Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
An environmental label shows that a product or service is produced with less impact on the environment. Environmental or green labels can help you make informed choices about the products or services you buy.
Not all labelling schemes set the same standards or use an independent process to verify their standards are met. For example, a product or service with an ecolabel - a type of environmental label - must meet certain environmental standards.
Some labels only focus on one environmental aspect, for example the Energy Star labelling scheme for energy efficiency. Others, like ecolabels, consider the life cycle impacts of a product or service, including the materials and resources used, and the waste created to make, use and dispose of it.
You should check what a label covers before purchasing your product or service, for example the focus of the label could be:
Environmental labels can cover a range of products, services or issues including:
To help you identify if a label is acceptable you should check the:
The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) describes three types of system for environmental labelling. Unlike some other green labels or claim statements, only ISO Type I labels, eg the EU Ecolabel, certify that a product or service meets a strict environmental standard based on life cycle assessment. The standard is set and monitored by an independent process.
You should check the claims made by an environmental label before you buy a product or service.
Buy products or services which use a label with appropriate environmental standards and which is awarded by an independent body, for example from an ISO Type I labelling scheme.
A full list of environmental labels can be found in appendix 3 of the RES guide to Supply Chain Management and Sustainable Procurement:
Buying products and services with environmental labels
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