The EU Ecolabel is a voluntary ecolabel award scheme intended to promote products with a reduced environmental impact during their entire life cycle and to provide consumers with accurate, non-deceptive, science-based information on the environmental impact of products. Since it is a voluntary scheme, producers, importers and retailers can choose to apply for the label for their goods and services.
The functioning of the EU Ecolabel is set out in the official Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council. The EU Ecolabel is managed by the European Commission and the Member States. The European Commission agrees on a Strategic Working Plan for the EU Ecolabel.
In addition, the EU Ecolabel is an EN ISO 14024 type I ecolabelling scheme. It is “third party verified”, meaning that independent third parties are responsible for checking compliance with the EU Ecolabel criteria.
The respective roles of different groups involved in the management, implementation and growth of the EU Ecolabel are described below.
The European Commission manages the EU Ecolabel at the EU level to ensure that the EU Ecolabel Regulation is implemented correctly.
The Commission is responsible for preparing the final draft of the criteria documents, taking into account comments from the EU Ecolabelling Board (EUEB) (see below). The development or the revision of EU Ecolabel criteria can be initiated and led by parties other than the European Commission (Member States, Competent Bodies and other stakeholders).
The Commission adopts EU Ecolabel criteria for each product group as “Commission Decisions” after the EU Ecolabel Regulatory Committee vote of the criteria by a qualified majority.
You can learn more about the criteria under development or participate in the stakeholder’s meeting (Ad Hoc Working Group) for a particular product group on the European Product Bureau website.
The European Union Ecolabelling Board (EUEB) is composed of representatives of the Competent Bodies of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, and the representatives of the following organisations:
14 Stakeholder organisations (Type C Members)
- The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)
- European Environmental Bureau (EEB)
- European Business Services Alliance
- Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP)
- Plastic Recyclers Europe
- European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC)
- World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
- Better Finance - the European Federation of Investors and Financial Services Users
- European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA)
- European Savings and Retail Banking Group (ESBG)
- Insurance Europe
- European Banking Federation (EBF)
3 EU /UN Bodies (3 Type E Members)
- European Chemical Agency (ECHA)
- European Investment Bank (EIB)
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
The EUEB contributes to the development and revision of EU Ecolabel criteria and to any review of the implementation of the EU Ecolabel scheme. It also provides the Commission with advice and assistance in these areas and, in particular, issues recommendations on minimum environmental performance requirements.
National Competent Bodies are independent and impartial organisations designated by states of the European Economic Area within or outside government ministries. They are responsible for implementing the EU Ecolabel scheme at the national level and should be the first point of contact for any questions from applicants.
They receive and assess applications and award the EU Ecolabel to products that meet the criteria set for them. As such, they are responsible for ensuring that the verification process is carried out in a consistent, neutral and reliable manner by a party independent from the operator being verified, based on international, European or national standards and procedures concerning bodies operating product-certification schemes.
In the development of the criteria, a balanced participation of all relevant stakeholders (interested parties) concerned with a particular product group, such as industry and service providers, including SMEs, and their business organisations, trade unions, traders, retailers, importers, environmental protection groups and consumer organisations must be guaranteed.
The EU Ecolabel Helpdesk assists the European Commission with various tasks such as writing news publications, generating stakeholder support and soliciting aid for certain marketing activities. It also provides help to the public by email and phone regarding general questions about the EU Ecolabel.
Facts and figures
For the latest facts and figures related to the EU Ecolabel including number of licenses and products you can download the latest factsheet below or find more details on our facts and figures page here.
Green Public Procurement
Green Public Procurement (GPP) is a process whereby public authorities seek to procure goods, services and works with a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle when compared to similar goods, services and works that would otherwise be procured. GPP is a voluntary instrument, which means that member states and public authorities can determine the extent to which they implement it.
The Buying Green! Handbook outlines how labels, including the EU Ecolabel, can be used at different stages of the procurement process in more detail.
Other ecolabel schemes
You can find more information about other ecolabelling schemes in Europe on the Community and Helpdesk page.