Home  EnviroNews  International Conferences  Picture Gallery  Sponsor  Contact  Search  Site Map



Vol. 5 No. 2 - April 1999

Ecolabels-Environment Friends

By: N. Singh1 and D. Brown2

The issue of environmental protection has brought the government, the business community and the consumers on to a common platform where each is to play its role. With the past experience it is now amply clear that only the regulatory actions by pollution control agencies alone cannot restore the environment to its even present day state thus surely the time has come for consumers to take lead in promoting manufacturers tc adopt clean and eco­friendly technologies and environmentally safe disposal of used products through preventive and mitigative approaches. The increasing 'green' consciousness among the people, particularly the consumers have eventually promoted the governments to bring in environment related guidelines to regulate trade.

"Ecolabels" generally represent a holistic judgement, giving an overall assessment of a product's environmental quality relative to other products in the same category. The criteria follows a cradle-to-grave approach, i.e., from raw material extraction, to manufacturing and to disposal.

Environmental     labelling    can accomplish several goals:

·         Improving sales or image of a labelled product;

·         coupled with publicity campaigns, it can stimulate consumer awareness that their purchases do affect the environment as some products are worse for the environment than others;

·         directing manufacturer to account for the environmental impact of their products; and

·         ultimately, improving the quality of the environment and encouraging the sustainable management of resources.

Internationally, environmental labelling programmes are becoming popular. At least, fifteen countries including India have launched the ecolabelling schemes.

Country

Name of Programme

Year Started

Germany

Blue angel

1977

Canada

Environmental Choice

1988

Japan

Ecomark

1989

Nordic Countries

White Swan

1989

New Zealand

Environmental Choice

1990

Sweden

Good Environmental Choice

1990

United States

Green Seal

1990

Austria

Austrian Eco-label

1991

India

Ecomark

1991

European Union

European Flower

1992

France

NF-Environment

1992

South Korea

Ecomark

1992

Singapore

Green Label

1992

The Netherlands

Stichting Milieukeur

1992

Croatia

Environmentally Friendly

1993

The Government of India launched 'ECOMARK' scheme in 1991 for identification of environment friendly products. The label is awarded to consumer goods which meet the specified environmental criteria and the quality requirements of Indian standards.

An earthen pot has been chosen as the logo for the Ecomark scheme. The familiar earthen pot uses a renewable resource like earth, does not produce hazardous waste and consumes little energy in making. Its solid and graceful form represents both strength and fragility, which also characterises the eco-system.

As a symbol, it puts across its environmental message. Its image has the ability to reach to people and can help to promote a greater awareness of the need to be kind to the environment. The logo for the Ecomark scheme signifies that the product, which carries it, does least damage to the environment. This scheme is purely a voluntary scheme open for all domestic and foreign manufacturers.

1. NBRI, Lucknow, India 2. UEA, Norwich, U.K.


This article has been reproduced from the archives of EnviroNews - Newsletter of ISEB India.


Home | EnviroNews | International Conferences | Picture Gallery | Sponsor | Join/Contact | What others say | Search | Site Map

Please report broken links and errors on page/website to webmaster@isebindia.com