About / Press

Press coverage of Ecolabel Index (the site formerly known as ecolabelling.org).

If you’d like to talk to us about ecolabels, write to us at support@ecolabelindex.com.

There are more than 450 meanings behind “green” labels External Site

10 October 2016

QUARTZ-logoEco-conscious shoppers have probably noticed hordes of new “green-approved,” “100% natural” eco-friendly goods—claiming to be “certified” by some organization or other—popping up on store shelves. So many, in fact, that it becomes hard to know which claims are real.


As U.S. States Look To Add Food Labels, Denmark Looks To Subtract Some External Site

29 October 2012 | NPR

…as consumers have become more interested in the back story of whatever they’re tossing in the shopping cart, the proliferation of “pick me!” logos has become somewhat overwhelming.

What’s in a Label? Not Necessarily Sustainability External Site

17 September 2012 | IHT

As consumers increasingly vote with their wallets for sustainable goods and groceries, producers are doing more to signal the eco-friendliness of their wares. But amid the many different certification logos, package designs and environmental claims, experts warn that all that glitters is not green.

FTC to issue new green guidelines, address ‘tsunami’ of marketing claims External Site

21 April 2011 | USA Today

Confused about products claiming “organic,” “fair trade” or “eco” benefits? How about the “WindMade” or “BioPreferred” labels, launched this year? No wonder. The number of green labels that tout environmental virtues is proliferating, as are complaints about them…

Is It Greenwashing Or Too Many Eco-Labels That Is The Problem? External Site

22 March 2011 | TriplePundit

TriplePundit logoIf there were fewer labeling standards out there, confusion amongst consumers would likely diminish, since it’s currently impossible for people to get their heads around them all. The Ecolabel Index website currently lists 378 such labels and it’s a useful resource for engaged consumers to research the credentials of each.

Questioning and Evolving the Eco-label External Site

10 March 2011 | The Guardian (UK)

The GuardianAs of today, the Ecolabel Index lists 377 schemes in 211 countries and 25 industry sectors, from Italy’s 100% Green Electricity to New Zealand’s Zque natural wool label. In January alone, we saw announcements on a new label for wind energy, another front-of-pack nutritional label, and a certification process for conflict minerals.

How green is your ecolabel? External Site

3 January 2011 | Sustainable Industries

Sustainable Industries“It’s as much about maintaining and strengthening the market for ecolabels as anything,” Trevor Bowden, co-founder of Ecolabel Index, says of the push for more authentic labeling. “If consumers don’t trust the claims, that can have far reaching implications.”

The FTC’s New Green Guides and the Perils of Compliance External Site

20 October 2010 | GreenBiz.com


Will consumers really prefer a product that is compostable in under a year vs. two years?  In a few instances, maybe. Will understanding that the “Ecoproof” eco-label — one of the almost 350 tracked by Ecolabel Index — refers only to the textiles in a product make it leap off the shelves?  I doubt it.

Agency Seeks to Tighten Rules for ‘Green’ Labeling External Site

6 October 2010 | The New York Times

New York TimesOne of the most notable updates to the guides concerns the use of environmental seals and certifications seen on many packages. According to the Ecolabel Index, there are currently 349 seals and certifications for marketing green products worldwide, with 88 used in North America alone. While the commission does not require the use of a specific label, it considers them endorsements that should be substantiated.

Federal Trade Commission Advises: Define What Green Really Means External Site

6 October 2010 | Environment News Service

The Ecolabel Index, which lists 88 ecolabels used in North America, says the FTC’s revised Green Guides strengthen the position of ecolabels.

Ecolabel’s Anastasia O’Rourke comments, “The guides as they are written here represent a realtively low threshold, and appear designed to curb outright misrepresentation. Unlike some previous anxiety, we can see that the FTC is far from taking ecolabels and seals off the shelf. Rather they are insisting that even if you have a product that has been certified, you back it up – and fair enough too.”

New EcoLabel Index Sorts Out Validity, Accountability & Transparency of Green Certification Programs External Site

2 July 2010 | Treehugger

treehuggerThe sheer proliferation of eco-labeling, certification and recognition programs, covering everything from food, to clothing, to energy and more, is bewildering–even to people who follow this stuff professionally. It’s hard to keep up with it all and sometimes just as hard to sort out what labels can be trusted and which need improvement. Which is where the just-launched Ecolabel Index comes in.

Environmental certification becoming increasingly crowded and contested field External Site

3 May 2010 | The Washington Post

The Washington PostAbout 600 labels worldwide — 80 in the United States — are issued by companies and nonprofit organizations that offer a promise of environmentally friendly qualities, according to a new survey by the World Resources Institute, Duke University and the environmental analyst Big Room Inc. They cover almost every category imaginable — from textiles to tea and tourism, from forest products to food.

How not to get greenwashed External Site

19 April 2010 | The Globe and Mail

The Globe and MailWhile some eco-labels are little more than extensions of corporate marketing departments, many labels offer assurances about a product. “The best labels are credible, third-party, independent bodies,” says Trevor Bowden, Co-founder of Big Room, which publishes a website that profiles over 400 eco-labels. He says many certification bodies rigorously investigate products before labeling them. “Look for a label you can trust,” he advises. “Labels can be a shortcut to making green choices without researching every product.”

Is Eco-certification a Carrot – or Killer – for Innovation? External Site

9 April 2010 | Fast Company

Fast CompanyOn the one hand, they can provide benchmark criteria to guide effective greening. As Trevor Bowden of Ecolabelling.org confirms, “good, independent eco-certifications enable companies to create meaningful sustainability initiatives without starting from zero.”

The Great Eco-label Shakedown External Site

27 July 2009 | Sustainable Industries

Sustainable Industries“It’s a brand on a brand. And if that brand has value, it enhances value, if not, it detracts,” says Trevor Bowden, one of the founders of ecolabelling.org, an online directory of more than 300 eco-labels.

A project of Vancouver, B.C.–based startup Big Room Inc., ecolabelling.org was launched in 2008 to respond to a swarm of labels making their way into the marketplace. “We saw that there was a huge move to ‘green’ business and ‘green’ purchasing,” Bowden says. “A lot of claims started being made. … We saw a gap emerging between perceived and actual ‘green.’”

As Eco-Seals Proliferate, So Do Doubts External Site

2 April 2009 | The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street JournalAs green marketing has proliferated, so has the number of “eco-labels” competing to be the environmental equivalent of a Good Housekeeping seal of approval. According to the Web site Ecolabelling.org, there are more than 300 such labels putting a green stamp on everything from cosmetics and seafood to bird-friendly coffee.

Listing the green labels External Site

31 January 2008 | The Guardian

The GuardianI have also noticed, in my reading, that there are an increasing number of incomprehensible symbols that crop up. But incomprehensible no more, because the first international database of eco-labels has now been set up. It’s an independent database run by a company called Big Room, who are sensibly trying to improve the global green market: if we have to have a global market it makes sense to make it as green as possible.

Ecolabelling.org: Cutting Through the Confusion External Site

15 November 2007 | Treehugger

treehuggerIt seems like only yesterday we were complaining about the confusion that is resulting from so many standards being set up by everyone and his PR agent’s dog to define “sustainability” and “green.” Others are trying to get a handle them as well; ecolabelling.org asks “who’s deciding what’s green?” and has started collecting, organizing and explaining as many standards as they can find.

They call it “a global catalogue of ecolabels. You can use it to find labels for green products and services around the world and then keep an eye out for the ones you like when you go shopping…”