What is the Eco-label

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					Press Pack

     THE EUROPEAN ECOLABEL
    FLOWER MONTH CAMPAIGN
  15 September – 15 October 2007




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CONTENTS

    What is the Flower Month?

    What is the European Ecolabel?

    History and development

    Testimonials

    Current product groups

    Green Store for consumers

    Further information




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What is the Flower Month?

    The European Flower Month is an EU campaign to
    promote the European Ecolabel.
    After two successful Flower Week campaigns in 2005 and
    2006, the extended 2007 Flower Month campaign will be
    held between 15 September – 15 October 2007 in seven
    Member States. This will encourage a wide range of
    activities in the different participating countries.
    The objective of this promotional campaign is to increase
    the knowledge of the European Ecolabel and what it
    stands for among consumers, as well as to encourage its
    uptake in the manufacturing and tourism sectors.
    “The Flower makes it easy to choose green”!


    Activities range from in-store actions to seminars and
    competitions to be held on web sites, in magazines, or in
    schools. The seven participating countries are: Czech
    Republic, Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Romania, and
    Spain (Murcia region). The Competent Bodies are the
    national project managers and planned activities vary
    according to local priorities. The focus will be on dialogue
    activities. A key characteristic of the campaign is the
    active involvement of the different stakeholders: retailers,
    license holders, environmental and consumer NGOs.

    The information that follows is intended to provide you
    with background information and a summary of key
    statements.




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What is the European Ecolabel?

    Established in 1992, the EU Ecolabel is a certification
     scheme aimed to promote products and services which
     have a reduced environmental impact thus helping
     European consumers distinguish more environmentally
     friendly products.

    A company is allowed to put the Ecolabel Flower logo on
     its products only when an independent body recognises
     that the product shows compliance with the strict
     ecological and performance criteria of the European
     Ecolabel. The Flower logo offers consumers a guarantee
     of scientific credibility and good quality and provides them
     with the opportunity to identify healthier and more
     environmentally                 friendly            products.
     There are currently twenty-six different product groups
     covering a wide range of categories, from household
     appliances to cleaning products, from home and garden
     to clothing and paper products, and from tourist
     accommodation services to camping services (see below).
     Already more than 400 licences have been awarded for
     several hundred products available on the market.
     Between 2002 and 2005, the number of eco-labelled
     items sold rose by 300%. Sales of ecolabelled products
     now stand at more than € 800 million / year in the EU.

    The EU Ecolabel is administered by the European
     Commission. The European Union Ecolabelling Board
     (EUEB) is the central body of the scheme and is
     mandated to contribute to the setting and review of the
     ecological criteria. It is made up of representatives from
     the Competent Bodies of the Member States and the
     members of the Consultation Forum (representatives of
     consumer and environment NGOs, trade unions, industry,
     SMEs and commerce).




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History and development
            The EU Ecolabel was established in March 1992. The following
             two years were spent drawing up the road map for the
             implementation of the scheme: decisions on procedural
             guidelines, on a standard contract and on establishing the fee
             system.

            In 1993 the first two criteria documents for washing machines
             and dishwashers were adopted. On 25 November 1993 the
             first EU Eco-label was awarded to Hoover for three of their
             washing machines.

            In November 1994 criteria for two further product groups -
             soil improvers and tissue paper - were introduced. Today
             there are 26 product groups with several more in preparation.
             The details on the product group development are illustrated
             below.


                          Development of Product Group Categories
                                        1992 - 2007
                            30



Nr. Product                 20
  Group
Categories                  10



                            0
                                *
                               93

                               94

                               95

                               96

                               97

                               98

                               99

                               00

                               01

                               02

                               03

                               04

                               05

                               06
                              07
                            19

                            19

                            19

                            19

                            19

                            19

                            19

                            20

                            20

                            20

                            20

                            20

                            20

                            20
                           20




 *P revisio n fo r 2007
                                              Year




            Since 1998 the numbers of EU Ecolabel holders shows a
             consistently high rate of growth as illustrated below.




                                                                          5
                       Total Holders 1992 - 2007
                      350

                      300

                      250

                      200
Nr. Holders
                      150

                      100

                        50

                            0




                                                                                                                        **
                                                                                                                   *
                            92

                                  93

                                        94

                                              95

                                                    96

                                                          97

                                                                98

                                                                      99

                                                                            00

                                                                                  01

                                                                                        02

                                                                                              03

                                                                                                    04

                                                                                                          05
                                                                                                               06
                                                                                                                       07
                       19

                                 19

                                       19

                                             19

                                                   19

                                                         19

                                                               19

                                                                     19

                                                                           20

                                                                                 20

                                                                                       20

                                                                                             20

                                                                                                   20

                                                                                                         20
                                                                                                              20
                                                                                                                   20
 *up to 30 September 2006
 ** up to 31 August 2007                                                   Year



          In the year 2000 a new Regulation on the EU Ecolabel entered
           into force aimed at streamlining the scheme and making it
           more attractive to producers. The EU Ecolabelling Board
           (Competent Bodies of Member States and interest groups)
           was created. Reduced fees for SMEs were introduced. Traders
           and retailers were given the possibility to apply directly for the
           “Flower” and the scope of the scheme was broadened to
           services.

          2001 saw the adoption of the Ecolabel working plan which
           looks to the longer term future of the Flower. This includes its
           synergies with other types of environmental labelling and with
           EMAS, its role as a benchmark for public procurement, its
           resources, and the role of the Flower in the wider policy
           framework of sustainable consumption and integrated product
           policy.

          The EU Ecolabel working plan also includes the revision of the
           scheme in 2005. Following a large-scale evaluation study of
           the scheme carried out in 2005, which showed that at micro-
           level, the Ecolabel scheme is achieving its objectives and can
           significantly improve the environmental performance of
           participating organisations, a public consultation took place
           beginning 2007. All these results are being considered and a
           revised Regulation is expected to be agreed within the
           European Commission (EC) later in the year.



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The purpose is to make the European Ecolabel more
business friendly, more focused and robust in relation to
environmental priorities. The EC is thus planning to
fundamentally revise the scheme following several main
objectives:
   – Improving the institutional set-up of the scheme to
      increase efficiency and develop more product groups.
   – Expanding the number of EU Ecolabelled products on
      the shelves for consumers to choose from.
   – Increasing stakeholder involvement in the decision-
      making process.
   – Creating a labelling system which meets the needs of
      Green Public Procurement.
   – Ensuring more consistency between Commission
      instruments.
A major EU-wide marketing push to raise awareness of the
Ecolabel is also envisaged once the scheme has been revised.




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Testimonials from NGOs
       “Ecolabelling is essential in facilitating consumer’s sustainable
       choices favouring the more sustainable segment of products
       and services on the market.”
       Jens Henriksson, The Swedish Consumers' Association

    “The EU Ecolabel is an extremely useful tool to lead
     consumers’ attention towards environmentally friendly
     products.”
     Robert Pochyluk, director of eko-net.pl and since 2005
     president of the Polish Forum ISO 14000

    “Buying ecolabelled products can not only reduce impacts on
     the environment but also encourage more producers to be
     public     and  transparent    about    their   environmental
     performance. Certainly the EU Ecolabel is a consumer’s guide
     to products and services that are more environmentally
     friendly.”
     Montse Torrent, director of the Organització de Consumidores
     I Usuaris de Catalunya (consumer Organisation in Catalunia,
     Spain)

    “The number of labels which exist in Europe        is confusing for
     consumers. The effort to develop a European        Ecolabel known
     to all consumers in Europe is therefore             remarkable. It
     facilitates the message sent to consumers.”
     Andrei Blumer, President, Association of            Ecotourism in
     Romania (AER)

    "The EU Ecolabel is a very important tool for consumers who
     want to make an environmentally friendly and sustainable
     choice. The Flower makes it easy - you see the Flower and
     know that the product wearing it is environmentally sound:
     less dangerous chemicals are used, strict criteria have to be
     fulfilled and the quality of the products has to be at least as
     good as non-labelled products. Also ecolabelled products have
     to use less energy, both in production and in use and have to
     be easy to dispose off, after the consumers have stopped
     using them.”
     Claus Jørgensen, Senior Environmental Adviser, The Danish
     Consumer Council


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Current product groups
    The EU Ecolabel scheme is open to any product and service,
     except food, drink, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
     There are currently twenty-six product categories for which
     ecological criteria have been developed, with several further
     groups under development.

    In all product groups, the relevant ecological issues and the
     corresponding criteria have been identified on the basis of
     comprehensive studies of the environmental aspects related to
     the entire life-cycle of these products.

    An individual product must comply with all environmental and
     performance criteria in order to be awarded the EU Ecolabel.

      List of current product groups:
                 Bed Mattresses
                 Footwear
                 Hard floor coverings
                 Indoor paints and varnishes
                 Light bulbs
                 Soil improvers
                 Growing media
                 Dishwashers
                 Refrigerators
                 Televisions
                 Washing machines
                 All purpose cleaners
                 Dish washing detergents
                 Hand dishwashing detergents
                 Laundry detergents
                 Soaps, shampoos, and conditioners
                 Tissue paper
                 Personal computers
                 Portable computers
                 Copying and graphic paper
                 Textile products
                 Vacuum cleaners
                 Lubricants
                 Tourist accommodation services
                 Camp sites services
                 Heat pumps




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The Green Store
    www.eco-label.com provides an interactive catalogue
     with details of the companies and products that have
     been awarded the EU Ecolabel. Since June 2004 the site
     is available in the 11 languages of EU-15 (English, Danish,
     Spanish, Finnish, Swedish, French, Dutch, German,
     Portuguese, Greek, and Italian). Since October 2006, the
     site is available in the 9 languages of the new Member
     States (Latvian, Czech, Maltese, Hungarian, Lithuanian,
     Estonian, Polish, Slovenian, and Slovakian). By the end of
     2007, the site will also be available in Romanian and
     Bulgarian, the official languages of the two newest EU
     Member States.

    The site offers consumers a basic introduction to the
     European Ecolabel.      They are then able to browse
     through the range of products currently available and
     retrieve information on specific products and their
     manufacturers. Furthermore, the site gives a list of stores
     and provides links to existing on-line shopping sites.

    Since 2005, a search engine for retailers has been added
     to the Green Store. The addition of this service enables
     consumers to not only search for a product via its
     manufacturer, but also to search for retailers selling EU
     Ecolabelled products. European consumers can easily be
     informed about the selling points of environmentally
     friendly products that have been awarded the Flower.

    Whilst the site is primarily aimed at individual consumers,
     it also has links for more technical enquiries and
     manufacturers.

    In 2007, the average number of visits per month is 30209
     (from January to August 2007). This corresponds to a
     200% increase since 2006 and 900% since 2004!




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Further Information

    Fully detailed information on all aspects of the European
     Ecolabel is available on the ecolabel Europa website:

           http://ec.europa.eu/ecolabel/

    This includes a description of the scheme, all background
     documents, downloadable criteria documents and
     information sheets, , contact addresses, news, details of
     on-going work, links to other eco-labels and much more…

    You can also contact the EU Ecolabel Helpdesk

           ecolabel@biois.com

    Targeted information on the new EU Ecolabel in the
     tourism sector can be found at

           www.eco-label-tourism.com




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