Global Ecolabelling Network Holds Carbon Neutral Annual General Meeting in Beijing, China

30. September 2014 //

Beijing – The Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) and many of its 26 members gathered at the Environmental Development Center of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Gehua New Century Hotel Beijing over four days to discuss environmental labelling and sustainable consumption. Carbon dioxide emissions associated with all aspects of the event from transportation and accommodations, to catering, were calculated and offset to ensure that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) was a Zero Carbon event.

“With this gathering we celebrate the 20th anniversary of GEN,” said Robin Taylor, Board Chair, “and also congratulate our hosts, the China Environmental United Certification Center on the 20th anniversary of the China Environmental Labelling program.” Type I ecolabels continue to provide an important tool in empowering consumers and professional purchasers to make more sustainable choices, perhaps even more so today where greenwashing and the proliferation of labels has begun to cause confusion and even skepticism among consumers in many countries around the world.

The four-day meeting included an international conference which was attended by over 200 people and featured keynote speeches from a variety of delegates including Mr. Xiaoqing WU, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environmental Protection; Mr. Robin Taylor, Chair of GEN; and Mr. Jingwei CHEN, Deputy Director of the Committee for Economic Affairs of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Participants of the international conference heard that the green economy and sustainable development are high on the agenda in China, where green procurement is already valued at an estimated 134 billion CNY (~$21.8 billion USD).

Later in the week participants heard how several GEN member programs, including those in Korea, China and Chinese Taipei are quantifying the benefits of Type I ecolabelled products. In fact, China Environmental Labelled products are estimated to have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 8.59 million tons and saved 227 million tons of water in 2013. In Korea, research has found that a eco labeled - water saving tap will save 33 tons of water and 51.2 nm3 of natural gas per household for its whole life (3 years). In Chinese Taipei, the development of a standardized environmental benefit index calculator is underway to calculate the environmental benefit of ecolabelled products for at least 21 product categories.

About the Global Ecolabelling Network

The Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) is a non-profit association of Type I ecolabelling organizations as defined by the ISO 14024 standard. Type I programs are voluntary, their standards address multiple environmental criteria across the life cycle of the product or service and, most importantly, they are transparent in their development process and employ independent, third-party verification. Learn more at www.globalecolabelling.net