A short summary of other national eco-labelling schemes is provided below.
Croatia’s eco-label called ‘Environmentally Friendly’ was developed in 1993 – based on the example of the Euro-Flower and Germany’s “Blue Angel ”– by the country’s Ministry of the Environment. The extension of the environmental label programme continues to have priority in Croatia, assuming that the labelling of environmentally friendly products forms a basis for trade in other sectors, too. In 1994, criteria existed for 25 product groups. Product testing is made upon application of the manufacturers.
The Czech eco-label ‘Ekologicky Setrany Vyrobek’ was developed by the Czech Ministry of the Environment in 1993. Attention was paid to the harmonisation of the programme with the labelling schemes of OECD and EU. The Czech eco-label is a registered trademark. Excluded from labelling are foods and pharmaceuticals. The label is awarded for periods of two years. A fee must be paid for the use of the eco-label.
The Dutch eco-label ‘Milieukeur’ was developed in 1992 by the independent organisation Stichting Milieukeur. As the competent body for the eco-label it is responsible for the definition of criteria as well as for the supervision of label awarding. Costs of the eco-label vary. The more reliable the information furnished by the manufacturer upon filing an application the lower the testing costs prior to the award. A routine check fee is charged on an annual basis, and in addition to this, there is a fee depending on the annual sales of the certified product.
Slovakia’s eco-label ‘Environmentalne Vhodnyvyrobok’ was developed by the country’s Ministry of the Environment in 1996 and first awarded in 1997. The product criteria are elaborated on the basis of life-cycle analyses and revised every two years. So far, 10 products in 4 product groups have been certified.
The Spanish eco-label Marca Aenor Medio Ambiente was developed by the private and independent Associación Espanola de Normalización y Certificación (AENOR) and first awarded in 1994. The institution in charge, besides AENOR, is the Technical Certification Committee being composed of representatives of industry, trade, manufacturers, consumer protection and environmental protection organisations and the competent ministries. On the basis of life-cycle analyses the Technical Certification Committee elaborates product criteria and prepares the award notice. During the three-year duration of the contract on the use of the eco-label, the manufacturer must reckon with regular checks of the certified product. At present, 436 products in 12 product groups are awarded the Spanish eco-label.
Sweden’s eco-label ‘Bra Miljöval’ – Good Environmental Choice was developed in 1990 by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (Private Naturskyddsföreningen). Product standards currently exist for 52 product groups. The testing and award procedure is based on a life-cycle analysis. The original plan was to let the Bra Miljöval run out as soon as the eco label of the Nordic Council was introduced. Yet, it turned out in 1992 that the Swan of the Nordic Council actually got the Bra Miljöval going. Today, both labelling systems are of equal standing on the Swedish market resulting in a healthy competition for both.
The Chinese eco-label ‘HUAN’ was developed by China Environmental Labelling and first awarded in 1993. Criteria for 25 product groups have been elaborated so far.
India’s eco-label ‘Ecomark’ was developed by the Indian government in 1991. It focuses on consumer goods and foods. Manufacturers pay for the permission to use the eco-label.
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Developed in 1989 by the Japanese Environment Agency (JEA) Japan’s ‘Friendly to the Earth’ – Eco Mark was first awarded in 1990. The symbol itself represents the desire to protect the earth with our own hands, using the phrase "Friendly to the Earth" at the top of the symbol and the product category below it.
In principle, products must meet the following criteria: impose less environmental load than similar products in their manufacture, use and disposal; and reduce the environmental load in other ways, thus contributing significantly to environmental conservation. At present, 59 product standards are in use. The label is awarded for periods of two years each. The award is primarily based on life-cycle studies.
Singapore’s ‘Green Label Singapore’ was developed in 1992 by the Ministry of the Environment. Singapore tests the products applying for the label according to a simplified life-cycle analysis checking the product’s main parameters for its relative environmental compatibility. If the application for the Green Label is filed within 12 months from the publication of the award criteria for a certain product its use is cost-free for the first five years. After this one-year period application involves expenses while the use is cost-free for the initial period of use (three years). After three or five years, respectively, an annual fee is charged. Today, product standards exist for 36 product groups.
The Canadian eco-label ‘Environmental Choice – Choix Environnemental’ was developed in 1988 by the Canadian Ministry of the Environment – Environment Canada (EC). It is also responsible for the development of certification criteria as well as for the award of the label. Prior to a possible award of the Environmental Choice label by the EC the applicants’ products are tested by technical institutes. Application involves expenses. In addition, a sales-dependent annual fee accrues. Currently, Environmental Choice has more than 1400 approved products, in 14product category, under which companies may be licensed and their products certified.
The Brazilian eco-label ‘Qualidad Ambiental’ was developed by the Associacao Brasileira de Normas Tecnicas (ABNT) under an agreement between government, economy and industry. The first award is yet to come. By means of life-cycle analyses the products are tested for their overall environmental compatibility. Product standards are set upon completion of the testing procedure. Also a period is fixed at the end of which the standards must be reviewed and, if necessary, revised.
AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand’s ‘Environmental Choice’ eco-label was developed by the Ministry of the Environment in 1990. The bodies involved in the elaboration of the criteria and in the award procedure are Telarc (Accreditation Authority for Quality Assurance, Laboratory Testing and Industrial Design) as well as the Environmental Choice Management Advisory Committee (ECMAC). At the instance of Telarc the applicant’s products are tested at independent laboratories upon filing of the application. The costs of testing are charged to the applicant. Telarc charges a one-time fee as well as annual sales-dependent fees.
Zimbabwe’s eco-label ‘Environment 2000’ was developed by the non-profit organisation Environment 2000. In the past, Environment 2000 had focused on the so-called Management Label, a certification of service providers in the main sectors trade and tourism. Today, there is also the Environmental Labelling Programme (ELP). In the past, it applied European criteria to domestic products. Since 1998, these criteria have been revised and adapted. In addition, new Zimbabwean criteria have been developed for 3 product groups so far.