"Eco-labelling" is a voluntary method of environmental performance certification and labelling that is practised around the world.


An "ecolabel" is a label which identifies overall environmental preference of a product or service within a specific product/service category based on life cycle considerations. In contrast to "green" symbols or claim statements developed by manufacturers and service providers, an ecolabel is awarded by an impartial third party, in relation to certain products or services that are independently determined to meet environmental leadership specifications.

Environmental labels are designed to inform consumers of the relative environmental impacts of the products they purchase. Environmental labelling makes a positive statement by identifying a product as less harmful to the environment than another similar, yet unlabelled product.

An environmental labelling scheme has the potential to improve the quality of the environment and encourage the sustainable management of resources.

In a world of complex product science, and often vague or hard-to-understand environmental claims, strong ecolabels such as Environmental Choice New Zealand offer a sure, simple guide to a better purchasing choice of environmental products. Living green, buying eco friendly products to create a green home or work place also promotes health for you, your family and colleagues.

There are a number of public good benefits derived from environmental labelling schemes.

These include:

  • the promotion of economic efficiency
  • the reduction of consumer information costs
  • the crowding-out of 'green wash' claims
  • the validation of products in a competitive trading environment
  • the increase of environmental awareness
  • the reduction of impacts of consumption
  • the enhancement of key environmental strategies

Ecolabelling in New Zealand

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