Product certifications

Environmental certification is another instrument able to introduce innovations in products and production technologies, and to stimulate their promotion through mechanisms of market competition. With regard to product certification, different procedures have been developed for the assigning of environmental quality labels worldwide. Germany introduced the “Blauer Engel” program in 1977, making it the first country to implement a national ecolabelling program. Subsequently, still in Europe, the Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland) introduced the “Nordic Swan”, and the Netherlands adopted a national ecolabel named “Stichting Milieukeur”. In 1992 the European Union issued Regulation 880/92, the community system for assigning a seal of ecological quality (European Union Eco-label) for some product typologies, subsequently defined in specific directives. A revised Community Eco-label award scheme has been proposed in July 2000 (Regulation 1980/2000).
Similar initiatives on environmental labeling spread elsewhere (“Green Seal” and “Energy Star” in United States, “Environmental Choice” in Canada, “EcoMark” in Japan, “Ecomark” in India, etc.).
The principal objectives behind these regulations can be summarized as follows:

  • Create a mechanism of voluntary adhesion to promote the market presence of more “environmentally friendly” products

  • Indicate to the consumer the more environmentally favorable products among those present on the market

Also the ISO 14000 standards have specific areas regarding the ecological labeling of products. The ISO 14020 series addresses a range of different approaches to environmental labels and declarations, including self-declared environmental claims, eco-labels, and a possible scheme of environmental declarations for products.





European Union



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