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Makower on Ecolabels: Certifiably Insane

Posted 6 May 2009 by Anastasia O'Rourke to Ecolabel News.

According to a Makower post today, the Darwinian shake-out in ecolabels (i.e. less but better labels) is slow to move, probably because many labels are non-profits, so M&A activity is not driven by the market.

Also, companies invest in marketing their ecolabelled products, so they’ll be slow to leave a brand once they’ve invested in it.

We think the ‘green knight’ might be a meta-standard. It’s something we and many others in the labelling community have been brainstorming.

We also think that good data and reporting will go a long way to helping consumers make greener choices.

Here’s to transparency in ecolabelling, the sanity cure for a growing market!

  • KaSz

    Any meta label will have transparency problems of its own. The best way to handle this would be to research all known eco-labels in parallel, and publish the results as a report with a summary grid to start. Cost of participating in the eco label should be included, as for some labels, costs are substantial. The standards that were required for each label should be compared by product type affected.

    Yes, this will create a huge database. However, if it is updated annually or bi-annually, it will be the best way to keep track of competing eco-labels, and reduce confusion. If you would like to set a threshold of combined standards among ecolabels and use it to create your own metalabel, just realize that transparency is the only way to prevent deep skepticism.