Identification of elements for a future "Strategy for the EU Ecolabel"

The EU Ecolabel is a voluntary instrument aimed at identifying the environmentally best performing products on the market. The debate on the role and effectiveness of ecolabels in driving the sustainable consumption and production (SCP) has been going on for several years. According to the EU Commission (2017) , ecolabels are effective if they meet their objectives, i.e. promote products that have a high level of environmental performance. In order to prove a high environmental performance, it is required to measure tangible market uptake of labelled products with ambitious environmental criteria and robust verification mechanisms. In the recently published Fitness Check on the EU-Ecolabel mentioned the limited effectiveness of the EU ecolabel, predominantly due to the lack of awareness and market recognition. Such effects have led to a low uptake of the EU Ecolabel by businesses. Furthermore, lack of recognition in public policy and compliance and verification costs were regarded as contributing towards the limited uptake of the EU Ecolabel (EU Commission, 2017).
The general objective of the present study is to support the improvement of the implementation of the EU Ecolabel voluntary scheme on the basis of the Fitness Check findings and conclusions, leading to an increased uptake.

The specific objective of the present study is to identify elements for a future "Strategy for the EU Ecolabel". This would include – among others – the identification of:

  • realistic, and possibly quantifiable targets for the scheme;
  • the product/service groups which are most promising in terms of impact and uptake which the EU Ecolabel should focus on for the period 2018-2028 (including new product/service groups), and
  • the priority actions for the monitoring of the implementation and the impact of the scheme (such as environmental improvement, market penetration etc.).