There are many other types of labels indicating various functions and properties of products. Some of these indicate that the product has some favourable environmental characteristics, some of these labels are made up by manufacturers and some of them do not have any connection with environmental protection at all. Please take not of that these are NOT eco-labels!
Other environment related labels:
TCO1992, TCO 95, TCO'99
The label is found on computers and shows that the computer fulfils severe demands as well as on working conditions and on external environmental effects, and that it’s energy efficient.
TCO (The Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees) is the authority for TCO1992, TCO'95 and TCO'99. In the late 1980s and early 1990s TCO has been involved heavily in the work for better work environment for office employees and particularly in making regulations for low frequent radiation from computer equipment. The requirement was originally named TCO1991 and was issued in the publication Screen Facts. These requirements where later included in TCO1992 and in TCO'95 labelling schemes without any changes. In TCO'99 the test methods and thus the requirements have been somewhat tightened for an additional improvement for the users.
The Energy Star program was announced by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in June 1992. The program, designed to promote development of energy-efficient office equipment, is based on voluntary partnerships between EPA and industry. An Executive Order of 1993 requires all US federal government agencies to buy only those computers, monitors and printers that have an Energy Star label.
EPA partnered with the US Department of Energy in 1996 to promote the Energy Star label, with each agency taking responsibility for particular product categories. The Energy Star label has been expanded to cover new homes, most of the buildings sector, residential heating and cooling equipment, major appliances, office equipment, lighting, consumer electronics, and more product areas.
The EU Energy Label
The Commission Directive 94/2/EC requires the producers of household appliences to indicate by the EU’s energy labelling and standard product information the energy and other resources consumption of household appliances. The energy labbel is applied to refrigerators, freezers and their combinations, washing machines, driers and their combinations, dishwashers, ovens, water heaters and hot-water storage appliances, lighting sources, and air-conditioning appliances. According to the directive the energy consumption is ranked from "A" for the most energy efficient to "G" for the least efficient.
The Directive 94/2/EC implementing Council Directive 92/75/EEC with regard to energy labelling of household electric refrigerators, freezers and their combinations had been amended by the Commission Directive 2003/66/EC of 3 July 2003. Since the market shares of „A” class appliances is rising rapidly, there is a need to introduce two additional classes, to be designated as „A+” and „A++”, as an interim arrangement until a comprehensive revision of the energy labelling classes takes place. Therefore according to the new directive the energy labelling of household electric refrigerators, freezers and their combinations is now ranging from "A++" for the most energy efficient to "G" for the least efficient.
In the preparation process of the accession to the European Union, Hungary has adopted the EU’s applying energy label directives and regulations control the product categories of the 92/75/EEC Council Directive. According to he regulations in Hungary this label applies to washing an drying machines, and their combinations, lighting sources, refrigerators, freezers and their combinations. The energy label used in Hungary is identical to the Union’s, but besides the EU’s eco-label the Hungarian environment friendly label is also indicated on the energy label.
The Energy Label of Australia
The Energy Rating Label was first introduced in 1986. It is now mandatory in most states and territories of Australia for refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers and air-conditioners to carry the label when they are offered for sale.
The Energy Rating Label has two main features:
- The star rating gives a quick comparative assessment of the model’s energy efficiency
- The comparative energy consumption (kilowatt hours/year) provides an estimate of the annual energy consumption of the appliance based on the tested energy consumption and information about the typical use of the appliance in the home.
Fuel consumption label
From 1 January, 2001, it is a law for all new cars sold in Australia to carry a fuel consumption label on the windscreen at the point of sale. The label should be applied to passenger vehicles, four wheel (4WDs) drives and light commercials (LCVs) up to 2.7 tonnes gross vehicle mass.
The label shows how many litres of fuel the car would use to travel 100 kilometres, in city conditions, tested according to standards set down under Australian Standard AS 2877 - 1986. The label scheme applies to all petrol, diesel and LPG passenger vehicles. However, only petrol LCVs and 4WDs require the label.
Energy 2000 is the result of a Swiss initiative, that now has been adopted by governments in Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden as well. On 23 September, 1990, Swiss voters adopted a constitutional amendment on energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as a 10-year-ban on the construction of new nuclear power plants. This led to a new energy policy with a style of its own. Practical measures and close collaboration between all interested parties replaced mere paperwork and words.
Manufacturer’s own labels:
Ricoh Recycle Label
In order for its products to be quickly recognised as having less environmental impact, the Ricoh Group uses the Ricoh Recycle Label, which ensures compliance with Group standards on recyclable designs, the reuse rate of parts, the collection system, resource recovery, and environmental safety. As of March 2000, five models, including the spirio 5000RM, spirio 7210RM series, spirio 8210RM, and spirio 105BB, have been sold with this label.
Criteria for the Ricoh Recycle Label include:
- Reused parts account for 40% or more of the product's mass (mass ratio);
- At least 90% of the product's mass (mass ratio) can be recovered and recycled in Ricoh's recycling system;
- A system for collecting and processing used products as well as collecting used cartridges and containers has been established.
NOT environmental labels:
The Green Dot (Der Grüne Punkt)
The Green Dot or Grüne Punkt have been set out in Germany in 1991 as a unprecedented waste recycling initiative. The Green Dot means that produces has signed a contract with a specialised enterprise to collect its waste, but does not refer to the products environmentally friendly characteristic.
The Green Dot international: The Green Dot is establishing itself in more and more countries. Today, 20 countries are already using the Green Dot as a financing mark for the collection, sorting and recycling of packaging. Privately organised systems have been set up for this purpose in the ten EU member states: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and Sweden as well as Norway, a member of the European Economic Area, and the EU candidate countries Hungary, Latvia, Lituania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Turkey as well as in Cyprus. In Hungary the collection, sorting and recovery of used sales packaging is organised by Öko-Pannon p.b.c. It was founded by the Hungarian industry in 1996 with the aim of organising the nationwide collection and recovery of packaging waste. Öko-Pannon obtained the right to use the Green Dot in April 2001.
This label is NOT an eco-label, it does not mean that the labelled product has better environmental characteristics than its competitors; it only means that the manufacturer has signed a contract with a subcontractor for collecting its waste.
Möbius Loop recycling symbol
The use of the Möbius Loop recycling symbol to designate recyclable products deals to a large extent with the potential benefit that can be realised through diversion from waste and reduced resource utilisation. This potential cannot be realised unless there are systems and facilities (infrastructure) in place to recycle products and packaging. The benefit comes from reduced dependency on resources by separating the product from the waste stream and recovery of materials by directing them to a recycling facility, either through curbside collection programs or drop off sites. So, this symbol does not represent any improved environmental performance of the labelled product and it can NOT be considered as an eco-label.
In 1988, the American Chemistry Council launched Responsible Care to respond to public concerns about the manufacture and use of chemicals. Through Responsible Care member companies are committed to support a continuing effort to improve the industry's responsible management of chemicals. Responsible Care is an obligation of membership in the American Chemistry Council, and requires member companies to:
- continually improve their health, safety and environmental performance;
- listen and respond to public concerns;
- assist each other to achieve optimum performance and
- report their goals and progress to the public.
This symbol represents commitment to continuous effort towards environmental protection, but it is NOT an eco-label.