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Green Stickers are standardized labels regulated by government agencies that are attached to consumer goods. They are designed so consumers can compare product brands without confusion. They are a form of sustainability measurement directed at consumers. The labels quantify pollution or energy consumption by way of index scores or units of measurement. In some cases manufactures are required to meet minimum standards.

  • Currently no Green Sticker regulated standards exist that measures pollution for the whole life cycle of products.
  • In North America green stickers exist for automobiles and major home appliances.
  • In Europe voluntary consumer product seals called Ecolabels are regulated by the European Parliament[1].
  • Governments of many countries have "Environmental Protection Agencies". These agencies are mandated watchdogs of industry and regulate releasing chemical pollution into the environment. They are not consumer product watchdogs.

Contents

History

Green Stickers on consumer goods have been evolving since the 1970’s. The main drivers have been energy and fuel consumption. These stickers first started appearing on major appliances after government agencies in the USA and Canada regulated their requirement. Manufacturers are also required to meet minimum standards of energy use. The Automobile industry in North America is required to meet a minimum emissions standard. This lead to fuel efficiency labels being placed on new automobiles sold. The major appliance manufactures were required to use standard testing practices and place clear labels on products. The International Organization for Standardization has developed standards for addressing environmental labeling with the ISO 14000 family which grew out of ISO's commitment to support the objective of sustainable development discussed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992[2]

Green Sticker programs

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United States of America

All major home appliances must meet the Appliance Standards Program set by the US Department of Energy (DOE)on cooperation with the US Federal Trade Commission.[3] Manufacturers must use standard test procedures developed by DOE to prove the energy use and efficiency of their products. Test results are printed on yellow EnergyGuide label, which manufacturers are required to display on many appliances. This label estimates how much energy the appliance uses, compares energy use of similar products, and lists approximate annual operating costs. American automobile manufacturers are required to use certified U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy test results and cannot use any other fuel mileage results to advertise vehicle fuel efficiency. The state of California has Green Sticker licence plates issued to OHVs. California Air Resources Board is introducing Green Stickers[4] for all new automobiles in 2009.

The European Union

The EU Ecolabel is a product label seal that makes it easier for consumers to identify and choose green products. It is a voluntary scheme designed to encourage businesses, services and market products to advertise they are kinder to the environment. The scheme came into operation in late 1992 and was designed to allow consumers to identify products which are less harmful to the environment than equivalent brands. For example, eco-labels will be awarded to products that do not contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which damage the ozone layer, to those products that can be, or are, recycled, and to those that are energy efficient. The labels are awarded on environmental criteria set by the European Union.

These cover the whole life cycle of a product, from the extraction of raw materials, through manufacture, distribution, use and disposal of the product. The first products to carry the EU ecolabel were washing machines, paper towels, writing paper, light bulbs and hairsprays.

Canada

The Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) run by the Department of Natural Resources Canada regulates both the automobile and appliance manufacturers. EnerGuide label for vehicles found on all new passenger cars, light-duty vans, pickup trucks and special purpose vehicles not exceeding a gross vehicle weight of 3855 kg (8500 lb). The label shows the city and highway fuel consumption ratings and an estimated annual fuel cost for that particular vehicle.[5] Federal law in Canada, under Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations,requires that the EnerGuide label be placed on all new electrical appliances manufactured in or imported into Canada and that the label indicate the amount of electricity used by that appliance. This information is determined by standardized test procedures. A third-party agency verifies that an appliance meets Canada's minimum energy performance levels.[6]

ASEAN

In Asia ASEAN is moving towards adopting the ISO's TC 207 environmental management system.[7] Can anyone can contribute verifiable sources substantiating it's adoption and implementation by member countries as this information is not easily accessible.

Government agencies regulating energy labels

References

  1. ^ "Ecolabes are regulated by the European Parliament". The European Commission. http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/l28020_en.htm.  
  2. ^ "ISO/TC 207". ISO. http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/management_standards/iso_9000_iso_14000/origins_and_iso_tc207.htm.  
  3. ^ "U.S. Department of Energy, Home Appliance Regulation". Federal Trade Commission USA. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/homes/rea07.shtm.  
  4. ^ "California Air Resources Board, DRIVECLEAN.ca.gov". California Air Resources Board USA. http://driveclean.ca.gov/ep_label.php.  
  5. ^ "Fuel consumption guide". Government of Canada. http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/transportation/personal/buying/energuide-label.cfm?attr=8.  
  6. ^ "Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations". Government of Canada. http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/appliances/energuide.cfm?attr=4.  
  7. ^ "ASEAN report on environmental labelling". ASEAN. http://www.aseansec.org/7112.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-23.  

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