Overview of the sector

The EU Ecolabel, a symbol of sustainability and respect for the environment, is at the heart of today's challenges. It was developed by the European Commission and is the official public label that can be used in all EU member states.

What is the purpose of the EU Ecolabel?

EU Ecolabel is a voluntary environmental certification scheme set up in 2009 to promote products and services with a reduced environmental impact within the European Union. It applies to 25 product categories.

Overall, it aims to :

  • Promote sustainability: It encourages companies to reduce their environmental impact by adopting more environmentally-friendly practices.
  • Help consumers: It provides clear guidance for consumers to choose environmentally friendly products and services.
  • Encouraging innovation: It encourages companies to develop more sustainable products by setting demanding criteria.

It is important to stress that the European Ecolabel is not intended to cover all European products. Only 10 to 20% of the market can or will one day achieve the level required by the Ecolabel.

EU Ecolabel certification by Ecocert

European Ecolabel certification covers a large number of sectors (accommodation, textiles, paper, ....). Ecocert is currently accredited to issue European Ecolabel certification for detergents, cosmetics and animal care products.

The label guarantees :

  • Consideration of the product's life cycle
  • Products that have less impact on the environment, thanks to criteria on biodegradability and aquatic toxicity
  • High standards of product effectiveness
  • Eco-designed packaging

Key figures for EU Ecolabel by Ecocert

  • Around 15 committed customers
  • Around 200 certified products in detergents and cosmetics combined
  • Less than 6 months for certification
  • A 7-day response time for guaranteed customer satisfaction

Why has Ecocert chosen EU Ecolabel?

This standard has been rigorously assessed by the Service Evaluation Committee (SECO) for its robustness, level of requirements, relevance and associated communication, thus guaranteeing its reliability.
By including this label in our range of services, Ecocert is encouraging the detergents and cosmetics sector to adopt more sustainable practices. It allows us to broaden our scope by including raw materials that are not sourced naturally, but whose environmental impact has been carefully assessed. At the same time, clear and transparent communication about the Ecolabel eliminates any confusion between consumers and our historical standards.

Regular developments for a demanding label

  • A new review process underway for detergents

The current EU Ecolabel criteria for detergents were adopted in 2017. These criteria limit the use of hazardous substances, require sustainable sourcing of palm raw materials, promote the use of biodegradable ingredients, minimal and recycled/recyclable packaging, guarantee performance even at low temperatures, and provide advice on correct product use to avoid overdosing.

These criteria are currently being revised. To this end, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) is seeking the views of relevant stakeholders, including manufacturers, companies in the supply chain, consumer organisations, certification bodies, NGOs and citizens.

The review process takes into account economic, technological and legislative developments, improved scientific knowledge and stakeholder experience. The first reports are online, providing the basic information needed to revise the requirements, as well as an initial proposal for the revision of the criteria. A second series of proposed criteria is scheduled for the end of 2024.

  • Cosmetics specifications recently updated

Whereas the previous requirements only applied to rinse-off cosmetics, such as shower gel or shampoo, the new rules include all cosmetic products. In addition, manufacturers of sustainable animal care products now have the option of certifying their products. Substances identified or suspected of having endocrine disrupting properties, phthalates and perfluorinated or polyfluorinated substances have been banned, as have microplastics. Fragrances may not be used in products intended for children, substances in UV filters that could harm aquatic ecosystems such as coral reefs have been banned, and the list of restricted allergens has been extended. Stricter rules also apply to the sustainable sourcing of palm oil.

Information & quote European Ecolabel

🔎 ZOOM ON... EU Ecolabel: Promoting sustainability in a demanding society
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