What is the Eco-Mark?
Eco-Mark is an eco-labelling scheme which was constituted by the Government of India in 1991 for easy identification of environment-friendly products.
Objectives of the Scheme:
The specific objectives of the scheme are as follow:
- To provide an incentive for manufacturers and importers to reduce adverse environmental impact of products.
- To reward genuine initiatives by companies to reduce adverse environmental impact of their products.
- To assist consumers to become environmentally responsible in their daily lives by providing information to take account of environmental factors in their purchase decisions.
- To encourage citizens to purchase products which have less harmful environmental impacts
- Ultimately to improve the quality of the environment and to encourage the sustainable management of resources.
The Eco-Mark logo is that of an earthen pot as indicated in the figure below.
Scope of Eco-Mark:
The Eco-Mark scheme initially covered about 16 product categories covering a wide range of products. i.e. the Criteria for evaluating products under these categories were initially analyzed and identified. At a later point, a 17th category was included.
The product criteria were developed using a cradle-to-grave approach keeping in mind full life-cycle considerations of the environmental impact of the product i.e. all stages from raw materials to manufacturing, usage and disposal were analyzed and evaluated to determine the criteria.
Unique feature of the Eco-Mark vis-a-vis other Eco-Labels
Eco-Mark is unique when compared to other eco-labels in one aspect; it also necessitated meeting the quality requirements of BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards)
Three Committees set-up for the Eco-Mark Scheme
- A Steering Committee in the Ministry of Environments and Forests
- A Technical Committee in the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
- Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for assessment and certification purposes
Association with International Bodies:
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is a member of GEN (Global Ecolabelling Network) and has been a member since 2000. However the Eco-Mark scheme was not very effective in India, and as such eco-labelling as a concept is still relatively unknown. The government has tried to revitalize the scheme many times, but the efforts have not borne fruit.
In spite of the wide range of product categories, there were very limited applications for the Eco-Mark label. In the 18 years since its inception, less than 20 companies have obtained the Eco-Mark label.
For more information on the Eco-Mark scheme, kindly visit the Eco-Mark website.
For more information on why the scheme failed, please read this report on the Reasons for the Failure of the Eco-Mark scheme.