Context: Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MOEFCC) has notified an updation of Scheme on labelling of environment friendly products – ‘Ecomark’ aiming nudge individual choices and behaviors towards sustainability, in line with the philosophy of LiFE (Lifestyle of Environment). This will make consumers able to make choices among products and opt for products that are eco-friendly in their design, process etc.
About Ecomark Certification
- Ecomark Certification Rules is for labelling of products which will have lesser adverse impacts on environment to encourage consumers to adopt such products and manufacturers for transitioning to production of Ecomark certified products for promoting sustainability.
- Ecomark certification rules have been notified under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
Benefits of Ecomark Certification
- Provide accreditation and labelling for household and other consumer products which meet certain environmental criteria.
- Promote environmentally friendly products.
- Promote resource efficiency & circular economy.
- Preventing misleading information on environmental aspects of products
- Enables industry to implement environment-friendly processes or production methods.
Application of Ecomark certification
- Apply to any product which is produced or supplied for distribution or use in the market.
Criteria for Ecomark labelling:
- Environmental criteria for each product/product category under Ecomark Rules shall be notified by Central Government.
- Certification of Standards Body (national or international) for quality and safety or mandate of Quality Control Orders is a pre-requisite for Ecomark.
- Products will be examined in terms of environmental impacts will include:
- Have substantially less potential for pollution, environmental impact, minimise or eliminate generation of waste and environmental emissions, than other comparable products.
- Recyclable and/or made from recycled products where comparable products are not.
- Make significant contribution to saving.
- Build consumer awareness on environmental issues and implication of their choices.
- Encourage manufacturers for transitioning to production of Ecomark certified products.
- Prevent misleading and deceptive information with respect to fraudulent use of Ecomark label.
- Product primary criteria will include:
- Production or process including source of raw material.
- Use of natural resources
- Likely impact on environment
- Effect & extent of emissions/waste arising from production process.
- Disposal of product and its packaging
- Compliance to Extended Producer Responsibility regulations
- Utilisation of waste and recycled materials
- Suitability of recycling.
- Substitution of hazardous substances with safer ones.
Implementation mechanism of Ecomark rules:
Governance of Ecomark Rules is vested with a Steering Committee which comprises representatives from concerned ministries/departments, domain experts, representatives from industry associations, consumer groups and other relevant stakeholders. Functions of Steering Committee are:
- Grant approvals for:
- Framework for institutionalising Ecomark Rules.
- Initiatives to incentivise Ecomark certified business operators.
- Notify product/product categories to be included in Ecomark Rules on recommendations of Ecomark Administrator.
- Recognition of domestic and international voluntary ecolabelling programs.
- Activities related creation of mass awareness for promotion of Ecomark Rules.
- Strategies for promotion and future development of Ecomark Rules.
- Make recommendations to Central Government
- Determine product/product category to be included in Ecomark Rules.
- Inclusion of Ecomark products in public procurement under GeM portal.
- Allocation of resources for implementation of Ecomark Rules.
- Measures for adoption of Ecomark
- Review and monitoring of implementation of Eco
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is responsible for implementation of the Ecomark Rules. Responsibilities of Ecomark Administrator are:
- Develop guidelines for:
- Framework for institutionalising Ecomark Rules.
- Development of Ecomark Web portal and Knowledge/Database platform
- Designation of Ecomark Verifiers
- Appointing third parties for carrying out market surveillance activities.
- For appointing third parties for carrying out market surveillance activities.
- For fixing fees to be charged by Designated Ecomark Verifiers.
- Identify products to be covered under Ecomark Rules
- Constitute technical committees for different products under Ecomark Rules, develop specific criteria that a product shall comply to certified under Ecomark Rules.
- Review existing state of knowledge and environmental criteria being followed domestically/in other countries.
- Develop initiatives to incentivize Ecomark certified entities for adoption of Ecomark.
- Register and empanel Designated Ecomark Verifiers, third party for market surveillance, audit and third party on Ecomark web portal.
- Issue Ecomark certificate based on verification authorizing a person or a body of persons to mark its product with Ecomark or recognised eco label.
- Review, suspend, or cancel a Ecomark certificate.
- Review Ecomark criteria as per technology development and market evolution.
- Compile annual reports submitted by all the Ecomark or other recognised eco label entities.
- Assess domestic or international voluntary ecolabelling program, for recognition under Ecomark rules.
- Assess international ecolabelling programs, for mutual recognition.
- Direct Ecomark Certificate holders to pay compensation in case of non-compliance.
Designated Ecomark Verifiers
- Administrator (CPCB) or Designated Ecomark verifiers will verify compliance with ecolabelling criteria for the award/renewal of certificate to products under Ecomark Rules.
- Designated Ecomark Verifiers shall be accredited entities.
- Undertake conformity assessment including visiting factory, drawing samples, audit of factory, recommending for award/renewal of certification.