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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Stick a label on it = eco-friendly?

Monday, 1 July 2013 | Posted by: Sonja Specks, European Coatings Journal

Chemical and technical labels are understandable, while a lot of environmental related labels create more confusion as they are not comparable.

Labeling is for sure a must for chemical products, either on hazardous or acidic substances. But besides the technical-chemical features the environmental friendliness is labeled as well.

A certain eco-label does not mean a product is greener than the other

It is no question that the use of the buzzwords such as sustainability, green and environmental friendliness is not helpful for the environment at all. But now the labeling becomes as well crucial for marketing reasons. I doubt that the more labels are attached on a product  the more environmental friendly it becomes. I don’t see it as very helpful for the discussion "how to measure the sustainability of a product" just by sticking a great number of labels on a coating tin.
As Machiel van Westhoven from Ursa Paint BV in The Netherlands says in the July issue of the European Coatings Journal, Expert Voices: "For all kinds of certification, the diversity of regulations is a significant showstopper for coating development”

Harmonisation, clarification and open communication necessary

It is always good to know that information on the the carbon footprint are provided, the VOC content is very low, the rainforest is protected, the indoor air emissions are measured, the wood is safe, the production is based on renewables etc, but what does it mean at the end? Users need a validation on it. Is harmonisation possible at all? For me, it seems to become more and more ridiculous speaking about the green topic and gaining just more confusion with more words and more labels. It is sad as it misses the target: To launch a greater number of true environmental friendly products.

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