The EU Ecolabel is a world-renowned, voluntary scheme promoting goods and services that clearly demonstrate environmental excellence, based on standardised processes and scientific evidence.
How the EU Ecolabel works is set out in the official Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council. It is managed by the European Commission and Member States according to the priorities established in the Strategic Working Plan for the EU Ecolabel.
EU Ecolabel is the only EU-wide ISO 14024 Type I ecolabelling scheme. Recognised throughout Europe, it is multi-criteria and tackles the main environmental impacts of products along their full lifecycle, from extraction of raw material to disposal.
The EU Ecolabel is third-party verified, which means independent experts are responsible for checking compliance with the EU Ecolabel criteria.
How the label emerged
Launched more than 30 years ago as the ‘Community Eco-label’, it has become the biggest and best-known scheme in many EU countries. Consumers increasingly look for the ‘EU flower’ on products to guide them towards more sustainable choices.
With a wide scope of product categories and increasing uptake, the EU Ecolabel attracts more and more manufacturers and retailers to the scheme, which today covers diverse categories and a growing list of product groups.
Independent experts help to verify that EU Ecolabel products use sustainable ingredients and avoid hazardous, toxic or otherwise harmful substances. Successful applicants also prove they use minimal, recycled and/or easily to recycle packaging.
Download the EU Ecolabel leaflet and brochure (coming soon) for more information about the scheme, its history and achievements.
Find out more about celebrations organised for the 30th anniversary of the EU Ecolabel.
EU Ecolabel’s importance in a nutshell…
As the only pan-European Type I ecolabel, it is recognised throughout Europe, thus supporting the Single Market for green products.
- Transparent and reliable:
The label is a mark of green excellence and professional discipline thanks to strict criteria developed by the European Commission and Member States with industry, consumer organisations and environmental NGOs.
- Vast choice:
Whether paper, cleaning products, cosmetics, clothes, do-it-yourself materials or hotels, there is a growing list of green product groups now open to certification.
- Good for people and planet:
Retailers and consumers can trust that labelled goods and services have a lower environmental footprint, generate less waste and CO2 during manufacturing, contain less hazardous chemicals, and they are designed to last longer and be easier to repair.
- Measurable and marketable:
For businesses, displaying ‘the flower’ logo on their products and in their promotional materials has a measurable impact on returns, especially when targets (on circularity, emissions, waste…) are integrated into a company’s sustainability strategy.
- Independently verified:
An independent third party (‘Competent Body’) ensures that products fully comply with the relevant EU Ecolabel criteria.
- Strict criteria:
Awarded products comply with strict criteria for reducing their environmental impact, from the extraction of raw materials to distribution and end-of-life. They must comply with quality requirements and often also respect relevant social criteria.
- ISO 14024 compliant:
EU Ecolabel is an ISO 14024 Type 1 ecolabel, which means it is reliable, multi-criteria and third-party verified. Criteria are set with a lifecycle approach through an open, transparent, multi-stakeholder process.
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:
13 Stakeholder organisations (Type C Members)
- The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)
- European Environmental Bureau (EEB)
- 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.
- Commission Decision establishing the European Union Ecolabelling Board and its rules of procedure
- European Union Ecolabelling Board and its rules of procedure (June 2020)
Find here the link to the Transparency register.
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.
The Competent Bodies meet regularly at the Competent Body Forum to exchange experiences and ensure a consistent implementation of the scheme in different countries. Find your Competent Body.
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.
An ecolabel is a voluntary environmental label for goods and/or services (generally referred to as “products”). These products must meet specific criteria related to a reduction in the overall environmental impact. The criteria depend on the product group. The EU Ecolabel is ruled by Regulation (EC) NO 66/2010 and fits the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) definition for a Type 1 Ecolabel. This means the EU Ecolabel is awarded on a voluntary basis, based on multiple criteria, by an independent third party to indicate overall environmental preferability within a specific product category based on a life-cycle assessment.
As stated in the Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 on the EU Ecolabel, EU Ecolabel criteria are based on the best products available on the EEA market in terms of environmental performance throughout the life cycle and correspond indicatively to the best 10- 20 % of the products available on the EEA market in terms of environmental performance at the moment of their adoption. The criteria are based on scientific data and information considering the whole life cycle of products. They cover the main environmental impacts of the product and their technical performance, including health, safety, social and ethical aspects, where appropriate. The criteria favour substitution of hazardous substances with safer ones and support durability, reusability, recyclability and recycled content of products. They include fitness for use requirements and guarantee compliance with existing EU legislation. The EU Ecolabel criteria are regularly revised to follow the technological evolution and are adopted as Commission Decisions. An overview of the existing product and service groups and the associated criteria can be found on the Product Groups and Criteria website.
The EU Ecolabel promotes Europe’s transition to a circular economy, supporting both sustainable production and consumption. Thanks to transparent ecological criteria, consumers can make conscious choices without compromising on the quality of the products. Similarly, the EU Ecolabel rewards those manufacturers who choose to design products that are durable and repairable, promoting innovation and saving resources. Any products that have been awarded the EU Ecolabel meet a set of high environmental and performance standards. The EU Ecolabel is a component of the European Commission’s action plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy and is referred to in the new Circular Economy Action Plan. The Action Plan foresees that the review of the Ecodesign Directive as well as further work on specific product groups, will build, among others and where appropriate, on criteria and rules established under the EU Ecolabel Regulation. The EU Ecolabel has in fact acted as a pioneer in promoting the circular economy, as the criteria are based on the main principles of the circular economy concept. The EU Ecolabel supports products and services that have a lower environmental impact and contribute to sustainable development along their life cycle, are energy efficient, durable and repairable.
EU Ecolabel criteria development/revision is a multi-step and multi-stakeholder process carried out according to the Annex I of the EU Ecolabel Regulation (No 66/2010).
The EU Ecolabel criteria development is managed by the Joint Research Centre (JRC). Every set of criteria undergoes several rounds of discussion. Criteria are finally adopted through a Decision of the European Commission. Please consult the section on the criteria development and revision process for more information.
Market surveillance and control of the use of the EU Ecolabel is guaranteed by competent bodies through Article 10 of the Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 on the EU Ecolabel.
If you noticed an improper use of the EU Ecolabel, you can send us a notification.
The EU Ecolabel is available for all products belonging to product groups for which EU Ecolabel criteria have been developed and are currently valid. Medicinal products (for human or veterinary use) and medical devices, and also food and drinks are currently not eligible for the EU Ecolabel. Discover the full range of product groups currently available on the Product Groups and Criteria page.
The updated list of products awarded with the EU Ecolabel is available in the online EU Ecolabel Product Catalogue (ECAT) and the EU Ecolabel Tourist Accommodation Catalogue. Up to this point, over 89 000 products and services across a huge range of product and service groups have received the EU Ecolabel, including detergents, paper, paints, textiles and tourist accommodation services. Recent statistics and data on the number of EU Ecolabel products are regularly published on the EU Ecolabel website.
Centralised database for EU Ecolabel products:
The EU Ecolabel Product Catalogue (ECAT) and the EU Ecolabel Tourist Accommodation Catalogue are online databases containing lists of products that have been awarded the EU Ecolabel. You can use the databases also to search for manufacturers, producers and service providers of EU Ecolabel products. Retailer information may also be available if provided by the applicant during registration. Should you need a complete extract of the data in the EU Ecolabel E-Catalogues for research purposes, you can download this data yourself at any time via the EU Open Data Portal. Please keep in mind that it is the licence holders’ responsibility to register their products on ECAT. As a result, this database may be a non-exhaustive list.
Currently, there is no product group for food or feed products within the EU Ecolabel scheme.
In 2011 the Commission undertook a study on the feasibility of developing EU Ecolabel criteria for food and feed products (read the final report of the feasibility study and the opinion of the European Union Ecolabelling Board). According to the outcome of the study, the Commission decided not to develop EU Ecolabel criteria for food and feed products at that time. It was nevertheless decided that the Commission could revisit this decision at some point in the future.
Download the EU Ecolabel Logo Guidelines for detailed information on the use of the EU Ecolabel logo. The guidelines help producers and manufacturers understand how to make best use of the logo. Before using the logo for a brochure, article or publication, you must contact the EU Ecolabel Helpdesk or your national Competent Body with a draft of the text with which you would like to use the logo.
If you are a producer or retailer that recently was awarded the EU Ecolabel for some of your products and you would like to obtain the logos in high resolution, please contact your Competent Body.
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.