Labelling of Products and Buildings
European energy and environmental labels
The European Eco-label (EC 66/2010) is a voluntary scheme, established in 1992 to encourage businesses to market products and services that are kinder to the environment. Products and services awarded the Eco-label carry the flower logo, allowing consumers - including public and private purchasers - to identify them easily. In all Eco-label studies, a common and coherent methodology is used for analyzing environmental impacts and improvement potentials of the products and Eco-label options are analyzed from life cycle perspective.
Energy label ( based on recast of Directive 92/75/EEC COM(2008)778 ) provides consumers with useful and comparable information on the use of energy of household appliances, cars and light bulbs. It allows consumers to consider investing in better performing appliances which have reduced running costs and allow realizing savings which more than outweigh the difference in price. The energy labeling directive also helps manufacturers to position their products on the market and reap the benefits on their investments for introducing better and more innovative products.
Also buildings shall have an energy label. Based on Energy Performance of Buildings Directive the Energy Performance Certificates shall be made available when buildings are constructed, sold or rented out.
The European Energy Star Program is a voluntary energy labeling program for office equipment. The Energy Star logo helps consumers identify office equipment products that save them money and help protect the environment by saving energy. Office information and communication technology equipment (computers, monitors, printers, fax machines, copiers, scanners and multifunction devices) is responsible for a growing share of electricity consumption in the EU.
CE marking ensures the free movement within the European market of products that conform to the requirements of EU legislation (e.g. safety, health and environmental protection) and is a key indicator of a product’s compliance with legislation. The CE marking is affixed by manufacturers to their products. By placing CE marking on a product, manufacturers declare on their sole responsibility that the products comply with all the legal requirements in force in Europe. It is the manufacturer's responsibility to verify that the goods they are selling comply with all relevant legislation or – if necessary – to have it examined by notified conformity assessment body for that purpose.
In 2004, the European Commission initiated the Green Building Program (GBP). This program aims at improving the energy efficiency and expanding the integration of renewable energies in non-residential buildings in Europe on a voluntary basis. The program addresses owners of non-residential buildings to realize cost-effective measures which enhance the energy efficiency of their buildings in one or more technical disciplines.
Green Public Procurement (GPP) is a process whereby public authorities seek to procure goods, services and works with a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle when compared to goods, services and works with the same primary function that would otherwise be procured. GPP is a voluntary instrument, which means that individual Member States and public authorities can determine the extent to which they implement it.
EU Eco-labeling criteria and Green Public Procurements for Products
The European Eco-label covers an increasing number of product groups, taking in major areas of manufacturing and also tourist accommodation services. The criteria for each product group have been identified on the basis of comprehensive studies of the environmental aspects related to the entire life cycle of the product. These are normally valid for three years.
As an example, the following product groups have eco-label criteria and individual products can be found in the European Eco-label Catalogue, which helps European consumers to distinguish greener, more environmentally friendly products.
The eco-label and green public procurement criteria of several other product groups are currently devised. The purpose of these pilot projects are to develop a joint evidence base from which EU policy making in the area of various products can be developed. In addition, the evidence base will gather information and data to assist the potential future development of other environmental policy instruments such as Implementing Measures under the Ecodesign Directive.
- Buildings (see also 3. EU Eco-label and Green Public Procurement for Buildings)
- Taps and shower heads
- Heating systems
- Products under Eco-design legislation
EU Eco-label and Green Public Procurement for Buildings
The purpose is to develop an EU Eco-label for Buildings and Green Public Procurement criteria to promote an environmentally-friendlier public consumption. The Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, ISPRA got a mandate 2007 to devise the EU Eco-label and GGP criteria for Buildings. It consist on environmental criteria based on the environmental impacts of the building and consider different environmental aspects like indoor environment quality, water efficiency, waste reduction, energy efficiency, natural resource management, and environmental safety. The 3rd draft of an EU Eco-label for new buildings and existing buildings were published 2009.
Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has made an analysis and evaluation of the 3rd draft criteria for Buildings and published a report on October 2010, which summarize the most important points and provides for an analysis of the work done so far as well as a proposal for the next steps to be taken.
Update ! < July 2011 - Summary of the 1st AHWG Meeting : Summary 1st AHWG Meeting.pdf
The main purpose of this meeting was a discussion on the proposed criteria areas and not on the precise values or formulations of the criteria. The discussions at the 1st AHWG and the resulting feedback will form the input into development of the draft final criteria proposal for Ecolabel and GPP. This draft final will be discussed in the 2nd AHWG Meeting that is planned in November this year in Brussels. The coming steps are:
- Comments on the working paper prepared for the 1st AHWG meeting are welcome at any point but it would be better if they are sent by the end of July 2011
- 2nd AHWG meeting that will take place at the end of this year where the first draft of ecological criteria will be presented
- 3rd meeting will be probably necessary due to the complexity of the project > 04/08/2011