EU eco-label programme

The Hindu, July 28, 2009

COIMBATORE: The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is working with textile units in India to promote use of the European Union Eco Label.

In the country, the UNEP has partnered with Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) for the eco-labelling programme. A meeting was organised here on Monday to create awareness about the project.

Bas de Leeuw, Head of Integrated Resource Management of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), told The Hindu that the programme was on in six important developing countries (including, South Africa, Brazil, India, China and Kenya) and the products covered were textiles, paper, television and shoes.

In India, the focus was on textiles. The label helped a consumer in European Union know whether it was environment friendly.

The project covered the entire life-cycle of a product – from raw material to the manufacturing process and packaging.

The companies should comply with a set of standards. And, the units that registered for the label would be helped with technical expertise, training and networking with retailers.

The four-year programme was into the third year now. The label would be valid for three years. Those interested should send in their business plans, he said.

A workshop would be held in Germany in September for trainers. The cost of the label would not be an obstacle for companies to register for it.

The organisation was also having meetings with the Indian Government. It would give its expertise and training to Indian officials to develop the Indian eco-label.

In his welcome remarks, Arindam Basu, Director of South India Textile Research Association, said various eco-marks were present in the market and a number of American and European Union buyers insisted on these.

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