Call for expression of interest Boosting the circular economy amongst SMEs in Europe
The European Commission invites: SME support organisations, green solution providers and regional authorities in the European Union to put themselves forward if they are interested in participating in a pilot project providing them respectively with training, support and policy advice regarding resource efficiency, eco-innovation and circular economy.
For this project we are looking for:
If you are interested to participate please look for more information and submit an expression of interest before September 18th September 2017 by filling in the digital application that are located at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/funding/circular-economy-smes/
Please feel free to disseminate this information to potentially interested parties in your network!
If you have any further question please write to ENV-PILOT-PROJECT@ec.europa.eu
EU Ecolabel Workshop in Bonn, Germany on 10th July
To encourage wider EU Ecolabel certification within the floor covering and furniture sector the Competent Body for the EU Ecolabel in Germany (RAL gGmbH) organised together with the European Commission a workshop on the new EU Ecolabel criteria for Furniture and Wood-, cork- and bamboo-based floor coverings. Guest speakers from the European Laminate flooring industry and from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) shared their views on challenges and benefits of the EU Ecolabel.
Attending participants from manufacturing sectors, as well as retailers, associations could find out how and why to apply for the EU Ecolabel, one of the most practical tools of the Circular Economy.
The presentations and the agenda of the workshop (in German) can be found here.
EMAS and EU Ecolabel Fitness Check
On 30 June 2017 the Commission adopted a report presenting the conclusions of the extensive evaluation (Fitness Check) of the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and of the EU Ecolabel scheme.
The purpose of the Fitness Check was to analyse the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and the EU added value of the EMAS and EU Ecolabel schemes. In doing so, the Fitness Check assessed if the EU Ecolabel regulation is fit for purpose, whether its objectives have been met and whether implementation has been done in a cost-effective way.
You can find the Commission Report to the European Parliament and to the Council, the Fitness Check and the accompanying documents below:
- Commission Report to the European Parliament and to the Council
- Fitness Check
- Executive Summary of the Fitness Check
- Supporting evaluation study and synthesis report
- Press Release
The first EU Ecolabel SHOWROOM a great success!
Between June 21 and 25, the first EU Ecolabel pop-up venue, The SHOWROOM, landed in the centre of Brussels to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the label. It featured over one hundred of the EU Ecolabel’s most emblematic products and services, from textiles, clothing and furniture, to detergents, cosmetics and paints to name a few.
On 21 June The SHOWROOM was officially opened by Mr Kestutis Sadauskas, Director for Circular Economy and Green Growth, DG Environment, and Mr Henning Scholtz, President of the European Union Ecolabelling Board. The EU Ecolabelling Board and the national EU Ecolabel Competent Bodies were also there.
On 23 June Mr Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, together with Ms Marie-Christine Marghem, Belgian Federal Minister of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development paid an official visit to The SHOWROOM. They demonstrated the effectiveness of EU Ecolabelled products by cleaning The SHOWROOM window with an EU Ecolabelled detergent.
The SHOWROOM provided the opportunity to engage the public in learning more about the EU Ecolabel and the products certified by it. The space had the goal of showcasing how prevalent Europe’s most trusted ecolabel has become after 25 years. There were two animators for the duration of the event who encouraged passers-by to visit the SHOWROOM and who explained the principles of the EU Ecolabel to them.
For 5 days, a series of activities related to sustainable production, products and consumption ran alongside the main exhibition, including workshops on reuse and leading a zero waste lifestyle. 4 school classes also visited The SHOWROOM and were given a presentation on the EU Ecolabel and sustainable products.
There was also a competition to win two nights in an EU Ecolabelled hotel in Bruges.
Plans of similar installations in other European cities are on-going so stay tuned for an EU Ecolabelled SHOWROOM near you!
More pictures can be found here.
Press coverage:French Fashion Touch, 06/2017 , ''ÉCOLABEL AVEC LA COMMISSION EUROPÉENNE, BRUXELLES''
The European Commission DG ENV hosted the third webinar of the EU Ecolabel!
Together with the Belgian and Danish Competent Bodies and Coop Italia, DG Environment explored possibilities to build stronger partnerships with retailers to better promote consumer products with the EU Ecolabel and to showcase how retailers can benefit too by integrating the EU Ecolabel in their CSR and marketing.
Sustainable consumption has become a trend. More and more customers care about where and how their products are made and they want to be sure that their store also cares. But with the mushrooming of green claims and labels, it is difficult for consumers to distinguish between genuine green marketing and green washing. The EU Ecolabel offers advantages to consumers, producers and retailers alike, by providing a clear environmental message and a sound way of communicating companies' commitment to sustainability.
The webinar was well attended by retailers, producers and stakeholders from civil society and concluded by a lively discussion.
You can find the agenda and presentations here; the recording of the webinar is available here. (90 min - mp4, 65 MB).
Sustainable laundry from Holland to Dubai
Millions of liters of cleaning agents leave Spectro every year. Recently, Spectro has received the EU Ecolabel for their Ecodet Laundry Detergents.
This Dutch family company has made professional cleaning agents for over 50 years. When Laurens’ generation took over the company, they chose to go for a new direction. “We are always moving forward,” says CEO Laurens Metternich, “Sustainability and innovation are core values for us.”
Intelligent dosing system
Laurens continues, “Now we offer highly concentrated laundry detergents in an intelligent dosing system, which is connected to the washing machine. The user will dose the laundry detergent with the simple touch of a button. Overdosing becomes a thing from the past. In addition, you can monitor the amount of laundry product used. The dispenser is also energy neutral: it has a special battery and a solar panel so that it can recharge itself.”
EU Ecolabel = Recognition
With this product, Spectro is aiming for semi-professional washing machines. Metternich explains, “For example care homes, sports clubs, restaurants, hotels or contract cleaners. We have made the system as user-friendly as possible, with simple colour coding for the different types of products. We wanted the EU Ecolabel because for us it means recognition and it is broadly accepted in tenders from the government and other organisations.”
Finding the right fragrance
“The certification of the two laundry detergents went fairly smoothly”, says Metternich. “We already have a lot of products with the EU Ecolabel, which made it easier for us. The biggest challenge was to find a fragrance that keeps the fibres fresh and meets the EU Ecolabel requirements at the same time. With the help of our fragrance supplier we were successful and we have received the certificate for these products”.
Growth market in Dubai
Metternich has high expectations for this product: “It’s market is expanding more and more throughout Europe and even outside of Europe. An important growth market is Dubai. It’s not what you would expect, but there is a lot of interest in sustainable products over there. And for them the EU Ecolabel is reliable proof for a sustainable product with high quality”.
Win a beautiful set of EU Ecolabel organic cotton towels!
The Austrian Competent Body is organising a competition to celebrate 25 years of the EU Ecolabel and YOU can participate and win! The prize is a high quality set of EU Ecolabelled organic cotton towels (bath towel, hand towel and washcloth) from Framsohn.
Enter here to win.
The contest runs until April 23rd 2017.
Recycled polyester made from used plastic bottles - new EU Ecolabel awards for Camira
Coinciding with the 25th Anniversary celebrations of the EU Ecolabel, UK based interior textile designer and manufacturer Camira have been awarded the EU Ecolabel for their latest wool and polyester fabric launches.
Camira’s first EU Ecolabel accreditation originally came in 2011 for a collection of recycled polyester fabrics. They have since expanded their certificate to include 17 different product ranges. Most recently in 2017, they have achieved certification for new fabrics Patina, Synergy, Synergy 170, Individuo and Rivet.
Launched in February 2017, Patina is Camira’s newest performance wool and flax blend available in 43 different colourways. Synergy is made from premium New Zealand wool and available in 75 shades. Panel fabric Synergy 170 is available in 24 carefully selected Synergy colours and Individuo has a fluid, graduated appearance where no two areas of the fabric are same. Rivet meanwhile is made from 100% REPREVE®, a brand of recycled polyester made from used plastic bottles, Rivet celebrates Camira’s 20 years’ experience in designing and manufacturing recycled fabrics.
Paul Arnold, Sustainability Manager at Camira commented, “Sustainability considerations are at the heart of our design and manufacturing processes. We’re proud to have our developments in environmental innovation recognised by the EU Ecolabel, which allows textile specifiers to create fully certified fabric schemes for commercial interiors.”
Environmental and skin friendly: EU Ecolabel for liquid soap "Ecosan" by Peter Greven Physioderm (PGP)
The German Competent Body visited the company in Euskirchen as PGP has received the EU Ecolabel for their B2B liquid soap last year. The visit was used to congratulate PGP for their environmental engagement that by far exceeds the legal requirements and is best communicated by the voluntary EU Ecolabel.
"Consumers are increasingly interested in buying products that are better for the environment. But they also want products with a high quality" says Henning Scholtz from the German Competent Body RAL gGmbH, who awarded PGP the premium Ecolabel. Health related issues are important for professional skin cleaners that are used several times a day. PGP liquid soap is also skin friendly and suitable for people who suffer from allergies.
Bert Nolte (PGP), Henning Scholtz (RAL), Robert Bornicke (PGP)
Happy birthday to us and them!
23rd of March is a big day for EU companies and consumers! It's been 25 years since the EU Ecolabel scheme was launched and adopted in EU law as a voluntary ecolabel award scheme. 25 years on, and the EU Ecolabel continues to help consumers lead a healthier, safer and more sustainable lifestyle across Europe and beyond. There are 40 000 EU Ecolabel products and services currently covered by the scheme. For your company it:
- CERTIFIES that your product is among the most environmentally-friendly in its class
- DIFFERENCIATES your product on the global market
- SHOWCASES your company's CSR and commitments to sustainable production, and
- CONTRIBUTES to achieving a circular economy.
The EU Ecolabel appreciates all the licence holders and partners that believe in sustainability and help us promoting the heathy and responsible lifestyle amongst EU citizens and companies.
Applications open: EU Ecolabel National Awards 2017
The Italian Ecolabel-Ecoaudit Committee and ISPRA, the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, encourage all current license holders to apply for the EU Ecolabel Awards for:
1) The best communication campaign relating to a product or service certified in Italy, which has contributed to increasing the recognition of the label
2) The most innovative product or service from an environmental perspective (in terms of design, use, etc.)
License holders can apply to one or both of the awards. Winners will be selected for each enterprise category (micro, small and medium enterprises, large enterprises).
More information can be found here.
Applications must be received by April 30th, 2017.
Great success for the round table on environmental product certifications with focus on EU Ecolabel at H3i
On the 8th of March 2017, Punto 3 Srl held a roundtable in collaboration with GSA - the Journal of Environmental Services themed ''Environmental product certifications: a market opportunity?'' as part of the H3i - Household, Industrial & Institutional Ingredients Event. Within a lively and dynamic format, the speakers discussed a very sensitive topic in front of a numerous and interested audience.
The panel was composed of: Walter Bertozzi (Certiquality), Gianluca Cesarei (Ispra - Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), Massimiliano Fadin (Per Pulire), Salvatore Inglese (Sutter Professional), Massimo Grignani (Werner & Mertz) and Maria Cristina Poggesi (Ippr - Institute for the Promotion of recycled plastic).
Environmental certifications were the focus of the debate, starting of course from EU Ecolabel, which is increasingly considered as a commercial opportunity, as well as a tool for protecting the environment and human health. Moreover, the audience was informed about the contents of the next Ecolabel criteria on detergents, which will soon be published. During the conference some meaningful evolutions have been predicted, such as the possibility of selling detergents in recycled plastic containers, with similar performance to traditional ones.
The European Commission DG ENV and JRC IPTS hosted the second webinar of the 2017 webinar series on March 9th for the rinse off cosmetic product group.
With growing consumer demand for environmentally neutral and socially responsible personal care products, and a market where sustainability is the new norm, it is the perfect time for companies leading in corporate social responsibility to become recognised with a reliable environmental label.
To encourage wider EU Ecolabel certification within the rinse off cosmetics product group, the EU Ecolabel team hosted another promotional webinar, explaining the criteria, the certification process, and the support tools available for potential applicants. The webinar was well-attended by industry stakeholders, retailers, chambers of commerce and cosmetics/chemicals associations and followed by a lively Q&A.
The recording of the webinar is available here (68 min - mp4, 112 MB).
Keep an eye out for future webinars and workshops on specific product groups, which will also be available for anyone to attend.
1st AHWG meeting for the revision of EU Ecolabel for the products group Lubricants
1st AhWG for Lubricants product group was organised by JRC Circular Economy and Industrial Leadership unit in Seville. It was attended by high number of stakeholders, industry representatives and NGOs. JRC has presented preliminary report that includes revision of scope and definition and range of improvements for the current criteria set in order to increase the ambition level and improve the environmental performance of lubricants product group. Mainstreaming and simplification of verification process is also one of the goals.
Stakeholders can provide comments on technical report and criteria proposals by the end of February. 2nd AhWG is planned for October 2017 and final report for 2018.
Revised EU Ecolabel criteria published by the European Commission on 2nd of February
In the Circular Economy Action Plan the Commission has pledged to take action to enhance the uptake of the EU Ecolabel. Following up on this, on 25 January 2017, the Commission has adopted a revised set of criteria for the service group "Tourism Accommodation" and product group "Wood-, Cork- and Bamboo-based Floor Coverings", in accordance with the EU Ecolabel Regulation.
Tourist Accommodation services (Decision 2017/175/EC): The new simplified service group will help EU citizens who want to travel sustainably and make an informed decision about their accommodation. The criteria, which were drafted in collaboration with several Commission services, stakeholders and industry, address present-day environmental hotspots of the hotels sector such as energy and water consumption, and waste generation. Criteria also address the problem of food waste and propose measures like: educating the guests on food waste, monitoring of food waste, preventive actions against food waste, as well as encouraging accommodations to provide local and seasonal products. For the first time criteria also address the social dimension by including new requirements related to employee minimum wage, insurance and working hours. Currently, there are 796 licences that are held by individual entrepreneurs or big hotel groups, please see our catalogue to discover the range of EU Ecolabel hotels.
A new product group "Wood-, Cork- and Bamboo-based Floor Coverings" is replacing the previous criteria for "Wooden Floor Coverings". The new criteria require that most of the virgin wood, cork and bamboo used in the finished products originate from certified sustainably managed forests. In addition, the Commission has updated a set of requirements to ensure lower energy consumption for manufacturing. Furthermore, the new criteria limit the VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) content of some raw materials; ban the use of flame retardants as well as other harmful chemicals. Currently only an Italian manufacturer "Lignum Venetia"that represents this product group, but knowing the potential of the wooden sector, the European Commission together with the JRC Circular Economy & Industrial Leadership team is planning to organise a series of workshops to increase the number of licences. The first one targeting the wood product sector will take place in Germany during the first half of the year.
MEP breakfast on food waste reduction - 31 January 2017 - European Parliament
Today MEP Biljana Borzan and HOTREC invited stakeholders from the hospitality sector to present initiatives on tackling food waste.
HOTREC, the umbrella association of national trade associations representing the hotels, restaurants, cafés and similar establishments in Europe, developed guidelines for hospitality establishments to reduce food waste.
Last week, new criteria for the EU Ecolabel for tourist accommodations have been adopted by the European Commission. They focus on addressing present day environmental hotspots of the hotel sector (e.g. water and energy consumption, and waste generation) also addressing requirements on food waste reduction. Measures include monitoring of food waste, preventative actions and educating guests. They also encourage accommodations to provide local, seasonal and organic products.
The EU Ecolabel gives excellence recognition to those organisations that reduce the environmental impact of their activities. The EU Ecolabel welcomes HOTREC's guidelines as they complement the EU Ecolabel requirements and offer practical measures for reducing food waste in the hospitality sector.
The European Commission launched its first webinar on EU Ecolabel for Personal, Notebook and Tablet Computers on the 23rd of January 2017
The European Commission recently adopted new EU Ecolabel criteria for computers (personal, notebook and tablet computers). These new criteria make the EU Ecolabel a leader in promoting a circular economic model by improving energy efficiency, restricting hazardous substances and encouraging designs that lead to a longer product lifetime and make repairs, upgrade and recycling easier.
To encourage wider EU Ecolabel certification within the computers sector, the EU Ecolabel team hosted a promotional webinar explaining the new criteria, the certification process and the support tools available for potential applicants, such as the Competent Bodies and the Computer User Manual. The webinar was well attended and was followed by a lively Q&A session.
Keep an eye out for future webinars and workshops on specific product groups, which will also be available for anyone to attend.
Ecolabel Awarding Ceremony, Vienna, Austria
Federal Minister Andrä Rupprechter awarded the EU and Austrian Ecolabels to 30 environmentally-friendly companies during the Ecolabel Awarding Ceremony in Vienna, Austria. The event took place at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management on December 20th, 2016.
Federal Minister Andrä Rupprechter with an award recipient
Rupprechter emphasized the importance of what the Ecolabel stands for: ''These companies combine sustainable business with entrepreneurial success. They stand for environmental compatibility and high quality, their ecological commitment goes far beyond legal requirements.''
Federal Minister Andrä Rupprechter presenting about the EU and Austrian Ecolabels
Federal Minister Andrä Rupprechter with an award recipient
Products or services of the following companies were awarded with the EU Ecolabel during the ceremony:
- Ueberreuter Print & Packaging GmbH (Austria)
- Paul Gerin GmbH & Co KG (Austria)
- VIGL-DRUCK GmbH (Austria)
- BUCHER AG MOTOREX Schmiertechnik (Switzerland)
Hand Dishwashing Detergents
- Tana-Chemie Gmbh (Germany)
- Swiss Quality Paper AG
Tourist Accommodation Services
- Hotel Schani (Austria)
National Quality Awards Ceremony at Prague Castle, Czech Republic
The National Quality Awards Ceremony took place at the Prague Castle on November 22nd, 2016. The best performing companies and organizations were awarded national quality awards and the National Award of the Czech Republic for social responsibility and sustainable development. Two of the national quality awards are the EU Ecolabel and the Czech Ecolabel. This ceremony had the patronage of Czech President Milos Zeman, chairman of the Senate Petr Pithart, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Minister of Industry and Trade Jan Mládek, and many other distinguished guests. It also saw active participation of businesses, representatives of business associations and organizations, and the media.
National Quality Awards Ceremony at Prague Castle, Czech Republic
CENIA, the Czech Environmental Information Agency has decided to highlight and reward two organizations this year, Triangl and SEVER.
Triangl, A.S. has achieved the EU Ecolabel in the printed paper product group, as the third organization in the Czech Republic. The Triangl a.s. company is one of the most important and best-equipped printing companies in the Czech Republic, with more than 20 years' experience. This company is also certified in ISO 9001:2009, PEFC, FSC.
The Environmental Education Centre SEVER in Tradition, Outdoors and Culture House TOUCH (DOTEK) and in the building of school in Horní Maršov - this organization obtained the EU Ecolabel certificate for the Tourist Accommodation Services product group. They also achieved the Czech Ecolabel 'Environmentally friendly service'. SEVER is one of the largest and oldest Czech non-governmental organizations in the field of environmental and development education (sustainability education), which is situated in the highest mountains and the oldest national park of the Czech Republic, the Krkonoše Mountains.
From left: representative of SEVER; Deputy Minister for Section of EU Funds, Economic and Voluntary Instruments at the Ministry of Environment - Ing. Jan Kříž; Director of Technical Environmental Protection Department of CENIA - RNDr. Jan Prášek; and representative of Triangl, A.S.
Global Ecolabelling Network commits to growth, consistency and leadership
The EU Ecolabel team attended the Annual General Meeting of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) in Kiev, Ukraine (October 18-20, 2016). Within the framework of the event the presentation on Circular Economy package and its main principles and how the EU Ecolabel can acts as a pioneer in promoting circular economy was given by European Commission.
GEN currently has a network of over 30 members, associates and affiliates, spread across some 60 countries and territories. It is the world's pre-eminent network of ISO-defined "Type 1" ecolabels.
Press conference: European standards for sustainable Development of Ukraine new directions, new opportunities: interpreter, Svetlana Berzina (Green Mind), Kristine Dorosko (European Commission), Ulf Jaeckel (Federal Ministry for Environment Germany), Björn-Erik Lönn (Nordic Swan)
Successful participation or partnership is to be continued or increased with compatible international organisations and programmes, such as UNEP-10YFP (the UN Environment Programme 10 year framework of programmes), GIZ programmes (the German agency for international cooperation for sustainable development) and the World Green Building Council.
Delegates voted to accept the application of software giant Google Inc. for affiliate membership. The information technology company has introduced a green procurement policy consistent with the most stringent sustainability requirements of GEN, and in its application has vowed to support the network in its outreach.
Over the three days, members also attended workshops on communications, strategic outreach and ecolabel effectiveness measurement, and discussed a pilot mobile device app for recognising ecolabelled products, developed and presented by the Russian Vitality Leaf programme.
Global Green Destination Day - Ljubljana, Slovenia (27-28 September 2016)
The EU Ecolabel was given recognition to sustainable tourist accommodations and campsites across Europe. It is a proud partner of the 2016 Global Green Destinations Day, and the European Commission joined the celebration of World Tourism Day in Ljubljana, European Green Capital 2016. To get more insight of the event, check the following link : http://greendestinationsday.com/word-partnereu-ecolabel/
A new search portal for EU Ecolabel products and tourist Accommodations is coming soon...
The EU Ecolabel Catalogue (ECAT) is undergoing a mass update to have a fresh new look! The Catalogue is a search portal that makes it easier to sport out the product, see the pictures of the product and read more information on your selected product. The EU Ecolabel Product Catalogue and Tourist Accommodation Catalogue are now separated, bringing about refined search results with its optimised drop down menus and search boxes. There will be also a mobile friendly version and you will be able to browse through our product range directly from you smartphone.
EU Ecolabel and EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) assessed under REFIT
The Commissions Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) aims to assess the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and EU added value of specific parts of the EU acquis. The EU Ecolabel and EMAS Regulations have been selected to be part of this exercise. The results are expected by the end of 2016.
Read the August 2016 press release on the European Commission's newest set of ecological criteria, adopted under the existing EU Ecolabel scheme for the product groups of: Furniture, Footwear and Computers.
From now on, manufacturers of footwear, furniture and computers (personal, notebook and tablet computers) who wish to benefit from the EU Ecolabel will have to comply with strict requirements that focus on the environmental performance of the product, but also cover product safety and social aspects.
Discover the shortlist for the LIFE 2016 funding
The EU LIFE programme offers funding possibilities for projects that protect the environment and tackle the impact of climate change.
Under the LIFE "traditional projects" category, LIFE may fund best-practice, demonstration, pilot or information, awareness and dissemination projects.