THE EUROPEAN ECOLABEL
FLOWER MONTH CAMPAIGN
15 September – 15 October 2007
What is the Flower Month?
What is the European Ecolabel?
History and development
Current product groups
Green Store for consumers
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
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
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).
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
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
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
Development of Product Group Categories
1992 - 2007
Nr. Product 20
*P revisio n fo r 2007
Since 1998 the numbers of EU Ecolabel holders shows a
consistently high rate of growth as illustrated below.
Total Holders 1992 - 2007
*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
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
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.
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
– 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-
– Creating a labelling system which meets the needs of
Green Public Procurement.
– Ensuring more consistency between Commission
A major EU-wide marketing push to raise awareness of the
Ecolabel is also envisaged once the scheme has been revised.
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
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
Montse Torrent, director of the Organització de Consumidores
I Usuaris de Catalunya (consumer Organisation in Catalunia,
“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
"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
Claus Jørgensen, Senior Environmental Adviser, The Danish
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:
Hard floor coverings
Indoor paints and varnishes
All purpose cleaners
Dish washing detergents
Hand dishwashing detergents
Soaps, shampoos, and conditioners
Copying and graphic paper
Tourist accommodation services
Camp sites services
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
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
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!
Fully detailed information on all aspects of the European
Ecolabel is available on the ecolabel Europa website:
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
Targeted information on the new EU Ecolabel in the
tourism sector can be found at