Sustainability labels: a European overview

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Presentation at the Enoforum congress in Arezzo, 8/5/2013, about environmental claims and the Label EcoProwine for sustainable wine.

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Sustainability labels: a European overview

  1. 1. Chiara CorboUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreIstituto di Chimica Agraria e AmbientaleChiara CORBOSESSIONE SOSTENIBILITA’Sustainability labels andcertifications: aEuropean overview
  2. 2. • Consumers’ awareness regarding the environmental impact of theirdiet is growing; but they complain about the lack of clearness in thiskind of information (Ademe, 2010).• Strong increase of environmental claims (Ecolabel Index: 435ecolabels in 197 Countries)Green consumers…• In 2011, the 32% of consumers declared that they have seen atleast one time “fake” environmental claims (Eurobarometer2012).• The 48% of consumers don’t believe in environmental claim fromCompanies.…that don’t trust in green claims!Background
  3. 3. The “environmental claim”“Environmental claim “: the practice ofsuggesting or otherwise creating theimpression that a product or a service isenvironmentally friendly or is lessdamaging to the environment thancompeting goods or services.Greenwashing: when a company ororganization spends more time and moneyclaiming to be “green” through advertisingand marketing than actually implementingbusiness practices that minimizeenvironmental impact.
  4. 4.  Voluntary ecological label, third party verified. It is a logo (brand) showing the best environmentalperformance if compared with competitor’s productwithout the logo. It is based on Life Cycle Assessment. Minimumparameters are set. Example: European Ecolabel (Reg. CE1980/2000), still not possible for food.Type I – ISO 14024
  5. 5. • Self-declared assertions. Companies can choose an element and speak about theproduct’s better performance for that aspect or a combination.• Certification schema: it has a verification and certification process similar to that ofecolabels but focuses on single issues (e.g. energy consumption, sustainableforestry, etc.)Choice of theparameters toevaluateAnalysis CommunicationCarbon FootprintWater FootprintBiodiversity…CertificationschemaType II – ISO 14021
  6. 6. Type IICertification schemaSingle indicatorMulticriteria label
  7. 7.  EPD – Environmental Product Declaration It is a declaration containing information about the environmental impactassociated with a product or service, such as energy use, raw materialacquisition, content of chemical products… No evaluation of env. information, since no predetermined env.Performance levels are set.ProductCategory RulesLife CycleAssessmentEnvironmentalProductDeclarationType III – ISO 14025
  8. 8.  July 2011: national experiment forthe environmental labelling ofproducts. Objective: to give info to theconsumers regarding carbonfootprint, use of natural resources orenvironmental impact of a product inall its life cycle (law Grenelle 2, art.228). Life Cycle and multicriteria approach. Great success of the initiative: 230companies asked to participate (168were selected).Case studies in EuropeFrance
  9. 9. Case studies in EuropeItaly Italian Program for the evaluation ofenvironmental footprint of products(Italian Ministry for the Environment, Landand Sea). Test – on a wide scale – of a methodologyfor the analysis of the environmentalfootprint (third party verified), for thedecreasing of greenhouse gases (CarbonFootprint) and water consumption andpollution (Water Footprint) Spread of good practices in theproduction processes. VIVA – Sustainability in the ItalianViticulture. A sustainability label based onthe analysis of 4 indicators:Air, Water, Vineyard, Territory.
  10. 10. The European Commission’s outlook 2000: Guide lines for the evaluation of environmental claims The regulation of the environmental claims is within the two Directives:– Dir. 2005/29/CE unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market (+Guidance on the implementation/application of directive 2005/29/CE on unfair commercialpractices).>>> specific section about environmental claims.– Dir. 2006/114/CE misleading and comparative advertising 03/2012: national consultation with stakeholder, to understand the presence ofenvironmental claims on the market, what are the possible reasons for misleadingand what are the instruments to avoid the problem. DG ENV >>> Product Environmental Footprint.
  11. 11. The EcoProwine label• Objective: to realize a sustainability label for the European wine.• From the Life Cycle Assessment to the communication to the final consumer.• Label– A logo showing the Company’s committment in the project– Link to the web site (QR code) >>> sustainability information• Type II label, multicriteria: LCA >>> indicators >>> aggregation in threecategories: air, water, soil.• Effective and cost-effective instrument• More competitiveness for the european wine• Pushing on continuos improvement
  12. 12. First roughevaluationLife CycleAssessmentAggregation ofindicatorsBenchmarkYESIs theCompanyconsistent withvalues?LABELNOImprovement ofenvironmentalperformanceLABELContinuous improvement!The EcoProwine label
  13. 13.  The number of “green consumers” is rising, as well as the number of green claimsand labels. Environmental labels are a real marketing tool and – above all – they can promotea Company’s continuos improvement of its environmental performance. A label is a tool to enhance consumers’ informed choices; but it is mandatory forthe label to be consistent (otherwise: it is only greenwashing!) At a national and european level, Institutions are promoting specific programs toharmonize the methodologies for the assessment and communication ofenvironmental footprint of products.The EcoProwine Label is a science-based sustainabilitylabel that can promote sustainable practices in the winesector!Conclusions
  14. 14. Thanks for your attentionchiara.corbo@unicatt.it

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