Briefly about: Ecolabelling in Europe

Ecolabel is a voluntary form of certification (licensing/declaration) in the European Union applied to a product or service, through which the manufacturer or service provider informs consumers in a standardized way that the environmental impact of the product or service is lower than for other products in the same product group.

The Ecolabel is a voluntary tool of environmental policy for sustainable development and has been awarded to products since 1992. The system is based on the preventive reduction of product manufacturing and service provision impact at all stages of their life cycle.

Ecolabelled products and services must achieve specific, identified standards, depending on the product group. The Ecolabel is evaluated by independent experts, the product undergoes a life cycle assessment and guarantees consumer health protection and responsible production, as the Ecolabel requires manufacturers to make products by:

  • promoting eco-innovation and sustainable production,
  • generating less waste and CO2 during production and use,
  • helping to use energy, water and raw materials smarter,
  • producing items that last longer and are easier to repair,
  • produce items that are easier to recycle.

As a result, by purchasing an eco-labelled product/service, consumers are provided with reliable, non-misleading and scientifically-based information that the product is more environmentally friendly and has a lower environmental impact than other similar products.

Which products are awarded with the Ecolabel?

Clothing and textiles (footwear; textile products); do-it-yourself (indoor and outdoor paints and varnishes); furniture; lubricants; paper products (converted paper products; printed paper; graphic paper; tissue paper and tissue products); cleaning up (dishwasher detergents; industrial and institutional automatic dishwasher detergents; hand dishwashing detergents; industrial and institutional laundry detergents; laundry detergents; hard surface cleaning products; indoor cleaning services;) coverings (hard coverings; wood-, cork- and bamboo-based floor coverings); electronic equipment (televisions); other household items (bed mattresses); personal care products (absorbent hygiene products; rinse-off cosmetic products); tourism accommodation services; gardening (growing media, soil improvers and mulch).

Why should a consumer choose ecolabelled products?

The label is a guarantee that the consumer selects a product with a lower environmental impact, thus making an environmentally-friendly choice. By purchasing these products, buyers can also encourage other manufacturers to choose to offer ecolabelled products.

Why should companies ecolabel their products?

Manufacturers or service providers awarded with the EU Ecolabel license can use it as a recognition tool for responsible business, thus also contributing to the company’s competitiveness and export potential, as the Ecolabel is recognized throughout the EU.

Ecolabel in numbers

Currently, in spring 2021, 78 071 products and services in Europe have been awarded with the Ecolabel. For the product group “Growing media, soil improvers and mulch” 60 products are awarded by the Ecolabel and 17 licenses are issued in Europe.

In Latvia, the authority responsible for awarding the EU Ecolabel is the State Environmental Bureau. In total 36 products have been ecolabelled in Latvia, these products are manufactured by two companies; the majority of these products are cleaning products manufactured by JSC “Spodrība”.