GEN Activities

Topic 1:Selection of product groups
Moderator: Karin Bergbom, SFS Ecolabelling Finland
Reporter: Janicke Garmann, Ecolabelling Norway

How do the different schemes choose what products to develop criteria for? The Nordic Ecolabelling Scheme's system of PRS - Potential, Relevance and Steerability was presented.



Topic 2:Exclusion Lists for Chemicals and Substances
Moderator:Marianne B. Eskeland, Ecolabelling Norway
Reporter:Anne Kristine Fagerli, Ecolabelling Norway

Different ecolabelling schemes have different approaches to chemical requirements. Each ecolabelling scheme often have their own exclusion list. The industry would prefer if the schemes were more coordinated, especially with regards to exclusion lists.

No scheme has a common exclusion list for all product groups.
All schemes use exclusion as a way of handling chemicals.

Several schemes use or want to use property based lists (e.g. Nordic Ecolabelling's chemical list).

No universal answers for all chemicals. Identification of environmental preferability is what we want, an exclusion list in not sufficient.

General checklist may be difficult, but maybe a core-list should be developed?

Recommendations to GEN
Common GEN "warning" list.
Common chemical data base.


Topic 3:Environmental requirements - Documentation and Control
Moderator:Catarina Daggenfeldt, SIS Ecolabelling, Sweden
Reporter:Elisabeth Magnus, Ecolabelling Norway

The discussion showed that there was different practice between the countries regarding audits, and GEN was requested to discuss possibilities for site inspections on a mutual basis. It was generally agreed that positive lists for chemicals work better than the use of negative lists. Documentation on chemicals with information on recipe and test results form the chemical suppliers give long handling times. The use of declarations makes the handling easier.


Topic 4:Performance requirements - Documentation and Control,
Test methods, Standards

Moderator:Aina Seland, Ecolabelling Norway
Reporter:Randi Rodseth, Ecolabelling Norway

The aim of the discussion was to find to what extent the different ecolabelling-schemes include performance requirements in their criteria. The minutes contain the discussions from both groups.

All ecolabelling schemes present explained the importance of performance requirements both for the consumer and for the industry itself. If an international or national performance test already exists it is easier to include such requirements in the criteria. If such tests are not available it is more difficult and it may require performance tests to be developed.

Recommendations to GEN:
GEN could set up a data bank based on different international and national tests for all product groups available among the GEN members.


Appendix 1:Minutes from the discussions

Topic 1: Product groups

Group A

Introdution by Karin Bergbom: Credibility is an important aspect to consider when choosing product groups. It is also important that the environmental impact of the product group, and the potential for reducing the environmental impact, is big. This also leads to the discussion about "Dirty/grey" or "green" products. For the "green" products, the initial environmental impact, and thus the potential for reduction, is smaller than for "dirty" products. However, labelling "dirty" products could harm our credibility.............

Canada: both credibility and environmental impact is considered when product groups for development of guidelines are chosen. Canada has developed guidelines for i.e. fuel, because some fuels are preferable from an environmental point of view. Of course it would be better if cars were not driven at all, but this is not something ecolabelling can influence. The fuel-guidelines are for ethanol-blend gasoline, currently approx. 1000 gas stations sell this and 5 - 6 brands are labelled.

New Zealand: Some oil companies have launhed "green fuel", with own labels.

Moderator: Have you experienced any problems with this?

Cananda: Yes, environmental groups have raised questions about why fuel? However, ecolabelling fuel is only the 1. step, maybe the 9. will be the whole car......... The same principle applies to dishwashers, it is not really something you NEED, but they are very popular anyway, and they will continue to be. Criteria that limit energy-, water- and detergent-use improve the environment.

Japan: Have guidelines for choosing product groups, but the final decision is made by the steering committee, of which 30 % is from the industry. Get approx 120 applications per year from the industry for development of new criteria. This leads to approx. 2-3 new sets of criteria. Political interest to develop criteria leads to 1-2 new sets a year.

Nordic countries: Expressions of interest, then RPC. Relevance: environmental impact. Potential: possibility of change. Controllability: possible effects of ecolabelling. If any of these factors are absent, be reluctant to start development.

Previous experience is also useful (success and failure of earlier projects).

New Zealand: How evaluate marketing of criteria?

EU: The European scheme has a new working plan, and this defines how to choose product groups and how to perform a preliminary study including marketing of the product group, communication to consumer. It is important to get in contact with the industry.

Nordic: Deep frustration from marketing-section over the low priority of marketing considerations. But expert groups include producers, which means some contact with the market (often market leaders). Criteria development takes 1 - 2 years, and it is difficult to predict what the market will look like when the criteria are finished.

China: Started 1994, now 44 product groups. The most successful is building boards, electronics and textiles. The Chinese scheme is a government-run scheme.

India: Want criteria for eco-fuel, concrete/cement (70 large producers), green engines to focus on the main issue of air pollution.

Nordic: Negative experience with concrete, but this was due to a monopolised market, and was stopped by the competition authorities as a barrier to trade and competition. The criteria were almost finished but never adopted, and are thus not on the list of criteria. Within GEN we should also inform on which projects have been started, but not finished.

Canada: Also developed for concrete, but due to only 3 large manufacturers, no applications (if you won't, I won't...........). This was a problem in the beginning, 40 - 50 criteriasets, 30 % without licenses. This resulted in the development of panel review criteria, where the industry takes the initiative and develops criteria, and then the official label "adopts" them if they are OK. If they are a success (> 3 companies interested), guidelines are made for this product group. However, for panel review product groups, only approx. 50 % application rate approval. It is difficult for applicant when they do not know in advance what the criteria will be, so they prefer if there are guidelines (transparency early on in the process).

It is important to watch environmental trends. Focus on climate change has resulted in criteria for green electricity, fuel and lubricants. In the future maybe cars. The wants and needs of the consumers and the markets are very important.

Moderator: What about competition from other schemes and tools?

Canada: for large companies world wide, they only want to go for a few labels, so this is an important issue in the multinational market.

India: For the paper industry, imposing a tax on wastewater, which has reduced dramatically with proper WWT, is a big competition to the ecolabel, this is a bigger economic incentive.

Canada: Energy Star vs. ecolabelling, holistic environmental approach or just energy? Base their energy requirements on existing, for example EnergyStar.

New Zealand: base criteria on other labels, for example energy labels, water conservation or other ecolabels (import).

GEN: Often get enquiries from members about which product groups exist. Bulletin board on the web.

NZ: Always check if there are other criteria.

Nordic: Also ask about success or failure! And the market situation may be different.

Group B
Taiwan: In the beginning of the fiscal year, recommendations from producers and others are screened. Approx. 100 suggestions a year. Other experts opinions are considered, then about 20 are picked for further consideration. Information about technology levels and environmental impact is collected, and then criteria are developed for approx. 6 product groups (requirement from authorities). Consider development of criteria for commodities, not for groups with little interest.

Environmental impacts are important. Definition of product groups important too. Shampoo, detergents for clothes and dishwashers and soap are similar products but still different.

Canada: In the beginning product groups were considered by large committees. Started developing for 75 categories, 25 completed, significant income generated from only 10 - 15 groups. Industry involvement is very important. Environmental impact is important. Consumer understanding of environmental impact and potential for improvement. There is often/sometimes a difference between consumer needs and industry involvement.

If the interest is not great: interim criteria (panel review), the producers must prove that his/her's product is more environmentally preferable. If the interest is high, proper criteria are developed. The label looks the same for both.

EU: The industry is often interested in areas where the environmental impact is not especially great. This can be important for recognition of label.

Sometimes the industry is not interested in the beginning, examples of 100 % opposition in the beginning, but great environmental impact. Gradually interest can arise, and some of these groups have proved very successful (detergents, tyres).

Must be careful and not generalise too much. A "pick and mix" strategy can be best. The fact that there are criteria can also give a benchmarking effect, and thus lead to environmental improvement, even if there are no applications.

However, use checklists of market info, environmental info, consumer's interest etc in criteria development.

Canada: This is a resource question. If there is no interest, the government can ask for criteria, and these can be developed on a contractual basis.

The competition between labels is low, ecolabel is often based on their test procedures and levels etc. Energy star is subsidised by the government and is free.

Korea: Ecolabel get no subsidies, but other labels, i.e. material recycling etc are introduced by government and are subsidised.

Taiwan: Certifies both Energy Star and Green mark. Advice that it is best to have both. Energy star for export, ecolabel for internal market. Also local energy saving labels and water saving labels. However, Green Mark is the most stringent and covers everything.

EU: Dirty/grey products? For example plastic bags, do you need them? Publicity. They are there, and always will be...... But conflict.

Canada: Depends on definition of product group. Plastic bag or product container? Transportation or cars?

EU: It is hard to get applications when there are only a few big companies. Light-bulbs, for example. Can hope for outside operators, own-brand products....

Taiwan: Success with water saving cisterns, refrigerators/air conditioners, paper products. Least successful electrical motorcycles, because of definition of product group, subsidies, conflict with government policies. Also recycled products (glass) not so successful, consumers suspicious.

Sweden: Printed matter, detergents successful in Sweden. Boat motors not successful.

Denmark: Textiles successful after government marketing campaign, electrical household appliances not successful. Compulsory energy label in EU, not so much extra added value.

Korea: Water saving products successful: toilets and shower heads.

Czech republic: Detergents not successful. Boilers very successful.

Canada: Cleaning products least successful, office equipment and paper/paints successful.

EU: Textiles, paints, soil improvers successful, electrical household equipment, detergents, mattresses, light-bulbs examples of not so successful.


Topic 2:Exclusion lists for chemical and substances
Experiences from different ecolabelling schemes

Priority substance list (government)
Has an exclusion list specific to each product category/group.

Has an exclusion list (approximate 200 chemicals) similar to EPA list in the US.

The chemicals are not tested. The scheme relies on the information from the supplier/producer.

Chemicals that are listed under environmental protocol, are not being used.

Nordic Ecolabelling:
Do not have a common exclusion list for all product groups, but has individual exclusion lists for each product group. In addition, criteria are referring to EU directives. A disadvantage referring to EU directives is that it is time consuming and expensive to get all the data, but on the other hand it gives the ecolabelling scheme more control of the products/chemicals.

Nordic Ecolabelling has also made a chemical data list (
http://www.ecolabel.no/Engelsk/Criteria.html) as an appendix to chemical/technical criteria documents. The chemical list is a useful tool in application processes. It is not an exclusion list, but a list with data like e.g. biodegradability, toxicity and bio-accumulation for each chemical. The burden of proof is on the producer or chemical supplier if a product is not included in the list.

Many producers are familiar with the chemical list, and sometimes prefer chemicals with certain requirements according to the list, even thought the product is not intended to be ecolabelled.

Observation list: A list of chemicals that should be considered replaced or phased out in the future. The different authorities usually decide which chemicals should be on an observation list.

Precationary principle: Often used by ecolabelling for excluding chemicals if we do not have sufficient knowledge or scientific data.

Japan has 2 different lists:
  1. General list: A list with chemicals that should not be used at all in any product groups.
  2. Optional list: A list of chemical specific to each product group.

Working group for each product group. Experts often disagree on which chemicals that should be included or not. "Hot" discussions.

Would like common criteria for chemical substances (for each group).

Not specific documentation

Have to meet the government requirements. Uses criteria from other ecolabelling schemes. Problem with scientific based proof - problem to get the information.

Exclusion list and list of pesticides. Certain chemicals also excluded by the authorities, and some additional chemicals.

The criteria refer to EU directives, which refers to classification principles (e.g. toxicity, carsinogenic). The EU directives refer to OECD test methods.

Coming legislation in the EU: The industry must take the burden to prove the environmental impacts and provide data regarding eco-toxicity.

An exclusion list tends to include chemicals that no one uses anymore.
The aim is to harmonise the EU and Nordic Ecolabelling's chemical lists.

TCO (Sweden):
Has an exclusion list. Aim to use more property based lists, but the suppliers and producers are not yet ready for such lists because of lacking knowledge of the chemical properties.

Czech republic:
Do not have a common exclusion list.

While developing criteria, 1 part is based on the national legislation. An expert group will discuss chemicals and work out a draft/propsal.

Each product group requires specific criteria. Refer to EU directives, and look at other schemes, for instance Blue Angel, Japanese, EU.

Do not have en exclusion list. Experts of the product group must decide which chemicals can be allowed in each group. Some chemicals are excluded for each group.

New Zealand:
No national exclusion list. Includes exclusion lists for some products. For paint, referring to British paint association's own exclusion list. US lists are also used.

National hazardious substances, national requirements and some additional requirements.

Bra Miljoval (Sweden - not present at the meeting)
Has positive lists of chemicals that can be used in a product.

The industry does not approve to positive lists because the ecolabelling scheme in a way is deciding how the product should be.

General comments:

Negative impressions of exclusion lists
An exclusion list is not based on environmental impacts.

Environmentally hazardous chemicals that are not included in an exclusion list may be used in ecolabelled products. The industry will always find an alternative chemical that is not listed on an exclusion list.

Exclusion lists often consist of chemicals that are already phased out.
Experts often disagree on environmental impacts and which chemicals should be included on an exclusion list.

Exclusion list may sometimes prevent development of the best technology.

Positive impressions of exclusion lists
Easy to assess the applications.
Easy for the producer to declare that these chemical are not used.
Facilitate the communication to the consumer.

Other aspects to exclusion lists
An alternative to exclusion list is to refer to EU directives and try to make criteria based on the chemicals that are included in a product, not only with regards to an exclusion list. A problem with referring to EU directives is that producers and suppliers outside the EU are not familiar with the directives.

Criticism from consumers when certain chemicals are not excluded from ecolabelling products because it is not on the exclusion list, but the criteria still excludes the chemical.

Chemical suppliers do not want to give information about the ingredients, especially for textiles.

World-wide list: Have to consider environment and technology in each country, and inefficiency when each country work on their own similar lists.


Topic 3: Environmental requirements - Documentation and Control

Control manager Catharina Daggenfelt introduced the meeting and showed the following key words about the criteria and application handling in the Nordic Ecolabelling scheme:

  1. Process related issues -emissions/discharge
    Threshold values
    Test methods
    Laboratory requirements
    Frequency of testing
    Sampling method
    Requirements on quality system to be able to follow up emissions in the future.

  2. Chemical substances classified as harmful to the environment
    Recipe, quantities
    Test method and test results
    A declaration stating that the constituents are in accordance with the requirements

  3. Test on substances in chemical products
    Biological degradability
    All tests are done in accordance with OECD guidelines

  4. Benefits and disadvantages
    + Credibility
    + Environmental benefit
    - Time consuming to control
    - Difficult for the applicant to document
    - The success of the application lies in the hands of the chemical suppliers
    - Expensive and time-consuming tests

Summary of the discussion in both groups:
During the discussion the representatives for the different ecolabelling schemes informed about their requirements and the following topics were discussed:

There was different practice between the countries regarding audits, some countries do site audits and some do not. There are possibilities for site inspections on a mutual base. This should be discussed in GEN.

Chemical documentation
Applicants must in most schemes give chemical information.
Many countries use declarations, and in some cases they have to be co-signed by both the applicant and chemical producer. Other countries use declaration only if the product can not be tested in the country or for imported goods. Americans do not easily give declarations; they will give recipes instead (CD). In Japan the declaration is signed by a person high up in the organization.
Today some chemicals are given with CAS numbers in the data sheets (MSDS), and MSDS shall give more toxicity data within some years.
Some countries require tests from special laboratories, but most countries approve any accredited laboratory.
Positive lists for chemicals that can be used work better than negative lists.

Self declaration
It varies to what extent self-declarations are used.

Standard for certification organisations
EN 45011 is used in ecolabelling schemes.

Standards in common use are: ISO and OECD standards, performance standards are used in Canada.

Post marked tests
Used by e.g. TCO, Sweden, for energy.
Competitors are the best watchdogs. They report if the product from other producers does not comply with the criteria.

Forestry standards are requested for wood based products in the Nordic scheme and EU-label for copy paper, but Canada is for the moment observing the situation.

Handling time
In the Nordic ecolabelling scheme the amount of documentation and requirements are increasing, which gives long handling times. In Colombia the ISO certification systems are decreasing the demand for documentation. Canada sends out an application package with step-by-step procedures.

Minutes from the discussions in both groups:
Taiwan: Product specific requirements can be stricter than the government's requirements, we check chemicals, invoices etc.

Canada requires that laws are followed, information on packaging, chemicals and emissions. It is the applicant that delays the procedure. Minimum handling time is 2 weeks. The documentation we seek is not unusual; the producers often have it all ready.

The EU competent body in the production country handles the application. In the Nordic countries the handling it similar to the handling of applications for the Swan label and is done by the same responsible body.

Canada: uses competent bodies

Applicant and chemical producer co-sign declarations. Declaration only if the product cannot be tested in the country.

TCO: For eco criteria declarations are used, for energy we do post marked tests.

Rely on self-declaration, can demand test methods and the producer can use any accredited laboratories.

Norway: EN 45011 is a European standard for certification of products.
France: Uses this stand
Canada: use ISO standards, performance standards for products and OECD standards.

The Nordic Swan:
requires forestry certification for products based on wood (furniture and paper)

Canada has no requirements on forestry. They are observing the situation with the development of forestry standards.

Positive list works better than neg. list. IFORM decides after documentation received if a product can come on the positive list. Competition is the best watchdog.

Taiwan: detergents have different brand names, how can we control the companies when they have got the logo?

New Zealand:
CAS number on MSDS, MSDS shall give more toxic data within some years. NZ uses check lists.
Americans do not easily give declarations; they will give recipes instead (CD)
Canada: similar requirements, - but they get all the information needed.

Japan: we should use process related criteria. Computers have many parts and substances - there is too much documentation for specific requirements. The supplier must make clear that they qualify. The applicant must make statements - In Japan the declaration is signed by a representative from the management. Competing companies report.

Japan does no audits.
Korea and Germany do no site audits. Canada does both.
China always does site audits.

Canada sends out an application package with step-by-step procedures.

EU has requirements on raw materials, for example paint

India uses only special test laboratories.

Colombia: ISO-certification systems are decreasing the documentation demands.

Sweden: The documentation and requirements are increasing in the Nordic ecolabelling scheme. This example of a competitor being a watchdog is from the battery industry, where a competitor reported that a swanlabelled product had too much lead in batteries. We went back and checked the product.

NZ use separate assessment fees.


Topic 4:Performance requirements - Documentation and Control,
Test methods, Standards

Moderator: Aina Seland started the discussion by giving some examples of performance requirements in the criteria for ecolabelling of products, i.e wash-index for detergents, lifetime for copying machines, composting activity for composting bins etc. In the Nordic Swan criteria, performance requirements are always included to ensure that ecolabelled products "work" properly in addition to their environmental profile.

Group B

TCO, Sweden: TCO develop environmental criteria for different office products like computers, monitors etc. Around 30% of the requirements for a product consist of performance requirements.

Taiwan: All criteria from the ecolabelling scheme must include performance requirements since the standard for ecolabelling bodies (ISO 14024) require this. It is important that ecolabelled products are as good as others when it comes to performance. For some product groups it is asked for national standards to be fulfilled, for other product groups more specific requirements are set, i.e energy efficiency. It is important that the consumers are able to trust the ecolabel.

Canada: Canada's opinion is that product performance, for products in general, is an often "forgotten" part of a products life cycle. Therefore products are often thrown away before it really should and the consumers use 3-4 times more of a product than necessary. For ecolabelled products, it is necessary to always include a certain degree of performance requirements. In Canada, they include international performance standards when available, and national standards if not.

Thailand: Thailand is doing as Taiwan and Canada; include performance standards in all product groups using either international or national standards.

EU: The EU ecolabelling scheme also includes performance requirements but find that standards in the area sometimes are lacking. In such cases the scheme ensures that tests are developed, a procedure which is time and cost consuming. Alternatively, the industry could be asked to come up with proper performance standards. In the case of detergents the costs of efficiency testing may become enormous.

TCO, Sweden: TCO have developed many performance standards themselves, but use international standards where these are available. To develop a test takes 2-3 years. For efficient testing it is wanted fast and cheap tests, i.e ISO-tests usually require 4-5 days testing while TCO-tests require 3-4 hours. For a test a "round-robin-test" is required to ensure reproducability of the test.

Moderator: In the criteria for hand washing up liquid there were no performance test available which was good enough to be included in the criteria. Therefore a test had to be developed. This test costed a lot of time and money, and in the end it was experienced that the test did not have a good enough reproducability and was not good enough for some ranges of products. In recent criteria within the Nordic Scheme it is now required that certain performances must be stated by the applicant, and it will be up to the applicant to find a system which gives an answer on the set performance requirements.

EU: The EU ecolabelling scheme also set requirements to certain performances which the applicant has to find applicable ways to test and to give documentation to show that the product fulfils the requirements.

Canada: Canada does as the Nordic and EU do, and thereby turn the problem back to the industry.

Taiwan: 6 years ago there was no national standard for washing machines, but in the ecolabelling criteria performance tests was wanted included. The industry was contacted, with the result that one company was asked to test performance for all other applicants for the ecolabel. A governmental body was used to survey the testing and each applicant had to pay for their own testing. After some years a national standard for washing machines was developed due to this and the whole project was worthwhile.

Moderator: It could be a problem for small companies to find a proper way to test their product and to give enough documentation to the ecolabelling body. Usually small companies want detailed test-procedures that can guide them through the test procedure and the report of documentation. Another way to see performance requirements is that as long as the product is on the market, it is good enough. Thereby the consumer's satisfaction is used as an indication of performance.

Denmark: Sometimes performance criteria can be difficult. I.e for textiles there are requirements to how much shrinking of the textile that is allowed after washing. Just after washing the textile may not satisfy the requirements but if ironed the requirements are satisfied. To draw the borderline can sometimes be very difficult.

Canada: "Proxy" could be used as an alternative to performance tests. That means that the criteria for the product ask for a performance guarantee and that the customer gets money back if the performance is not satisfactory.

Moderator: When the criteria require that ecolabelled products should be as good as others on the market, it is important to know which market which is used.

TCO, Sweden: TCO uses a comparison into the international market. 20-30 of the best products on the market is picked and the requirements are set at that level. The producers have to the required tests. For new product groups, producers have to do as much testing as required to set a certain limit. Afterwards one gets more information to set stricter requirements.

Moderator: If it is the producer's own tests that are used, what kind of requirements are put on the producers?

Taiwan: If producer's own tests are used there should be requirements on the test laboratory.

EU: Industry laboratories are usually not accredited. ISO standard 1725 on accreditation is available but it is not easy to find accredited laboratories.

Canada: OECD has guidelines for "Good laboratory practice".

Taiwan: For the case of biodegradable plastic usually test reports on biodegradability is sent in. In some cases examples are taken on site to be analysed by test laboratories. For formulated products, the content can be changed by the producer just after the ecolabel has been approved. For machines it is not so easy to change the composition.

Group A:

New Zealand: The topic of perfomance requirements are challenging. If international or national standards exist, these are specifically recognised. If standards do not exist requirements that the products should be fit for purpose are included.

Japan: In general ecolabelling criteria have too many requirements. The amount of requirements and also the need for documentation should be reduced. Japan includes performance requirements and requires Japanese standards where these are available. Japanese products are very good concerning quality, so the number of performance standards decrease. At the end it will probably not be necessary to include performance requirements in the criteria.

Germany: In Germany, performance requirements are not usually included in the criteria. The ecolabelling scheme rely on competitors to ecolabelled products to tell if anything is "wrong" with the products. If the ecolabelling scheme get such information from the competitors, they require testing, which is paid by the producer.

Nordic Swan, Sweden: It is dangerous not to include performance requirements. In Sweden another ecolabelling scheme did not include performance requirements with the result that ecolabelled products turned out to be really bad when it came to function. The inclusion of performance requirements in the Nordic Scheme has led to an increased reliability of the ecolabel.

Nordic Swan, Coordinator: The Nordic Swan has the consumer's government above its organisation, therefore performance requirements are needed to ensure functionality of the products. Within the criteria it is always focused on performance, and either international tests, national tests, own-developed tests, consumer tests or the industries tests are used.

India: In the ecolabelling scheme national governmental rules are used as performance requirements since the scheme is governmentally based.

China: Within all product groups there are national standards for performance, i.e there is a national standard for cleaning index for laundry detergents. In the ecolabelling scheme it is not accepted test methods with a lower performance than the national test method.

New Zealand: In making criteria it is often more difficult to make performance requirements than environmental requirements. And it is often difficult to get the tests relevant, i.e test for hand dishwashing liquid where foam has been used as an indication of performance, even though foam is more to satisfy a consumer's need.

Moderator: It is also possible to set more stringent requirements than the national tests, i.e in the criteria for laundry detergents it is required test in 40 oC conditions to reduce the energy consumption in laundry.

Nordic Swan, Coordinator: Within the Nordic Swan there is often a need for better performance test than international standards since often it is expected to cover more, i.e. climate variations etc. Imported products have to fulfil the same performance requirements as products produced in the Nordic countries.

Canada: In the Canadian scheme, it is looked to international, national or the industry standards. For a few product groups performance requirements are not included due to difficulties in finding suitable tests. Price of the product and that it really works (function) is what matter to the consumer. Therefore the scheme try to lay down in the criteria requirements ensurance that the products will work. Canada is in need for a test method for biological clarification tanks!

For hydraulic fluids there has been huge discussions on performance requirements. One must be careful when requirements to test methods are set. If there exist 4-5 standards it is important which one is chosen or if all are viewed as equivalent.

Korea: The ecolabelling scheme put priority on performance requirements and includes national or international standards depending on product groups. For paint and detergents performance requirements are included.

China: In Asian countries the governments control product production more, and therefore the market is not so free as in the rest of the world. If products do not satisfy national requirements, the producer cannot legally sell the products.

New Zealand: The ecolabelling scheme experiences that number of standards are dropping since the market change to a more independent supply.



Group A Group B
Helena Ahlberg Sweden Gunnel Engwall Sweden
Melissa Areneault New Zealand Helena Ahlberg Sweden
Soren Andersen Denmark Zulma Guzman Columbia
Gunnel Engwall Sweden Chad Dobson USA
Bjorn-Erik Lonn Norway Eva Eiderstrom EU
Emeline Fellus UN Simon Goss EU
Kevin Gallagher Canada Pongvipa Lohsomboon Thailand
Wan-Chu Huang Korea Hiroko Mizuno Japan
Yu Jie China Seoung-Shik Moon Korea
Hun Kim Korea Xia Ping China
Wolfgang Lohrer Germany Jan Rudling Sweden
Kerstin Sahlen Sweden Dagmar Sucharovova Czech Republic
Kiyotaka, Sakamoto Japan Ning Yu Taiwan
Carlos Sanmiguel Duran Columbia Lisbeth Engel-Hansen Denmark
B. Sengupta India Pentii K. Vaisanen Finland
Seiji Taguchi Japan Henry Kenamets Sweden
Line Andersen Norway Alvhild Hedstein Norway
Knut Lutnas Norway
Karin Bergbom Finland


Report from the GEN Workshop Thursday 11 October 2001
"Practising Ecolabelling - Experiences - Problems - Solutions"

The following is a result of the workshop held in Oslo during the GEN-meeting in October 2001.

First, conclusions on each of the topics are presented, based on the discussions held in each group. For a more detailed account of the discussions, please refer to Appendix 1.

We apologise for any misinterpretation.