e1 National Implementation of Eco-labelling in Hungary Ministry of Environment and Water Ankara, 22-23 March 2007 Andrea NÁM head of section Slayt 1 e1 eurotek; 22.03.2007 Eco-labelling in Hungary • Before accession to the EU The Hungarian environmental label was established by the Ministry of Environment and Regional Development • After accession to the EU The national and the European systems are operated in parallel Objective of environmental-labelling in Hungary • Improvement of environmental awareness of manufacturers, service providers and consumers • Giving reliable information to consumers on the environmental characteristics of a product or a service • Decreasing environmental load of consumption National environmental-labelling organisation • The “Hungarian Eco-labelling Organisation” (HELO) was established in 1994 by the Ministry of Environment and Regional Development • The system was set up by using the German Blue Angel (1978) and the EU Eco-label scheme as examples • Characteristics of the system : independent, neutral, involves the interested parties and the definition of criteria are set based on the life cycle analysis • The objective of the Eco-labeling Organisation (HELO) is to promote manufacturers and trade organisations in producing and distributing environment-friendly products and to inform the consumers about the environmental characteristics of the products and services. Legal background • Decision of Hungarian Government No. 3325/1993. (3. Sept. 1993.) – on setting up an “Environmentally Friendly” product differentiation and certification system. • Act LIII of 1995. on the General Rules of the Protection of the Environment – creates the legal basis of the system • Decree of Minister for Environment and Regional Development No. 29/1997. (VIII. 29.) amended by the decree of the Minister for Environment and Water No. 9/2004. (V.25) –regulates the operation of the system Institutional background Placement of the non profit organisation (HELO) offices in Budapest, Hungary Staffing 1 director 2 senior counsellors 2 administrative/financial persons experienced in the national scheme Experts contracted by HELO Income of HELO • Yearly contribution from Ministry of Environment and Water • Fees payed by the users of the eco-labels • Others POSSIBLE PRODUCT GROUPS in the National Scheme • ANY PRODUCTS OR SERVICES with considerable environmental advantage considering the whole life cycle Excluded: food products, beverages, pharmaceuticals, medical products for professionals SELECTION OF PRODUCT GROUP in the National Scheme Proposal by any Stakeholder to HELO Decision of the Assessment Committee Draft criteria consulted with the Ministry Decision of the acceptance Assessment Committee refusa Publishing the criteria Modification l by HELO by experts Awarding the national Eco-label in the National Scheme Application to HELO Assessment Decision of the Assessment Committee acceptance refusal Minister of Environment HELO awards the label informs the applicant HELO contract with the applicant publication of award Applicant uses the label pays annual fee Involvement of stakeholders • Assessment Committee of the National Scheme with the representation of competent ministries, NGOs, scientific, manufacturing, trading, consumer and environmentalist organisations, Type of criteria in Hungary • 51 criteria Examples: Fridges, construction materials, shopping bags, fire extinguishers, paper products etc. Usage of the national label • Registered logo at the Hungarian Patent Office • Logo can be used on the product, advertisements, leaflets etc. • Length of a contract for the use of the logo - until the expiry of the product group criteria (max. 5 years) • Contract can be extended/renewed if product group criteria remain unchanged, if not, new application needed Eco-labelling in Hungary The Hungarian Eco-label -Chestnut oak tree Fees • The application fees are uniform for both labels (approx. 600 Euro + VAT) • The fee for using the eco-label is calculated based on the annual sales of the labelled product (For EU labels it is 0.15% of the annual sales, for Hungarian labels it is 0.2% of the annual sales). • 25% reduction for SMSs and applicants having ISO 14001 and/or EMAS (cumulative) The Flower, the eco-label of the EU European eco-labels EU Flower Nordic Swan Austria France Germany Netherlands Spain Sweden Central and Eastern Europe Croatia Poland Czech Republic Slovakia Latvia Compatibility of national and EU criteria • Since accession only those criteria are elaborated for which no EU criteria are available • If criteria already existed those were harmonised on a case by case basis • If a product complies with the EU scheme the national label can also be awarded on request Compatibility of national and EU criteria (2) • The two systems are operated in parallel • The national eco-labelling system is more flexible, can take into consideration national characteristics and priorities • The elaboration of national criteria are quicker • The steps to be followed when awarding the label are similar Number of Award Criteria and Awarded Contracts in the EU eco- Label scheme 350 336 1997 300 279 1998 1999 250 217 2000 200 2001 163 150 2002 124 91 2003 100 2004 50 25 253036 50 6 121717 19212224 17 2005 0 2006 Number of Award Criteria and Awarded Contracts in the Hungarian National Scheme 120 1994 106 1995 97 100 1996 80 82 1997 80 1998 68 63 1999 60 49 51 54 2000 4245 2001 36 36 40 3333 2002 2832 27 31 24 2003 17 20 10 15 2004 5 5 2005 1 0 2006 Awarded Eco-labels by Company Nordic Swan > 1200 companies (Sweden 681, Denmark 294) Germany > 700 EU Flower > 350 Netherlands > 180 France > 90 Czech Republic > 73 Austria > 59 Hungary > 18 Experiences concerning textiles and tourism • Bed mattresses – national eco-label • Hotel – EU eco-label Competitor of the label is the award of the tourist association Operation of the EU eco-labelling system (1) • Designation of the Competent Body (gov. Decree in 2003) : CB is the Ministry of Environment and Water with the involvement of the Hungarian Eco-labelling Organisation and the Assessment Committee Operation of the EU eco-labelling system (2) Responsibilities of HELO • Information of stakeholders and public • Managing the assessment procedure • Participating in European Union Eco-Labelling Board (EUEB) Operation of the EU eco-labelling system (3) Responsibilities of the Ministry of Environment and Water • Providing legal, strategic and financial conditions • Decision on awarding the label • Participation in EUEB • Voting in the Regulatory Committee Assessment procedure • Accepting applications and fees (HELO) • Assessing of product (HELO) • Consultation with relevant competent bodies (HELO) • Proposal to awarding the label (HELO) • Decision on awarding the label (Ministry) • Contracting (HELO) • Announcement to EU and public (HELO) • Monitoring compliance (HELO) Fees in details • Application fee 150 000 HUF (~600 Euro) reductions: for SMS-s 25 % for developing countries 25 % • Annual fee 0.15 % min. 120 000, max. 6.5 mill. HUF reductions: for SMS-s 25 % for developing countries 25 % for EMAS or ISO 14001 15 % cumulative, max. 50 % Advantages of the eco-label holders • Cost efficient production – less energy, water, raw materials used, less waste generated • Might generate more income • Less advertising costs • Advantages provided by law (e.g.. tax and charge reductions, public procurement) Risks • Lack of interest (no subsidies) • Low public awareness (few labelled products on the market) • Competition with misleading labels • Misleading approach (expensive, label on one product downgrades the other products of a company, EMS is enough) Homepages • www. okocimke.kvvm.hu • www.környezetbarat-termek.hu Thank you!