maandag 14 december 2009

European Eco-label not efficient enough?

Due to the large number of eco-labels the European Commission introduced the European Eco-label in 2001. However, after careful consideration the European Commission is convinced that the current system is too expensive and bureaucratic. Therefore they want to use the system more intensively, review existing criteria’s and introduce new guidelines for food and products that consume energy indirectly. First they have to organize a study to investigate if it is possible to create reliable environmentally friendly guidelines for these kind of products. Finally, to reassure the consumers clear rules, practical implementation and maximal reduction of ecological problems are necessary.

Maaike Roekens

Ecolabel for car tires

The European parliament decided there should be an eco-label for car tires. After November 2012 consumers must see an energy label when they buy car tires. Moreover, the use of these tires is not only good for the environment, the consumer can also save almost 10 percent on fuel costs. Therefore they want to divide the tires into classes just like they did for the electronic devices. Introducing an eco-label for car tires is a part of a group of measures the European parliament wants to realize in order to reduce energy consumption with at least 20 percent before 2020.

Maaike Roekens

Ecover versus the European Eco-label

According to Ecover, the restrictions to gain an European Eco-label are not severe enough and the surveillance after obtaining the label is very poor. A manufacturer can receive the Eco-label after passing an examination of the European Union Eco-labelling Board (EUEB). That is why Ecover performed several tests on fifteen products, all in possession of the Eco-label. They discovered only two products passed the tests successfully even though they still contained harmful phosphates. Ecover does not own an Eco-label, however, the company claims her standards are much stricter. As a result the consumer confusion grows, they do not know what to believe anymore.

Maaike Roekens

woensdag 2 december 2009

The Green Key Standard

Hotels around the world are making an effort to provide travelers with an eco-friendly option for travelling. Hotels have to meet several strict requirements and criteria in order to be awarded “the green key standard” which is a specific eco-label for leisure organizations such as hotels and resorts. Therefore, they have to set up an energy-saving project which includes first of all, better waste management, second, staff education about energy efficiency and finally, investments in ,for example, solar panels. “The green key” provides travelers the opportunity to choose a climate responsible alternative for their ultimate dream holiday.

Eveline Poppe.

maandag 23 november 2009

Number of eco-labels has boomed in last three years

According to the website, the number of eco-labels in Belgium has tripled since 2006. Already 298 products have an eco-label attached to their name comparing to only 77 in 2006. Although it is not extremely tough to obtain an eco-label, the organization, which generates these eco-labels, looks out to keep a tight rein on these labels by composing new benchmarks every year. Subsequently only one third of all products are able to retain their eco-label. As a result, consumers have an excellent overview of which products are for sale on the Belgian market that carry an eco-label.

Rolly Celine

woensdag 18 november 2009

Eco-labels in China

The awareness of environmental issues is increasing with Chinese customers and companies. Although China already has its own environmental friendly labeling, it would be interesting for China to have an eco-label for the export of televisions. As figures show, the export of Chinese (colour)televisions is massive with a number up to 18.939 million televisions a year. With an eco-label, Chinese stakeholders would have several advantages such as improved market opportunities in Europe as well as financial benefits because of, for example, the savings on energy and water. Therefore it would be motivating for China to have an eco-label from Europe attached to their industry besides their own.

Rolly Celine

maandag 16 november 2009

Universal standard ?

Together with the booming number of eco-labels, several questions about the truthfulness and reliability of those labels have risen. Lately, some sources have reported severe abuse of eco-labels; rumors about companies buying their eco-labels through the internet, are widely spread. Therefore, the government is obliged to set rules and provide guidance for eco-labeling in order to be able to provide a trustworthy eco-label system. A good system would contain different criteria for each group of products , a third party review and severe punishment when abuse occurs. In conclusion, an Universal standard for “environmentally friendly ” claiming products is necessary to ensure the reliability of the assigned eco-labels.

Eveline Poppe

zaterdag 14 november 2009

Eco-labeling at Wal-mart.

Wal-mart, the world largest retailer, is eager to participate in the current eco-label race. Wal-Mart stores inc has announced to plan labeling every single item in the store with a “sustainability index” in order to please the increasing number of consumers who are demanding environmentally friendly merchandise. This index would resemble the worldwide known food label and provide a variety of information such as the number of toxins and the amount of energy needed for production or recycling.
With the index, Wal-Mart stores inc paves the way for its current goal: " using only renewable energy and therefore creating zero waste."

Eveline Poppe

donderdag 5 november 2009

New guidelines to solve problems concerning eco-labels

The FAO* Committee of Fisheries (COFI) took new guidelines for eco-labeling on board to help out marine fisheries. These guidelines are made to assist countries and organizations who wish to use an eco-label but are not confident in how the procedure works to create a proper eco-label. Eco-labels are beneficial for both organizations/countries and the marine fisheries. However, they can cause various problems such as confusing costumers. Moreover, a rather large problem is that it is not easy for underdeveloped countries to obtain an eco-label since they do not have the financial and technological resources similar to western countries which leads to inequitable competition. As a result of these guidelines there would be better equal opportunities for all.

*Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Rolly Celine