Consumer Information for SCP Programme
Consumer Information and Ecolabelling
Explore Resources and Training Materials on Type-I Ecolabels
World Ecolabel Day 2022
World Ecolabel Day 2022 is October 13, celebrating products and services that are independently verified to be more sustainable.
Find out more here.
Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDG 12), titled "responsible consumption and production" sets a precedent for empowering consumers to make informed decisions about their consumption habits. Ecolabelling is a method of providing information about the environmental impact of a product or service. Ecolabels can effectively enhance positive consumer choices as customers become more driven to be more environmentally conscientious in their purchase decisions. This method of consumer information can have a dual impact, not only empowering consumers but can also pressure businesses to alter their production methods to demonstrate that they are environmentally conscious. However, as a result of the growing popularity of self-declared ecolabelling, worries about 'greenwashing' and inflated marketing claims have arisen. Consequently, there is a growing demand for internationally agreed-upon and harmonised labelling techniques and standards to provide a fair and equal playing field.
To be classed as a Type-I ecolabel, an ecolabel must meet the requirements of the DIN EN ISO 14024 standard established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In summary, Type-I Eco-labels are a “voluntary, multiple-criteria based, third party programme that awards a license which 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”. The key principle of Type-I ecolabels is that a third party sets the criteria and grants licence to use the label, making them verifiable. The criteria must also enable products to be distinguished by measurable environmental impact(s) with reference to product life cycle and performance.
Many of the Consumer Information Programmes’ MAC members and partners are part of a Working Group (WG2), led by The Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) and UNEP that focuses on Type-I ecolabels. The objectives of the working group are to support collaboration among Ecolabel Type-I programmes and facilitate their mutual recognition and provide education, capacity building, and consultation to developing countries and emerging economies to develop Ecolabel Type-I programmes. Their most recent piece of work “Ecolabelling Handbook and Training Programme, drawing on UNEP’s Training Handbook Ecolabelling: What it is & How to do it (2009), can be found here.
The Consumer Information programme has mobilized it's network to deliver a number of products and activities which contribute to the overall One Planet Network-Wide Ecolabelling Initative and many others are on the way.
We know that there are hundreds of environmental labels in the marketplace but how do you know which ones are credible and deliver on SDG Goal 12's responsible consumption?
Type 1 ecolabels follow the International standard ISO 14024 and are recognized by the United Nations Environment Programme as the most reliable because they deliver outcomes for people and planet at a product level across the whole life cycle.
Learn more through watching this quick video.
Thanks to CI-SCP and WG2 and people like you, we continue to grow the importance of ecolabels and fight against greenwash.
- Global Ecolabelling Network
The actions undertaken across the One Planet network focus on a common narrative that builds on the evidence and knowledge produced by UNEP, while leveraging the different expertise and partnerships within the programmes of the One Planet network.
Video Recordings on Type-I Ecolabels
The Global Ecolabelling Network, the lead for WG2, unites the worlds' twenty-seven type I ecolabels in the world. This video was prepared by Ecological Union with the support of the Global Ecolabelling Network and together with animation studio Snegiri special for World Ecolabel Day.
Project Leads and Creators:
UNEP & GEN ECOLABEL TRAINING MATERIAL
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) has launched a project to develop a new Ecolabelling Handbook and Training Programme. Drawing on UNEP’s Training Handbook Ecolabelling: What it is & How to do it (2009), and the expertise of CI-SCP WG2 and GEN members, the objective is to develop concise training on Ecolabelling for beginners and experts alike.
The training material consists of eight modules covering all the relevant basics to understand type-1 ecolabels. They are particularly useful for organizations and governments looking to establish new type-1 ecolabels as well as businesses curious about the benefits of certification. A 9th module titled ecolabelling excellence is also available for more experience type-1 label operators that wish to further improve their schemes.
List of all the modules covered in the training material: split into two modules:
Module 1: What are Ecolabels and why they matter
Module 2: The Ecosystem of Ecolabels
Module 3: Principles of Ecolabels
Module 4: Moving Markets, Marketing and Measuring Impact
Module 5: Manufacturing Matters and Certification Counts
Module 6: Go Global Through Partnerships
Module 7: Sharing Strategies for Success with Stakeholders
Module 8: Activating Strategies
Module 9: Ecolabelling Excellence
The Consumer Information Programme regularly organizes trainings and events on type-1 ecolabels. Keep a look out on the website and subscribe to our newsletter to join.
A 4 part webinar series was also released in 2019 as part of a project by The Global Ecolabelling Network, GIZ Thailand and UN Environment to support emerging ecolabelling initiatives around the world. The project aims to facilitate learning between existing and emerging ecolabelling schemes and build capacity to develop new ones. Watch in English, Spanish or Russian.
Relevant Resources on Type-1 Ecolabels
- Guidance document on the measurement of the performance of ecolabels, supplemented by a training module and support for the members of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) - Recommendations for Ecolabel criteria for sustainable raw material supply chai
Guidelines and Handbooks