In 2009, the manufacturer of a water quality monitoring device, hoping to distribute it in Asia, was asked for evidence of an independent, scientific verification of its performance, so that the buyers could compare it with a similar American product.
More recently, a small company developing a new industrial adhesive looked for a scientifically validated way of proving that their product was as good as they said it was, so that they could compete in a market dominated by larger competitors…
These examples are among many that illustrate the need for an Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) scheme. Verifiable claims made about the performance of an innovative technology help new technologies reach the market. By confirming (or completing) the relevant claims to give a fair and complete view on the technologies, based on scientifically rigorous test results, ETV adds further to the credibility of the information provided by the technology developer.
ETV is implemented by Verification Bodies, which are independent organisations specifically accredited under an ISO standard to implement ETV. If additional tests are needed during the ETV process, a testing body will also be involved. The result of a successful ETV process is a 'Statement of Verification'. This document summarises the actual performance of the verified technology, and it is meant to be used in the usual business-to-business relationship that marketing a new product entails. Statements of Verification may also be used in the context of public procurement procedures and they may be accepted by regulators in authorisation procedures for innovative technologies, e.g. where no standard approval procedure exists.
The ETV process can be summarised as follows:
Three organisations have been ISO accredited as ETV Verification Bodies recently and 10 others are in the process of accreditation. The pilot programme is therefore operational and technology developers can propose technologies for verification in the three fields covered by the ETV pilot: water monitoring and treatment; energy technologies; materials, waste and resources.
Companies interested in having their technologies verified will find all relevant information on the ETV webpage.
In particular, the ETV page on 'Presenting a technology' provides an updated list of ETV Verification Bodies and a step-by-step 'Guide for Proposers' (in 11 languages) explaining the ETV process in detail in a user-friendly way, with practical examples and hints on how companies can make the most of ETV.