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Retailers: environmental labeling

The principles

The Grenelle Environment conference, through commitment 217, determined the generalized application of environmental labeling for products and services.

The environmental labeling of products concerns the environmental impact generated by a product throughout its life cycle. It will enable consumers:

  • to take account of this information in their purchasing decision criteria;
  • to compare products within the same category, or else between different categories of products.

This mechanism will also encourage companies to initiate eco-design procedures for their products in order to reduce the impact of their products on the environment.

 Thanks to the harmonization of environmental labeling, information on products will therefore be comparable at the same point of sale or even between different points of sale.

 This labeling must relate to the product / packaging pairing, be based on a multi-criteria approach and take into consideration the entire product life cycle. The climate change indicator is mandatory in the chosen methodology, in conjunction with other relevant indicators.

 

The Regulation

 Following amendment to the publication of the "Grenelle 1 Act" followed by the amendment to the "Grenelle 2 Act" (Article 228), it was decided to carry out a national one-year trial starting on 1 July 2011 prior to envisaging the general rollout of the procedure. The government report issuing from this trial: "concludes therefore that there is the need, pending the advent of an EU mechanism, to initiate an approach that is both proactive and progressive, consistent at European level, compatible with the rules of international trade and based on methodological frameworks developed over five years by the French standards association, AFNOR, and the environment agency, ADEME." Philippe Martin, former French Minister of the Environment, also declared: "Hand-in-hand with proactive companies, the Government will continue to improve environmental labeling, with the intention of achieving by 2020 a simple mechanism that is useful for consumers and which enables manufacturers to move forward with the eco-design of their products."

 

The methodology

From a technical point of view, 24 category-specific reference frameworks have been adopted by the ADEME / AFNOR platform and cover product categories such as food, clothing textiles, furnishings, sports goods, etc. The BP X30-323-0 horizontal reference framework was also revised in 2014 in order to be aligned with European requirements. The Base IMPACTS® database used for making calculations is now available for the first of the sectors and will continue to grow over time. Lastly, calculation tools for TVs and shoes are also proposed by ADEME.

In addition, the European Commission has launched a three-year trial in order to develop European sector-specific reference frameworks through the application of general PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) and OEF (Organization Environmental Footprint) methods..

 

 

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