Background – Green Labelling

Increasing global environmental awareness and concern has created a demand for and the supply of “green” (i.e. preferable from an environmental attributes and/or performance perspective) products – i.e. goods and services. With many “green” product claims in the market, consumers are sometimes confused by their claims and may have doubts about their validity. To help consumers, it is essential to establish an authoritative, independent and publicly acceptable green (eco-) label scheme that identifies products that are environmentally preferable to similar products with the same functions in the market.

Ecolabelling schemes, including International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Type I environmental labeling schemes as well as other types, serve the aforementioned purpose as well as encourage the purchase of “greener” products / services with improved recyclability, reduced packaging, greater durability, and with higher recycled content if possible. Such schemes also reward leadership and initiative in promoting environmental consumerism.

In the case of ISO Type I schemes, product assessments are based on life cycle considerations from raw materials, manufacturing process, distribution and consumer use, to final disposal.