Author – Hannah Findlay
You may have observed some labels such as FSSAI, ISO, EnergyStar or Ecomark on various consumer household products you buy. While these are product quality standards, there are other voluntary certifications aimed at promoting eco-friendly production and sustainable consumption.
The use of eco-labels enables consumers to make a greener choice and make well-informed purchasing decisions. Although there is a common confusion with the terms environmental and eco labels, there are a few differences which make eco-labels specific. They are voluntary, granted by independent third party organizations, and imply that a product or service is in compliance with high standards of environmental protection during the whole lifecycle.
Eco-labels Around the World
Eco-labels first appeared in the West three decades ago and their popularity has been growing ever since. In the era of increasing environmental awareness, the trend of eco-friendly living is rising in the developing countries as well. Check out the interactive infographic to find out more about the other well-known eco-labels around the world.
Nowadays, companies have begun adopting eco-labels in India for various green building material, organic foods, eco-friendly products and services.
Prominent eco-labels in India
Ecomark is a voluntary eco-label that certifies environmentally safe consumer products. Its eco-labeling criteria follows a cradle-to-grave approach, beginning right from raw material extraction, to manufacturing, and disposal. Issued since 1991, it is the Indian government’s seal of approval for products, which meet both quality standards and environmental criteria set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). This makes Ecomark different from other ecolabeling certificates that focus on environmental criteria only. Ecomark covers various product categories such as appliances, organic food, forest products, packaging, textiles, cosmetics and personal care, etc.
GreenPro is a product certification granted by the Confederation of Indian Industry, a industry association that aims at helping environmentally conscious customers to make a greener choice. The certification follows a complete lifecycle approach for certifying products. This means that the product is scrutinized from the raw material to the end of product’s life. The focus of GreenPro certification are: green building products, industrial equipment, technologies, etc.
India Organic – National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) is a labeling standard developed by the Government of India granted to organically farmed food. The certification mark came into existence in 2002. The India Organic certification standards ensure that the product or its raw materials used were grown only through organic farming, by following the norms of organic production, without any use of chemicals, i.e. fertilizers, pesticides or induced hormones.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) was developed with the aim to unify the various existing standards and draft standards in the garment manufacturing sector. GOTS defines worldwide recognized standards that ensure organic status of textiles from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labeling.