Producers, manufacturers, importers, service providers and wholesalers placing their products and/or services on the EEA (the European Union, Lichtenstein, Norway and Iceland) market can apply for the EU Ecolabel. Retailers can also apply for products placed on the market under their own brand name.
Any company/business wishing to obtain the EU Ecolabel should contact and submit its application to the relevant competent body. The following should be considered:
- If a product originates in an EEA state, the application should be presented to a competent body of that country;
- If a product originates in several states within the EEA (in the same form), the application can be presented to a competent body in any one of the countries in which it originates;
- If a product originates outside the EEA, the application should be presented to a competent body in any of the Member States in which the product is going to be placed on the market.
We encourage you to choose the product group of your interest among the different product and service groups that are currently covered by the EU Ecolabel scheme, to carefully read the associated EU Ecolabel criteria and to make sure that your product falls within its scope (normally the scope is indicated in Article 1 of each criteria set). Please consider also the user manual for your product group, it will help you in preparing the technical dossier. For a short overview of the criteria, you can also look at the Factsheets that are provided for each product group under the respective tabs in the full list of established product and service groups.
Depending on the product/service group, you may need to provide declarations, documents, data sheets and test results to prove compliance with the EU Ecolabel criteria. For more information about tests on products, see the question, ‘Where can businesses have their products tested?’.
While the complete technical dossier should be sent to the relevant national competent body for assessment, an online application should also be notified to the Commission via the ECAT ADMIN Tool. For more information, please consult the dedicated ECAT User Manual for applicants.
You can also reach out to your national competent body (or check their national websites) for competent body guidance in the application process.
For more information on how to make an application, refer to the ‘How to apply for Ecolabel’ section.
Yes, any product or service that is supplied for distribution, consumption or use in the EEA market can be awarded the EU Ecolabel, regardless of the origin of the product. The EU Ecolabel Regulation allows manufacturers, producers and retailers based in non-European countries to apply for the EU Ecolabel on the condition that they meet the criteria for their respective product group and that the product is sold in the EEA market.
The application can be made to the competent body of the country where the products are produced (if inside the EEA) or will be marketed (if outside the EEA).
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.
Annex III of the new EU EcolabelRegulation lays down the rules and limits for EU Ecolabel fees. Competent bodies charge fees on an individual basis in accordance with the limits and rules set out in Annex III. Reductions are available for micro-enterprises and SMEs, companies from developing countries and companies registered under EMAS or certified under ISO 14001.
Find more information on the application and annual fees in the How to apply for EU Ecolabel section.
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.
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.
New EU Ecolabel product groups are constantly being identified and criteria developed for them. The prioritisation of the development of new criteria is set out in the Strategic EU Ecolabel Work Plan 2020 - 2024. In principle, any interested stakeholder can submit a proposal for a new product group if they want a product to be included in the EU Ecolabel scheme. However, considering the priorities identified in the Strategic EU Ecolabel Workplan, please note that no request for development of criteria for new product groups can be considered in 2022.
Download the EU Ecolabel 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.
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.
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.
Yes. With environmental claims on products being so common, it can be difficult to tell the difference between ‘greenwashing’ and reliable claims. EU Ecolabel products can be trusted because, from production to use and disposal, they have been assessed as products with reduce environmental impact. Scientifically sound criteria have been developed in a transparent way involving scientists, NGOs and stakeholders to enable consumers to make environmentally responsible choices. In addition, the EU Ecolabel can be awarded by independent third-party organisations only to the best 10- 20 % products on the market, in terms of environmental performance.
The EU Ecolabel logo is a reliable, third-party certified label covering all major environmental, health and social issues. Reliability is ensured through a transparent process for setting the EU Ecolabel criteria. EU Ecolabel products are easily recognisable through the display of the EU Ecolabel logo on each certified product. The EU Ecolabel thus helps consumers make informed choices and opt for environmentally friendly products, boosting the market for sustainable products in a circular economy.
Once its products received the approval for the EU Ecolabel, the producer can place the EU Ecolabel logo anywhere on the product and its packaging.
See EU Ecolabel logo guidelines.
A survey conducted by Eurobarometer between September and October 2017 showed that more than a quarter of European respondents (27 %) are aware of the EU Ecolabel. Around one third of respondents (32 %) said that ecolabels play an important role in their purchasing decisions. Among those who were aware of any ecolabels, 30 % said that they have bought a product carrying the EU ecolabel and more than three-quarters (78 %) of respondents agreed that they ‘trust that products carrying the EU Ecolabel are environmentally friendly’. In a more recent survey conducted by Eurobarometer between February to March 2021, around a fifth of European respondents (22 %) declared to have bought products marked with an environmental label. This shows that labels play an important role in the purchasing behaviour of European consumers.
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.
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 aims to ease the customer’s choice in favour of sustainable products. This holds true for business purchasers, as well as shoppers. It’s also recognised across Europe, making it easy for you to sell your products across the continent. EU Ecolabel products are featured on the EU Ecolabel Product Catalogue (ECAT) or the EU Ecolabel Tourist Accommodation Catalogue, increasing your businesses and your products visibility.
The label is not an environmental label for industry, by industry. The scheme includes compliance checks, as well as independent verification, and is trusted by consumers. In addition, the EU Ecolabel adds value to your business and products by enhancing reputation, highlighting corporate social responsibility and increasing sales. The EU Ecolabel can also contribute to resource and money savings, e.g. through a reduction in raw material, water and energy consumption, reduced waste production or an improved carbon footprint. In addition, you can benefit from marketing activities carried out by the Commission and competent bodies and have improved access to GPP (Green Public Procurement).
Finally, the application process is simple, and can be done online. There are special discounts for SMEs, micro-enterprises, applicants from developing economies and companies registered under EMAS or certified under ISO 14001. Discover the reductions on the fees for SMES.
Consumers are becoming more and more concerned about the environment, and research shows that people want to take real action by choosing products that cause less damage to the environment. But many are confused by – and often very sceptical about – the countless green claims made by manufacturers and retailers for their products.
Launched in 1992, the EU Ecolabel is the official European Union voluntary label for environmental excellence, awarded to sustainably designed products that contribute to the EU goal of climate neutrality by 2050 and to the circular economy. EU Ecolabel products meet high standards that reduce their environmental impact across their lifecycle, from raw material extraction, to production, use and disposal.
Because the scheme works on a European level, it goes beyond the pre-existing national ecolabels that are often only known within national borders.
The EU Ecolabel guarantees a high level of transparency, reliability and scientific credibility, which meets customers’ green demands. And, unlike other environmental information or labelling, no technical understanding is required to read and understand the label. By choosing EU Ecolabel products, it is easy for consumers to make an environmentally friendly choice.
The EU Ecolabel logo is used for all different product groups covered by the scheme. This makes it easier to recognise quality products with better environmental performance, protecting the interests of consumers, producers and the environment.
In accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of the Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 on the EU Ecolabel, each Member State of the EEA designates the body or bodies (competent body/ competent bodies, often abbreviated to CBs), within government ministries or outside, responsible for carrying out the tasks provided within the EU Ecolabel Regulation and ensure that they are operational. Competent bodies 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 should be the first point of contact for any questions from applicants. You can find the list of all the competent bodies on the following webpage: Competent Bodies.
Discover more detailed information about the scheme here. In the EU Ecolabel Product Catalogue (ECAT) and the EU Ecolabel Tourist Accommodation Catalogue you’ll also find a list of EU Ecolabel products and services and contact details of EU Ecolabel license holders.
You can also contact your national competent body to learn more about the scheme at the national level, submit your application or ask any questions you might have about the application process or the scheme in general.
The Blue Angel, the Nordic Swan and several other ecolabel schemes in Europe all meet the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) definition for a Type 1 Ecolabel. However, the EU Ecolabel is the only European ecolabel, while the other ecolabels are designed at national level.
The EU Ecolabel and national ecolabels coexist well and are developing a policy of cooperation and coordination. Article 11 of the EU Ecolabel Regulation(No 66/2010) introduces measures to encourage harmonisation between ecolabel schemes, particularly in the selection of product groups and the development and revision of criteria. When new criteria are developed for the EU Ecolabel, existing criteria under other officially recognised ecolabelling schemes in the Member States are considered. Newly developed criteria under these schemes should be at least as strict as the existing EU Ecolabel criteria. If a product has been awarded with both a national and the EU Ecolabel, you will find the two logos displayed next to each other on the product.
Producers can show their environmental commitment in many ways. One of them is the adoption of an independently verified environmental management system, such as EMAS or ISO 14001.
Like the EU Ecolabel, the European Union Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a voluntary scheme, but while the EU Ecolabel is awarded to products, EMAS is awarded to organisations. Moreover, EMAS doesn’t rely on a “pass-fail” system as the EU Ecolabel. EMAS certified organisations have committed to continuously improving their environmental performance and providing relevant information to the public.
There are many synergies between both voluntary schemes; benefits include:
- Reductions in annual fees – applicants to the EU Ecolabel scheme who have already received certification under EMAS or ISO 14001 can be granted reductions of up to 20 % on the annual fee.
- Recognition of environmental commitment – competent bodies are advised to take into account the implementation of recognised environmental management schemes (e.g. EMAS or ISO 14001) while assessing applications and monitoring compliance with the EU Ecolabel’s criteria.
Visit the EMAS website for more information on this scheme.
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.
The main difference lies in the thematic coverage of both labelling schemes. The EU Ecolabel is a multi-criteria label certifying excellent environmental performances for a product throughout its life-cycle. It complies with the requirements of EN ISO 14024 Type 1 environmental labels.
The most widely used carbon labels provide information on only one environmental aspect during the life-cycle of a product – carbon or greenhouse gas emissions.
If you are aware of a product/service on the market displaying the EU Ecolabel logo that does not comply with the EU Ecolabel criteria, please fill and send us a complaint form. Download the form and discover more in the Do you have a complaint? section.
EU Ecolabel Products and Criteria
Frequently asked questions regarding EU Ecolabel Products and Criteria.
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.
Following consultation of the EUEB, the Commission, Member States, competent bodies and other stakeholders may initiate and lead the development or revision of EU Ecolabel criteria.
The party which initiates and leads the development or revision of EU Ecolabel criteria produces various necessary documents, including a proposal for draft criteria, a technical report in support of the proposal, a preliminary report, a final report, a manual for potential users of the EU Ecolabel and competent bodies as well as a manual for authorities awarding public contracts. Those are submitted to the Commission and to the European Union Ecolabelling Board (EUEB).
Where criteria have already been developed under another ecolabel scheme complying with the requirements of EN ISO 14024 Type 1 environmental labels for a product group for which no EU Ecolabel criteria have been established, a shortened criteria development procedure may apply. Please consult the section Criteria Development and Revision for more information.
Criteria development is currently underway for several new product groups, you can see the full list of criteria that are under development on the Product Groups and Criteria section. Further information on the criteria development process can be found on the relevant website of the Joint Research Centre (JRC).
A license represents an EU Ecolabel contract between the competent body and the license holder, covering one or several awarded products from the same product group category. The applicant, after being awarded, becomes a license holder. A license number has the following form: XX/YYY/ZZZ (where XX refers to the country of registration, YYY to the product group, ZZZ to the number assigned from the competent body to the applicant). If a license holder submits a new application for the same product group (=extension of the license), the same license number is issued.
The European Commission and competent bodies are committed to limiting animal testing. This commitment has been the subject of an inscription in Article 6 of the EU Ecolabel Regulation, mentioning that the criteria development process will try to include ‘as far as possible the principle of reducing animal testing’. This provision has been integrated for the first time in the EU Ecolabel criteria for “animal care products” adopted in 2021.
Not necessarily – they may even cost less. Moreover, because EU Ecolabel means reduced environmental impact alongside guaranteed high performance, a great deal of value is added to the product.
Product group criteria are usually valid for a period of three to five years, depending on the Commission decision for each product group. By being revised on a regular basis, criteria reflect technical innovation, such as evolution of materials or production processes, emission reductions and changes in the market. The criteria are reviewed prior to their expiration and may be revised or their validity prolonged. If criteria are revised, license holders need to renew their contract. If criteria validity is prolonged, the contract is automatically renewed as long as the criteria remain valid for a product or service. Licence holders may use the EU Ecolabel starting from the date it is awarded until the end of the period of the validity of the criteria.
According to Article 9 of the new EU EcolabelRegulation, owners/managers of tourist accommodation or campsite services in non-European countries can apply for the EU Ecolabel. Their application can be made to the competent body of the EEA country where the services are or will be placed on the market, e.g. commercialised by a ‘tour operator’.
It is however obligatory for non-European applicants to have their services placed on the European market if they want to be associated to the EU Ecolabel. Otherwise, service providers are not entitled to apply for the EU Ecolabel.
Under normal circumstances, within two months of receiving an application, the competent body checks whether the documentation is complete and notifies the operator accordingly. After this, the applicant has six months to complete the documentation if necessary. If the application is not completed on time, the competent body may reject the application.
Some assessments and verifications of EU Ecolabel criteria require product tests. Specific assessment and verification requirements are indicated within each criterion. Where the applicant is required to provide declarations, documentation, analyses, test reports, or other evidence to show compliance with the criteria, these may originate from the applicant and/or his/her supplier(s) and/or their supplier(s), etc. as appropriate. Competent bodies should preferentially recognise attestations which are issued by bodies accredited in accordance with the relevant harmonised standard for testing and calibration laboratories and verifications by bodies that are accredited in accordance with the relevant harmonised standard for bodies certifying products, processes and services. Where appropriate, test methods other than those indicated for each criterion may be used if the competent body assessing the application accepts their equivalence. Where appropriate, competent bodies may require supporting documentation and may carry out independent verifications or site inspections to check compliance with these criteria. Discover more about testing methods. A list of accredited laboratories for most European countries is available on the European Accreditation Corporation’s website.
Selling and promoting EU Ecolabel goods and services
Frequently asked questions about selling and promoting EU Ecolabel goods and services.
EU Ecolabel products and services can be sold and marketed worldwide. They are especially targeted at EEA states (EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
There is a range of marketing, promotional and communication material available on the EU Ecolabel website, which you can use to help market your product. Once the EU Ecolabel is awarded to your product or service, please ensure it is registered and displayed in the EU Ecolabel Product Catalogue (ECAT) or the EU Ecolabel Tourist Accommodation Catalogue, which gives you the opportunity to reach your customers. We strongly recommend you make the best use of this tool by regularly updating the information and pictures about your products uploaded to the catalogue. Cooperation was initiated with various e-retailing platforms to increase visibility of the EU Ecolabel products which are already present on these platforms. As the e-retailing platforms rely on data derived from the ECAT, it is especially important to register all EU Ecolabel products within the product catalogue.
Contact the Helpdesk if you want to highlight an outstanding initiative of your company in the context of the EU Ecolabel. Keep yourself informed by checking this website for news to discover what you can do to best promote your products using the EU Ecolabel. Don’t forget to advertise your EU Ecolabel products at the point of sale or through your own promotions and communication channels.
Retailers can sell EU Ecolabel products in their store/online. Retailers can also submit applications for products marketed under their own brand and eventually become license holders. More information can be found in the application procedure.
As a retailer, you can request – or even insist – that your suppliers apply for the EU Ecolabel for their products. In this way, you will contribute to providing environmentally friendly products to your clients.
Retailers selling products under their own brand can have their own profile on the EU Ecolabel Product Catalogue (ECAT).
If a retailer sells EU Ecolabel products but not under its own brand name, this retailer cannot have its own profile. However, this retailer can appear in a dedicated box (“Retailer information”) on the product page, if the applicant provides the relevant information.
If the composition of the product stays the same and only the name of the products is changing, the producer does not have to submit a full application again. However, the producer needs to formally inform the competent body of the changes and get approval for an extension of its license to any newly added products.
In principle you do not need to submit a new application if the new characteristics do not affect compliance with the EU Ecolabel criteria. However, it is always best to contact the competent body that issued your EU Ecolabel licence and notify him of any modifications.
Yes, compliance with EU Ecolabel packaging criteria is obligatory. It is prohibited to use the EU Ecolabel on products that do not comply with all the criteria, as per the criteria documents. This also applies to packaging criteria for commercial samples to be given away for free.
Each Member State designates the body or bodies (competent body/ competent bodies, often abbreviated to CBs) responsible for carrying out the tasks provided within the EU Ecolabel Regulation and ensure that they are operational. Competent bodies are responsible for ensuring that the verification process is carried out in a consistent, neutral and reliable manner. The competent bodies should be the first point of contact for any questions from applicants. For more information on the role of competent bodies please see the question ‘Who manages the scheme at national level?’
European Economic Area (comprises the Member States of the European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
The Commission has established the European Union Ecolabelling Board (EUEB), which consist of representatives of the competent bodies of all the Member States and of other interested parties (you can find the full list of EUEB members in the Who does what section).
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.
An EU Ecolabel licence is awarded to one or more products/services after verification. A contract of licence is signed between the competent body and an applicant-operator. The applicant, after being awarded, becomes a licence holder.
In the context of the EU Ecolabel, ‘operator’ means any producer, manufacturer, importer, service provider, wholesaler or retailer.
In the context of the EU Ecolabel, ‘products’ means any goods or services which are supplied for distribution, consumption or use on the Community market (EEA) whether in return for payment or free of charge.