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Success Stories of the Blue Angel

Stories and Anecdotes from 35 Years of the Blue Angel in Germany

The Blue Angel eco-label celebrates its 35th anniversary. During these 35 years it has achieved a lot of eco and consumer-political successes.
The following are examples of how the Umweltbundesamt (German Federal Environment Agency) and the Environmental Label Jury have used the Blue Angel to pick up and thematize environmental and health issues. In doing so, they defined and established requirements and test methods for products that were relatively eco-friendly and less health-endangering than other conventional products. It was, and is, a strong signal to manufacturers and trading companies to develop and market such ecologically beneficial products. Consumers, on the other side, were put in the position of orienting their buying decisions by the Blue Angel and deliberately decide for a better alternative. Thus, the Blue Angel eco-label worked and still works as an innovative force and reliable orientation aid during shopping. To reflect the technological progress the Federal Environment Agency reviews and – if necessary – revises the criteria every 3 or 4 years. At the end of the term the Federal Environment Agency re-submits the criteria for award of the Blue Angel to the Environmental Label Jury for decision. This dynamization prompts the label users to introduce product improvements across the board. Some problems were subsequently subjected to directives and legal provisions so that the eco-label was no longer needed and could be withdrawn.
In some cases, however, manufacturers and trading companies refused to become part of the eco-label: There were no label users in spite of Basic Award Criteria. Here, however, the eco-label still worked as an orientation mark for the consumer by describing the requirements that should be met by ecologically beneficial products.
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