What are Ecolabels?

Chances are, if you’ve gone grocery shopping lately, you’ve seen an Ecolabel. These labels are marks placed on product packaging or in online catalogs that help customers identify products that meet specific environmental performance criteria. The criteria can be created by government agencies, nonprofit organizations or private sector entities. Read on to learn more about these important labels. 

How Ecolabels work

Ecolabels can focus on one attribute of a product. This means honing in on a single stage, such as when it’s being used, or a single issue, like its emissions. Most Ecolabels, however, focus on multiple attributes, focusing on the product’s entire lifecycle and several potential environmental issues.

Standards to meet

Environmental performance standards, the standards products must meet to be given Ecolabels, are typically established by groups of organizations to set specific levels of performance that allow a company to claim that their product or service meets the criteria of being “environmentally preferable.” 

A voluntary consensus standard is a technical document that standardizes methods for developing environmental performance standards, as well as making the process accessible and fair to any company with an interest in Ecolabels for their products. This keeps the organizations behind Ecolabels accountable. 

How Ecolabels differ from other labeling

For Ecolabels to be effective, standard criteria is developed using a transparent process that’s open to the public. They also address multiple key environmental and health impacts and are attainable, verifiable, measureable. Here are a few other key differentiators: 

  • Considering the performance of the product
  • Being published and publicly available for inspection
  • Regular updates

Types of Ecolabels

There are several types of Ecolabels that focus on different aspects of products. Here are a few of the most common ones to look out for: 

USDA organic

“Organic” by itself means that 95% of the ingredients are organic, while 100% Organic means just that. This label indicates not only what is in the products, but also that the product was produced with no or minimal pesticides, hormones and antibiotics.

Green Seal Certified

A nonprofit, science-based organization created this seal 25 years ago for a range of products, from cleaning products and windows to paint and coffee. To earn this seal, a product and the facility it’s produced in needs to meet rigorous evaluation criteria.

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) 

This label is issued by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to certify environmental claims made about recycled content, certified organic ingredients, water efficiency and sustainable forestry.

At Pollock Orora, we sell a variety of products, and many of them come with Ecolabels that show you they’re more sustainable than their competition. Have more questions about these labels? Give Pollock Orora a call at 972-263-2126 or reach out online