Enabling developing countries to seize eco-label opportunities

This project is being implemented by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in association with local partners and co- funded by the EU (European Commission (EC) Programme on Environment in Developing Countries) & the Federal Ministry for the Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), German Ministry. The project is for a duration of four years and would be a collaborative work of UNEP, International and National Partners and Associates. Target countries are Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Mexico and South Africa. CUTS is the Indian partner of the project.

The overall objective is to increase the environmental efficiency of key export products and related industrial processes in the target countries by supporting the active contribution of industry and government to the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (Marrakech process). While the specific objective is to increase the number of products from target countries in EU as well as in their national and global markets eco-labelled with the EU Eco-label or other European countries’ ‘Type I’ environmental labels.

According to the International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO), ‘Type I environmental labels’ are “Voluntary, multiple-criteria based third party programmes that award a licence authorising the use of environmental labels on products. These indicate the overall environmental preferability of a product within a particular product category based on life cycle considerations. These labels provide qualitative environmental information” (ISO 14024: 1). The project focuses on this type of labels and thereinafter the ‘Type I environmental labels’ will be referred to as ‘eco-labels’.

Target groups under this project are:

Industry representatives and industrial designers of key target countries’ export product groups (appliances in China; textiles in India and South Africa;footwear in Mexico and Kenya; and product group to be decided in Brazil).

Government decision-makers in the target countries; and

European and local eco-labelling bodies.

Five main groups of activities envisaged are:

Background and Assessment

Capacity Building

Technical Assistance

Cooperation among Eco-labelling Schemes

Conclusion, Dissemination, and Basis for Project Replication

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