Rosy future for EU’s flower Ecolabel

Rosy future for EU’s flower Ecolabel

The profile of the European Union’s flower ecolabel could grow
dramatically under a three year promotional initiative to be published
shortly by the European Commission. The plan – formally a commission
decision – was adopted by commissioners at the end of December after
being endorsed by the EU’s 15 member states.

The ecolabel programme aims to promote the design, production,
marketing and use of products which have a reduced environmental impact
during their entire life cycle. As the commission acknowledges, the
label has to date performed disappointingly and has not achieved
“satisfactory visibility on the market.” One reason for this, the
commission says, is a lack of “support from other policy measures.”

ENS reports that the EU’s burgeoning integrated product policy (IPP) is
set to remedy this, the commission believes. The IPP will “open new
opportunities for the European ecolabel,” raising the prospect of
reduced taxation on ecolabeled products and more favorable treatment by
procurement officers.

The plan aims at achieving a “minimum level of visibility” for the
label across the whole of the European Union. This is not quantified by
the commission, but a longer term aim is to reach between one and 30
per cent of market share depending on product type.Such targets would
be ambitious. For instance, currently less than one-tenth of one
percent of paint and varnish products carry the flower ecolabel.

The new awareness raising campaign will be aimed at retailers as well
as public authority and private sector procurement officers, rather
than at the general public. Other initiatives are a program of
cooperation with national and regional ecolabel authorities to
establish a joint register of products, and a virtual store online for
ecolabeled goods and services. Products now sporting the ecolabel range
from personal computers to toilet paper, from indoor decorative paint
to kitchen rolls, from bed linen and T-shirts to dishwashing
detergents.

Ninty-four licenses for the use of the logo have been granted for more
than 350 products. Within five years, the commission wants to increase
the number of product groups for which the EU ecolabel flower is
available from the 17 that now are covered to between 25 and 35 product
groups. The commission lists as possible targets telephones, copiers,
small household electrical equipment, packaging and cars. New service
groups eligible for the ecolabel could be car washes, textile
laundering, and financial services.

The plan closes with a plea for specific new funds to support the
flower label’s future. In 2000, EU resources devoted to it were just
four million euros plus the unquantified salaries of around 45 people.

While this should continue to be enough to develop and revise product
group criteria, more must be found for marketing, the commission plan
says. Fees from companies using the scheme raised only EUR280,000 in
2000. This figure is expected to rise as the label becomes more
popular

Ano da Publicação: 2003
Fonte: Warmer Bulletin enews #4 2002
Autor: Natália Caninas
Email do Autor: natalia@openlink.com.br

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