European Commission – DG ENV
The EU ECO-LABEL
in Green Public Procurement
Athina Koutroumani
Brussels, 29 September 2005
What is the Flower?
 Created in 1992
 Voluntary
 Valid across EU, Norway, Iceland,
Liechtenstein
 Covers goods and services (not food and
drugs)
 Type-I environmental label: certified by
independent third party, not a self-claim
 Transparent process: multi-stakeholder
The Flower...
 ... distinguishes environmentally friendly,
high quality products
 ... helps consumers and purchasers to find
green products easily
 ... guarantees reliable information
 ... offers competitive advantage to
producers of eco-labelled products
Wider policy background
2002 World Summit
on Sustainable Development
in Johannesburg
 Jo’burg Plan of Implementation:
 “Adopt on a voluntary basis effective,
transparent, verifiable, non-misleading and
non-discriminatory consumer information tools
to provide information relating to sustainable
consumption and production”
Wider policy background
 6th Environmental Action Programme
“Our future, our choice” :
 “Encourages the uptake of eco-labels that allow
consumers to compare environmental
performance between products of the same
type”
 Eco-labelling is part of the Thematic Strategy on
the sustainable use of resources
 Relevant to waste prevention policy
Wider policy background
 Integrated Product Policy (IPP)
 Is based on Life Cycle Approach to minimise
environmental impacts
 Requires participation of stakeholders
 Provides for a variety of tools to be used
The eco-label is one such tool!
Links with other instruments
 Environmental Public Procurement:
use criteria set out by the Scheme when defining performancebased or functional environmental requirements
 Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP):
design and implementation of performance targets
 Eco-design of Energy-using Products:
designing the implementing measures
 Community Eco-Management and Audit Scheme
(EMAS)
Who is in charge?
 European Union Eco-labelling Board
 European Commission
 Member State level: Competent Bodies
 Criteria development
 Award
 Interest groups: environmental NGOs,
consumers’ associations, SMEs...
 Industry
How does it work?
 Criteria development

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Defined for each product group
Multi-criteria
Participation of interested groups
Based on Life Cycle Considerations
Formal adoption by the European Commission
(Commission Decision)
How does it work?
 Flower labelled Product/Service:
 Certified good environmental
quality and guaranteed
technical performance
 Generates less environmental
impacts on air, water, soil and
human health throughout its
life cycle, from raw material
extraction to end of life
(“from cradle to grave”)
 Added value: usage cost
generally lower than average
How does it work?
 Awarding
process for
Manufacturers
Promotion /
Marketing
Compliance monitoring
Eco-label award for one or more products
Evaluation of application
Submission of application
Achievements
Criteria defined for 23 Product Groups
 Household appliances (4)
 Personal computers
 Detergents (4)
 Portable computers
 Bed mattresses
 Televisions
 Textiles
 Light bulbs
 Footwear
 Tissue paper
 Indoor paints & varnishes
 Copying paper
 Hard floor coverings
 Tourist accommodation
 Soil improvers
 Campsites
 Lubricants
Achievements
 In the pipeline



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Wooden furniture
Heat pumps
Soaps and shampoos
Printed paper
Achievements
 2000



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15 product group criteria established
53 companies
17 million articles bearing the Flower
38 million euro ex-factory sales
 2004

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
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23 product group criteria established
226 companies
Estimated 400 million articles bearing the Flower
Estimated 700 million ex-factory sales
 2005 (to date)
 260 companies
Achievements:
number of licences
N u m b e r o f c o m p a n ie s
1 5 /1 1 /2 0 0 4
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
N u m b e r o f c o m p a n ie s
1998
0
50
100
150
200
250
Achievements:
articles sold
M illio n s o f a rtic le s /ite m s s o ld
1 5 /1 1 /2 0 0 4
2003
2002
;
2001
2000
1999
M illio n s o f a rtic le s /ite m s s o ld
1998
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
400
Achievements:
ex-factory sales value
E x -fa c to ry s a le s v a lu e (€ m illio n )
1 5 /1 1 /2 0 0 4
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
E x -fa c to ry s a le s va lu e (€ m illio n )
1998
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
Achievements:
awards per Product Group

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Textiles
68
Paints & varnishes
45
Tourist accommodation service
28
All-purpose & sanitary cleaners
21
Soil improvers
20
Hand dishwashing detergents
14
Tissue paper
12
Laundry detergents, Footwear
10
Dishwashing detergents
7
Bed mattresses, Copying paper
6
Campsite service
5
Hard floor coverings
3
Dishwashers, Refrigerators, Light bulbs, TVs, Lubricants
1
Portable&Personal computers, Washing machines, Vacuum Cleaners 0
Achievements:
awards per country
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Italy
61
Denmark
53
France
48
Spain
17
Sweden
15
Greece
14
The Netherlands
12
Austria
9
Germany
8
Portugal
5
Belgium, UK
4
Norway, Finland
3
Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland
1
Cyprus, Estonia, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia
0
Marketing / Promotion
 Targeted Marketing activities aiming at…
 Raising the level of awareness
 Encouraging businesses to apply for the EU eco-label
 Eco-label Campaign 2004
 Phase 1: contact new potential manufacturers to apply for the
EU Eco-label
 Phase 2: European Flower Week in October 2004
 Participation in Fairs & Trade Events
Marketing / Promotion
 Helpdesk
 http://www.europa.eu.int/ecolabel/
 Very thorough information
 E-catalogue: http://www.eco-label.com
 Aimed at consumers
 www.eco-label-tourism.com
 Focused on tourism
 Information material
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Leaflets
Newsletter
Info-kits
Mouse pads, bags, T-shirts...
EU Eco-label in GPP
The Public Procurement Directives (2004/17/ EC
and 2004/18/EC) explicitly allow you to use the
underlying specifications of eco-labels when
defining performance-based or functional
environmental requirements, provided that:
 the specifications are appropriate for defining
the characteristics of the supplies or services
covered by the contract;
EU Eco-label in GPP
 the requirements for the label are based on
scientific information;
 the eco-labels are adopted with the participation
of all stakeholders, such as government bodies,
consumers, manufacturers, distributors and
environmental organisations;
 they are accessible to all interested parties.
The EU Eco-label meets all these requirements.
How to use
the EU Eco-label in GPP
The online catalogue Green Store
 You can easily locate all eco-labelled products
per country per category
on the Online catalogue Green Store www.eco-label.com
 Currently available in 11 languages of EU-15
 250,000 hits per month
Thus, you can directly know the size of the market
of potential suppliers.
Search engine
Example of a product page
Example of a completed retailers list
How to use
the EU Eco-label in GPP
 In the elaboration of the technical specifications
 In order to define the characteristics of the products or
service considered,
 you can directly cut and paste the relevant EU Eco-label
criteria into the technical specifications
 The EU Eco-label will be allowed as a way of proving
compliance with the specifications.
 Remark: Contracting authorities cannot require
tenderers to be registered under a certain eco-label
scheme.
How to use
the EU Eco-label in GPP
 Example: call for tenders of all-purpose cleaners
 Go to the all-purpose cleaners page of the Eco-label web
site: www.europa.eu.int/ecolabel
How to use
the EU Eco-label in GPP
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
A summary of the criteria can be
found in the general description of
the product group
The complete criteria are available
in all the EU languages
How to use
the EU Eco-label in GPP
 The EU Eco-label can also be used as a
benchmark against which to assess offers at the
award stage.
 Example: call for tenders of light bulbs
The EU eco-label criteria for light bulbs require that they
should have an average life-span of 10 000 hours. When
reflecting this in a call for tender for light bulbs, 10 000
hours could be set as the technical specification for the
minimum life span, and a bonus point could be given in
the award criteria for every 1 000 hours over and above
10 000.
Success Stories
The city of Dunkerque, France
(Group of 18 municipalities, 12 241 inhabitants, Number of
employees : 1 319 agents):
procurement of ecological detergents.
 Political act: adoption of a commitment relative to
sustainable development in public procurement
 General approach:
R esearch o f
en viro n m en tal
issu es
D em an d o f the
p u rchasin g
d ep artm ent
R esearch o f
ecolo gical
alternatives
S tu d y o f th e
o ffer
S ettin g of th e m arket
in fu nctio n of th e o ffer
Success Stories

Reasons for choosing this product category:
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Identified environmental issues
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Test tender (all purpose cleaners, window cleaners…)
Existence of ecological criteria
Limitation of water pollution
Characteristics inserted in the technical
specifications:
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High biodegradability rate
Natural substances
Limitation of the use of hazardous substances for the
environment and health (based on the DID-list)
Success Stories

Used reference

European Eco-label (some criteria)

Demand of samples to test the efficiency of the
products

Results
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Necessity to divide the tender into lots, to ensure
SMEs will answer
No over-cost
Very positive feedback from employees: efficiency and
lack of respiratory and skin irritations
EU Eco-label activities in GPP
 Production of leaflets about the use of the EU
Eco-label in GPP
 Guidelines on EU Eco-label in GPP (under
development).
 Presentation/training material on EU Eco-label in
GPP (under development).
 Establish contact with networks like Sustainable
Cities, Eurocities, ACRR and CEMR, ICLEI, UK
National Audit Office and other GPP networks
 Case studies on the implementation of GPP on a
local level (e.g. city of Angers)
Other Type-I Eco-label Schemes
 Other national eco-label schemes in the EU:
 Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway run the
"Nordic Swan"
 The German Eco-label -"Der Blaue Engel"
 The Austrian Eco-label - "Umweltzeichen"
 The Hungarian Eco-label
 The Czech Republic Eco-label…
 At a Global level....
 .... the Global Eco-labelling Network - GEN - is a
non-profit making association, founded in 1994 to
improve and develop the eco-labelling of products.
For more information
http://europa.eu.int/ecolabel
www.eco-label.com
www.eco-label-tourism.com
www.gen.gr.jp
Thank you for your attention!
Any questions?
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