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What are eco-labels?

Etiquetas ecológicas EuropeasGiven the growing awareness of consumers regarding environmental issues, companies that design and produce products and/or services have the demand for environmental information about them. The use by companies of this type of identifiers (eco-labels) guarantees the consumer that it is about products or services that respect the environment, with a seal endorsed by an independent third party.

For companies, it is an excellent method to make visible their efforts on the environment and communicate the environmental improvements of their product, positioning them advantageously against the competition.

The eco-labeling system, regulated and recognized internationally, also arises as a response to the confusion caused by the indiscriminate and unfounded use of ecological arguments in the marketing and sale of products. The use of qualifications such as "ecological", "biological", "organic", "responsible", etc. has meant that the consumer thinks that these products that are marketed as such are backed by common scientific criteria with some form of official control, when in many cases this is not the case. Eco-labels or environmental labels are, therefore, a rigorous and accurate mechanism of environmental information that favors companies and consumers.

Fortunately, we have internationally standardized criteria for eco-labels. These are described in ISO 14020, 14024, 14021 and 14025:

  • ISO 14024: Environmental labels and declarations - Type I environmental labelling - Principles and procedures
  • ISO 14021: Environmental labels and declarations - Self-declared environmental claims (Type II environmental labelling)
  • ISO 14025: Environmental labels and declarations - Type III environmental declarations - Principles and procedures

Etiquetado Ambiental de Producto

There are now around 400 different systems of environmental labeling worldwide, which makes it difficult for companies to identify the most appropriate system for their products. For this reason, IK INGENIERIA accompanies companies and organisations in the advice and obtaining of official badges, information that can be key to accede to the growing market of green purchase.

In addition to numerous companies to obtain the best eco-label for their products, IK INGENIERIA has participated in the development of one of the reference guides on environmental eco-labeling, the "Guide to environmental criteria for product improvement: Environmental Product Labeling" from Ihobe.


Differences between eco-labels and Ecodesign

Eco-label Ecodesign
It evidences that a product meets established ecological criteria, and ensures that all products from different manufacturers with the same label have identical characteristics It allows the organisation freedom to choose, enter the properties of your product/service, where it wants to incorporate environmental improvement through design
It ensures compliance with requirements set in the standards and/or technical specifications The system is based on continuous improvement. It guarantees the systematic introduction of improvements in successive designs or new products, and consequently, the evolution of their sustainability
It implies an improvement of the image of the product It implies an improvement of the image of the product and the management of the company


Sustainable Product Legislation

The European Union attaches the utmost importance to eco-labels. Proof of this is that since 1992 it has been promoting the European Ecological Label, which certifies that a particular product or service is respectful of the environment. To date, more than 20 industrial and service sectors have ecological criteria for the award of this eco-label.

In 2008 the European Commission also adopted the "Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production and a Sustainable Industrial Policy".A plan to promote eco-design of products and the implementation of Green Public Procurement objectives. Through it establishes policies to improve the energy and environmental characteristics of products, and legal measures are appearing that affect more and more companies and products.





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Gorka Benito

Approved Individual Verifier for the International EPD System

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