Eco labeling and the efforts to make it fair for business
Environmental Management and Policies
Prof. Dr. Magnus Fröhling
Mª Cristina Maillo Pérez 61308, Junior Tome Grando Tonett 61450, Omar
the efforts to make it fair for business
• Ecolabelling definition.
• Brief History.
• Source of ecolabelling.
• ISO 14000/ Types.
• Pros and Cons.
Ecolabelling - Understanding
Ecolabelling is the use of labels
to show how environmentally friendly
and performanced they are
to help consumers
to identify and buy them.
• Before the 40’s
• Labels warn about the effects. Most of them applied to pesticides.
• In the 70’s come to all toxic products.
• The volunteer labels stated by the own producer or by Eco-ONGs.
• In 1977 Blau-Engel
• In the 80’s
• Impacts of production on intensive exploration.
• Soil air and water pollution.
• Ozone problems.
• Climate changes.
• RESULT is grow the so called “green market”.
• At Eco-92, in Brazil, released a set of principles (GUIDE) to
Governments implement Eco policies.
The protection and conservation = important issue among countries and population.
Consumers concerned and willing to buy eco-friendly products.
Firms to offer such products.
Few firms mplement environmental improvements and management systems
Advertise it in their labels.
• ECO IN DISGUISE
Some started to make only “aesthetic” changes in their labels for the economic benefit.
Aesthetic recognized (a problem).
ISO developed standards to give credibility.
To make it fair for the business who invested could prove the environmental performance.
Source of Ecolabeling
ISO 14001:2015 sets out the criteria for an environmental management system.
It maps out a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an
effective environmental management system.
It can be used by any organization regardless of its activity or sector.
Using ISO 14001:2015 can provide assurance to company management and
employees as well as external stakeholders that environmental impact is being
measured and improved.
ISO 14001- Environmental management
Ecolabelling - Types
The ISO 14020 series of standards give businesses guidelines for the implementation of
environmental labelling. There are three types of voluntary labeling:
TYPE I - Ecolabelling schemes (ISO 14024:1999).
• Voluntary and multiple-criteria based. It is awarded by a third party
that authorises the use of environmental labels on products indicating
overall environmental preferability of a product within a particular
product category based on life cycle considerations.
• This ISO also includes the certification procedures.
Compliance with environmental legislation.
The life cycle of the whole product must be taken into consideration to set the
Firms have to be able to demonstrate transparency through all their process.
Product environmental criteria and product functions have to be verifiable.
Source: Global Ecolabelling
Ecolabelling - Types
TYPE II – Self-declared environmental claims (ISO 14021:1999).
• Purpose: Harmonize the use of the self-declared environmental
claims and symbols so they can be useful for the consumers.
• Claims requirements:
Accurate and not misleading.
Substantiated and verified.
Unlikely to result in misinterpretation.
• Claims as “ environmentally friendly ”, “ green ” and “ nature’s friend ” shall not be
• This ISO also deals with the evaluation and verification, therefore claimants are:
Responsible for the claim.
Have to show the method used.
Give access to the information.
Ecolabelling - Types
TYPE III- Life-cycle data declaration (ISO 14025:2006).
• Voluntary programs that provide quantified environmental data of a product, under
pre-set categories of parameters set by a qualified third party and based on life cycle
• This ISO is significant for the firms that want to purchase
products with good environmental performance, allowing
them to make objective comparisons between the products
that have the same function.
• They have limited application to the consumer market.
PROS AND CONS
• Allow consumers to recognize the environmentally friendly products.
• Firms willing to change into more environmentally ways of
production would be able to benefit from the acquisition of the
• It is an important aspect for their marketing.
• Add value to consumers.
PROS AND CONS
• Large investments, before and after acquiring the ecolabel, to transform into the “green
technology”. Hence to start is costly and the return is on the long run.
• Firms can be awarded an ecolabel for a certain product using green technologies, meanwhile,
they can still use conventional technologies for other products and that is accepted by the
• There are 465 schemes in 199 countries, which many times confuse the consumer.
• Most of the consumers are not well informed and do not know the real meaning of the
Currently there are over 465 ecolabels for food and consumer
products in the global marketplace
• Greenwashing is a variety of strategies used by companies to make
their products appear environmentally friendly.Greenwashers often
place vague labels on their products such as “natural” or
“sustainable,” to manipulate the consumer to choose their product
• Greenwashing efforts can range from changing the name or label of a
product to evoke the natural environment on a product that contains
harmful chemicals to multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns
portraying highly polluting energy companies as eco-friendly.
• Many corporate structures use greenwashing as a way to repair public
perception of their brand.
The mobius Loop
This basic ecolabel means that the product is recyclable, but not that
it will be recycled.
NO CFCs Eco labels
This eco-label refers to a product free of chlorofluorocarbons that
could be found in aerosols but CFC’s were banned way back in 1978.
Aspects of Greenwashing
• Aspect of the Hidden Trade-Off: The aspect of the Hidden Trade-off is committed
by suggesting a product is “green” based on a single environmental attribute,
without attention to other importante
Example: Paper Product that promotes their recycled content or sustainable
harvesting practices without attention to manufacturing impacts such as air
emissions, water emissions, and global warming impacts.
• Aspect of Vagueness: The confused and vague formulations disconcert and often
leave more questions unanswered than providing answers.
Example: Typical formulations such as "wood from controlled forests", "produced
• Aspect of no proof: Some eco-labels contain indications that can not be
proved by organizations.
Example: Mentioning "printed on FSC paper" without a corresponding logo
with verification number used.
• Using unrecognized or false labels: Marketers create false labels to mislead
consumers so that they think that their product is environmentally friendly.
Example: Some products contain private labels which claim fight global
• Aspect of irrelevance: Excessively highlight the product's characteristics
that are correct but irrelevant.
Example: Some fridge and air conditioner manufacturer claim that their
products are “CFC-Free” which is irrelevant since CFCs are banned by law.
• Aspect of lesser of two evils: It is misleading to highlight positive aspects
of a product to divert attention from the more important negative aspect.
Example: As an example when a producer puts forward his performance
in terms of CO2 emissions but doesn’t provide indications about other
emissions like air or water especially when they are bad.
• Ecolabelling is fair for business. Specially for B2B.
• Helps firms to export.
• Gives more credibility to the company.
• ISO helps your product recognition by consumers.
• ISO provides standardization.
• Shows the company is aligned to environment concern.
• Make the supply chain to search for the ISO too.
• Communicate to market which direction your company wants to go.
• But they may not always tell the whole true.
• Still confusing to the consumer.
Ecolabelling is a booming sector. So far, there are more than 465
environmental labels listed in more than 199 countries due to the growing
pressure for more environmentally and sustainable production systems.
However when the proliferation of ecolabels began, confusion among
consumers appeared and this gave a breach for the companies to use
Since organizations as ISO realized about that problem, they launched the
standardization to make it fair for the companies that had invested in