2002. 10. 14.


New products with the label!

Up till now 31 different types of cooling equipment have won the Hungarian eco-label.

Based on the Eco-labeling Assessing Committee’s decision of December 2003 the Minister of Environment and Water Management has renewed the right of label use of 12 household cooling-freezing equipment marketed by the LUX Kft., produced by the Lithuanian SNAIGNÉ JOINT COMPANY have won this right.

This way altogether 31 different types of cooling equipment have won the Hungarian eco-label.

Among the product group qualification criteria we focus on the abandonment of the use ozone depleting and global warming CFCs as refrigerants and propellants. Further more the producer has to guarantee the possibility of resumption, transportation and final disposal of the labeled products.


Up till now 3 different types of powder fire extinguisher equipment have won the Hungarian eco-label.

The Rozmaring Tűzoltókészülék Javító Szolgáltató Kft. has won the right of label use of three different types of powder fire extinguisher equipment – for 2, 4 and 6 kg portable rustproof powder fire extinguisher equipment.

Besides other criteria the fire extinguisher equipment has to fulfill the requirements bellow:

-       its charge has to fulfill the applying criteria, and/or

-       using the same charge with minimum 20% reduced agent content can produce the same efficacy,

-       the equipment is rechargeable for at least 10 years, and in its end-of-life phase its material is recyclable.

New product group criteria!

In November 2003 the Eco-labeling Assessing Committee has decided on three new product group criteria.

The three new product group criteria are Indoor paints and varnishes, Tissue paper and Copying and graphic paper. This way producers are able to apply for the Hungarian environmentally friendly label in 42 different product categories.

The Eco-labeling Assessing Committee’s decision in November resulted in the adaptation of the European Union’s three eco-label product group criteria, for which there has been no criteria before in Hungary. The results of the study assessing the Hungarian market’s adequacy for these product criteria has yielded positive results, so the criteria have been wholly adopted, this way they are identical to the Union’s criteria.

10 Years of the Hungarian Eco-label

The ten year anniversary of the Hungarian eco-label has been celebrated with a conference in December, 2004, which aimed at the summing up and evaluating of the experiences of the years passed and providing the participants with an overview of the international situation with the help of participants from other countries. Presenters of the conference included representatives of the Hungarian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Water Management (István Őri, Andrea Nám), Környezetbarát Termék Kht. (Hungarian Eco-labeling Organisation, Attila Frigyer), Fogyasztóvédelmi Főfelügyelőség (General Inspectorate for Consumer Protection) and other international experts. Christian Löwe introduced the Blue Angel eco-label system of Germany, while Leena Nyqvist-Kuusola presented the operations and experiences of the Nordic Swan eco-label programme of the Scandinavian countries. A special focus has been given to the relationship of national and European Union eco-label systems during the conference, which has important implications for Hungary after joining the EU as well.

After the above mentioned lectures three Hungarian companies (Electrolux Lehel Ltd., RICOH Hungary Ltd. and Xella Magyarország Építőipari Ltd.), which have certified products presented their practical experiences with their products and the eco-labelling scheme.


Connected to the conference a publication has also been issued, which presents the achievements of the national system, its relationship with the European Union eco-label scheme and demonstrates the benefits for the corporate sector and the consumers.

The First Eco-labels in the New Member States

Shortly after joining the European Union the companies of four new member states, namely the Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania and Hungary have already certified their products in accordance with the European Union eco-label scheme.

Hybler Textil s.r.o., the first Czech company, which has obtained the label, manufactures textiles, textile products, hygienic articles, beddings, table clothes and it is the biggest producer of cotton, viscose and mixed fabric products in the country (further information: www.hybler.cz).

In Lithuania the products of a company producing knitwear articles for babies, children and  grown-ups have been awarded the European eco-label. The company has implemented a quality management system in 1999 and an environmental management system in 2001. Most of its sales go to European Union countries and its sales in 2004 has reached 40 Million Euros (further information: www.ut.lt).

In Poland a product of the Xero Flor w Polsce Spólka z.o.o has been awarded the European Union eco-label in the product group of soil improvers. The company provides a full service in the field of horticulture from planning to realisation and training. One of the company’s interesting products is the grass mat, which can be fitted on roofs (further information: www.xeroflor.pl).

In Hungary the Kolping Hotel Ltd. has received the the first eco-label in Hungary. The Hotel offers four star services and a family holiday resort to its guests at the same time. The company, which is situated in the Western part of the country near Lake Balaton is introduced in an other article in more detail (further information: www.kolping.hotel.hu).

Adoption of the Criteria for Lubricants

The criteria for the new product group of lubricants were successfully voted on in December.  Hydraulic oils, chain saw oils, two stroke oils or greases are among the new kind of products for which we can expect applicants in the coming months.

Aquatic toxicity, biodegradability, bioaccumulation, and the use of renewable sources are the main environmental aspects that have been taken into account when setting up the lubricants criteria.

This product group has been an example of how the Eco-label can work in close co-operation with Industry without losing the support of environmental and consumer NGOs.

The First Hungarian Company with the European Union Eco-label: the Success of the Kolping Hotel

Kolping Hotel, which is situated in Alsópáhok, in the Western part of Hungary has received the European Union eco-label in early 2005 as the first in the country. The newly acquired label stresses the significance of environmental issues in the life of the company, which has already been awarded the ’Green Hotel’ price of the Hotel Association of Hungary in 2003.

The Hotel had to comply with rigorous requirements in order to be awarded the eco-label. The criteria for the product group ’tourist accommodation’ focus on the following aspects: the harmony of the buildings with the landscape; the energy and water use ; chemicals used for cleaning; the practice of washing bed linen and other textiles; the management of wastes; noise protection and numerous other factors.

According to the principles of the international Kolping movement, the Hotel pays special attention to the needs of families and develops both its services and its prices accordingly.

As a result of investment started in 1991 and finished in 1996 the Hotel can accommodate 450 guests at present and also offers environmentally friendly small family apartment houses.

The Hotel, which is situated in an 8.7 acre park is complemented by a bath consisting of inside and outside pools operated with the Hotel’s own wells.

This infrastructure makes it possible for the hotel to offer wellness, medical and cosmetic programmes over the more traditional services to its guests – taking environmental considerations into account.

Further information can be reached at the home page of the Hotel (www.kolping.hotel.hu).

The European Union has passed the ecological criteria for the award of Community eco-label to camp sites

In April, 2005 the Commission has issued its decision 2005/338/EC relating to the criteria system for enterprises offering camp site services to their customers. The document defines „camp site service” as a main service for a fee, the provision of pitches equipped for mobile lodging structures within a defined area. Camp site facilities can also offer other types of accommodation, collective areas for communal services and other services (such as the selling of food products and leisure activities). The objective of the criteria is to reduce energy and water consumption, limit waste generation and promote the use of renewable energy resources and materials as well as provide environmental information and education. For example the energy use of camp sites should be covered by renewable resources by at least 22%; the sulphur content of oil and coal used should not be over 0.2% and there is a limit for the amount of water flowing from the taps (a maximum of 10 litres/minute). The criteria also cover leakages, the issue of wastes, as well as cleaning and transportation – among other aspects.

New criteria for the product group 'Biodegradable shopping bags’ in the Hungarian eco-labelling scheme

By the 6th of April, 2005 a new criteria for the product group 'Biodegradable  shopping bags’ came into force in the Hungarian eco-labelling scheme


Packaging materials (carrier bags, pouches, small bags, pockets, etc.), which provide a significant part of wastes play a controversial role from an environmental point of view: on the one hand they protect the products and their environment from damages and pollution, while on the other hand after their use, packaging wastes pose a significant threat to the environment, most of them end up on landfills.

The situation is aggravated by the huge amount of utilised packaging materials in modern societies: about 1.5 billion shopping bags have been used in Hungary alone each year.


From the 6th of April, 2005 producers and consumers have the opportunity to behave in an environmentally friendly manner even in this field since the Környezetbarát Termék Közhasznú Társaság has published  the criteria for biodegradable shopping bags.


According to the criteria an “environmentally friendly product” eco-label can be awarded to the products, which are manufactured in an industrial quantity and are manufactured from renewable natural resources or from new-generation plastics falling into one of the following two categories:


- compostable shopping bags made of biodegradable cellulose, textile or natural polymers;

- shopping bags made of decomposing plastics.



The most up-to-date results of the packaging industry are those packaging materials, which are made of natural polymers based on natural, renewable vegetable materials (e.g. starch, cellulose, lactic acid, casein) and can be used in the food industry, agriculture and in the field of sanitation. After getting into the soil, these materials totally degrade in a couple of weeks or months through biological processes due to bacteria, fungi and other degrading organisms living in the water and soil while their residues completely return to the cycles of natural materials.


Biodegradable packaging materials can usually be manufactured with the traditional processes used by the plastics industry and can be homogeneously coloured or printed as traditional, polymer based packaging materials. This feature can have a strategic significance regarding their widespread use.


Another group of biodegradable packaging materials are manufactured from polyethylene and different types of additives. These additives function as catalysts: with the rays of the sun, oxygen and an appropriate temperature they decompose the plastics to small elements even within four weeks.


Apart from the improving environmental awareness of the consumers, the success of the eco-label relating to shopping bags can be enhanced by the partial exemption from the product fee for the producers, which is regulated by Government Decree 53/2003. (IV.11.). The interest in the new product group is already shown by the fifteen companies, which already received an “environmentally friendly product” eco-label for their shopping bags (for more information see separate article).

Fifteen Hungarian companies with eco-labels in the product group ’Biodegradable shopping bags’

By the beginning of 2007 altogether ninety products of fifteen Hungarian companies have  received the right for the ’environmentally friendly product’ eco-label in the product group ‘Biodegradable shopping bags’. This category of products is especially important since it provides guidance to the producers relating to products, which are used very often by the consumers in everyday life and which pose a significant risk to the natural environment.

The companies received the label for their products manufacture from polyethylene, which comply with the product criteria thanks to their additives.

With the establishment of this new product group hopefully more and more producers and manufacturers will apply for the Hungarian eco-label, which could significantly contribute to the spread of environmentally friendly packaging materials in Hungary.

Green Public Procurement in the European Union and Hungary

Green public procurement means that contracting authorities take into account environmental elements when procuring goods, services or works.

The results of a study realised for the Commission in 2003 show that there are two EU States with a high-level of commitment to green purchasing: Denmark with 40% of administrations that include environmental criteria for more than 50% of their purchases and Sweden with 50% share of administrations that include environmental criteria for more than 50% of their purchases. Germany (30%), Austria (28%) and the United Kingdom (23%) range above the average of 19% in the EU.


The European Public Procurement Policy aims to create competitive, non-discriminatory public procurement markets in the European Union, with a view to ensuring value for money for taxpayers and consumers of public services and fostering the competitiveness of European suppliers in domestic and world markets.

On 31 March 2004, the Council and European Parliament have adopted two new public procurement directives (Directive 2004/17 and Directive 2004/18), which are mainly aimed at clarifying, simplifying and modernizing existing European legislation on public procurement, but also specifically mention the possibilities for the adoption of environmental criteria during the purchasing activities of public institutions.

Other EU regulations and policy documents also promote the principles of green procurement, such as the EU’s Integrated Product Policy, which advocates life-cycle thinking during the design process of products and services.


Since information provision is very important in this field, the European Union has created and maintains a web based database, which contains relevant information about green public procurement in general (the definition and description of green procurement, general policy background and its potential environmental gains), its legal framework and a number of guiding documents relating to the integration of environmental principles into public procurement processes. The website set up to inform the stakeholders interested in the topic also discusses how eco-labels can help decision makers to foster green purchasing activities and also contains a handbook published by the European Commission in 2004 titled ‘Buying green!’, which explains in concrete, non-legal terms - making frequent use of best practice examples - how public purchasers can integrate environmental considerations into public procurement procedures. (The handbook can be found on this page under "Downloadable materials".)


Hungarian regulations have to follow the advances in European Union legislation. Conversely, the revision of the Hungarian law regulating public procurement (Law No. 2003/CXXIX), operative from the 15th of January, 2006, includes provisions relating to the use of eco-labels during the public procurement process. The modified regulation allows public organisations to refer to national, European or other international eco-labelling regulations, when they define environmental requirements during the procurement process. Conditions include that the description of the eco-label in question must be suitable to define the required parameters, the label must have been developed as a result of an appropriate process and information about the label should be available to all stakeholders..

This revision of the public procurement regulation in Hungary makes eco-labels ‘available’ to public purchasers. This – if applied in an appropriate way – will foster the diffusion of environmentally sound products and services, as well as eco-labels, since producers and distributors will have an additional good reason to consider their application.


The revised English text of the Hungarian law on public procurement can be found on the web pages of the Council of Public Procurement.


The Green Public Procurement pages of the European Union, including the handbook ‘Buying green!’ can be reached here.

The EU Commission is launching the first Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) call for eco-innovation on the 21st of April and will be open until the 11th of September. An information day will be organised the 8th of May!


- The 2008 Call was launched on 21 April 2008.

- A European Info Day will take place on 8 May 2008.

- Deadline for submission of proposals is 11 September 2008


Eco-Innovation Priority Areas

This Call supports eco-innovative projects in different sectors which aim at the prevention or reduction of environmental impacts or which contribute to the optimal use of resources. However, more specific priorities have been set up considering its important environmental impact. They are summarised hereafter:

In the field of materials recycling:

  • Improved sorting processes for waste materials such as construction, industrial, household, electrical and electronic waste.
  • Eco-friendly design and production of high quality consumer goods, innovative recycling processes.
  • New recycling solutions for specific sectors such as agriculture, maritime, extraction, utilities.
  • Business innovations that strengthen the competitiveness of the recycling industries.

In the building & construction sector:

  • Innovative building processes or products that reduce environmental impact and/or support a rational use of natural resources.
  • Green building techniques that leverage the use of recycled materials and renewable sources.
  • New water-saving systems such as rainwater collection, grey water use, green roofs.
  • Sustainable construction, maintenance, repair, retrofitting or demolition techniques.

In the food & drink sector:

  • Innovative processes especially that reduce environmental impact and maximise the use of raw materials in the food sector.
  • Cleaner and more efficient processing of food and drink products so as to reduce organic and non-organic waste and increase material recycling and recovery.
  • New water management processes that reduce the use of water across the food & drink supply chain.


In the area of greening business & 'smart' purchasing:

  • Highly transferable practices, processes and techniques that increase the efficiency and the sustainability of SMEs.
  • Innovative forms of cooperation and knowledge sharing between local enterprises involved in the application of Eco-Management and Audit Schemes (EMAS)
  • Innovative quality assurance systems that enforce eco-compliance and approaches that follow the principles of Integrated Product Policy (e.g. eco-design, eco-label and life cycle approach).
  • Implementation and promotion of environmental criteria for purchasing decisions of enterprises (i.e. greening supply chains, innovative procurement approaches, internalisation of environmental costs across the supply chain).


Ecolabel Communication Award Ceremony

The European Commission and the Helpdesk will be holding the first European Award for outstanding communication on the Flower on 23 September 2009 in Brussels.


Aim of the Communication Award Ceremony

The Communication Award Ceremony is aimed at recognising holders with outstanding achievement in increasing public awareness and knowledge of the Flower through their promotional campaigns. Any holders that have done any campaigns or activities (e.g. holding a stand, using gadgets, producing or distributing flyers, etc) between January 2008 and May 2009 are eligible to this award. The interested holders are required to fill out an application package that includes a short description of the initiatives undertaken and samples of promotional materials or pictures of the activities by email or mail. The deadline to send in the application package is on 12 June 2009. You can find this application package in the attachment. The Helpdesk sent a mail with information on the award to all the Holders of the EU Ecolabel in April and also announced the Award in the April News Alert.


Jury for the Award

The jury, composed of representatives of the European Commission, the Helpdesk, representatives of several Competent Bodies and possibly a journalist partner or a representative of an environmental education or communication organisation will look at the of the following aspects of the promotional activities taken by holders:

- Quality & creativity of the campaign

- Effective Flower logo use

- Relevance of promotional activities undertaken



There will be one award for products and one award for services. A special recognition will also be included in the awards. Each winner will receive a symbolic prize that will be announced shortly.


Application Package and Guidelines

The application package is only available in English and applicants are required to provide a translation of any promotional material samples that they are sending to us. A document outlining the guidelines for the award ceremony will be sent to all the Competent Bodies soon and will also be downloadable from the European Commission website. 





European Ecolabel Helpdesk
c/o BIO Intelligence Service S.A.S.
1 rue Berthelot
94200 Ivry-sur-Seine - France
Tel : +33 (0)1 56 20 28 98

e-catalogue: www.eco-label.com

Great results in eco-labelling in Hungary in 2009!


In the first part of 2009 there was a great achievement that we were able to welcome 3 new eco-label applications in Hungary!


The companies awarded EU eco-label in this year:

      1) Szelektiv Hulladékhasznosító és Környezetvédelmi Kft. (H-2194 Tura Hrsz. 0272/7  Pf. 23.) , product: soil improvers

       2) Sony Espana S.A (Barcelona Technology Center Pol. Ind. Can Mitjans s/n 08232 Viladecavalls Barcelona Spain) product:TVs,

       3) General Electric Zrt: Consumer & Industrial Lighting. (1340 Budapest, Váci út 77.), product: compact fluorescent lamps.


Congratulations to their achievement and we wish further success in their job!

The Earth Day program

Connected with the Earth Day on 20 April 2013 the Ministry of Rural Development and the National Waste Management Agency collaborating with some other Ministry’s organisations organized a Family Day in the City Park. Joining to the all-day events,  the Hungarian Eco-Labelling Organisation together with the Crystal Mix. Ltd., the first applicant in the Hungarian Ecolabeling scheme provided consulting and product demos on the ecolabelled products for interested visitors. The children had the possibility to participate on an eco-workshop to learn playfully about ecolabel.

Zrínyi Printing House has aworded the EU Ecolabel in the printed paper category as the first company in Hungary

Zrínyi Printing House has aworded the EU Ecolabel in the printed paper category as the first company in Hungary, which concerns magazines, advertisements and other printed products.
Besides its professional success the company also shows a path towards the protection of the environment:
The company with the main profile of producing flyers, is a market leader in the creation of catalogues and flyers for large commercial brands.

News and Information

Zrínyi Printing House has aworded the EU Ecolabel in the printed paper category as the first company in Hungary

The Earth Day program

Great results in eco-labelling in Hungary in 2009!

Eco-Label Links

the official EU Eco-label homepage

GEN, Global Ecolabelling Network homepage

energy label, Australia

TCO Environmental Labelling Scheme

Energy Star (USA) homepage

Label online database

Eco-label, Austria

NF Environnement (AFNOR) eco-label, France

Bio-products label homepage, Sweden

Nordic Swan eco-label, Sweden

The German Blue Angel eco-label homepage

Downloadable materials

Handbook on Green Public Procurement

The Green Paper on IPP

IPP press report

Argon NEtON