Ecolabel awards for food or feed products shall only be created once the European Commission has conducted a study on it feasibility (this will be done before 31 December 2011).  It is highly likely that only products are classed as ‘organic’ will be allowed the Ecolabel, but this will be confirmed.

You can find a range of products which have already been awarded the label here

Ecolabel Organisations

Each European country must now designate a body responsible for the labelling process at the national level.  These bodies will be responsible for:

•           Check products comply with label criteria

•           Receiving complains

•           Informing the public

•           Monitoring false advertising

•           Prohibiting products

There is also the EU Ecolabelling Board which is made up of representatives from each national body responsible for labelling all across the EU. This board will work closely with the European Commission in developing new criterias for more suited to each product group and expanding the Ecolabel further.

Transition Period

Regulation 1980/2000 is officially repealed by the new Regulation but it does not affect any contracts already in place under Article 9, these contracts will still follow the old Regulation rules until they expire.


Ecolabel Website

Ecolabel Catalogue

Retail forum

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