Developed on a scientific basis
The Blue Angel guarantees that a product places less burden on the environment and the climate and fulfils high standards with respect to the protection of human health – while also having the same fitness for use and quality as other products. The German Environment Agency (UBA) develops requirements (so-called Basic Award Criteria) for each specific product group based on scientific publications, its own studies and market research which act as the prerequisite for certification with the environmental label.
In the evaluation process, the environmental label takes a holistic view of the life cycle of the product – from its production and use through to its disposal and recycling. The aim is to identify areas relevant to the environment for each product group in which environmental pollution could be significantly reduced or even avoided.
In the process, the Blue Angel goes above and beyond traditional environmental criteria such as low energy consumption, low emissions to water, air and soil and the preservation of resources. It also takes into account health-related aspects, such as low levels of pollutants and noise emissions.
The Blue Angel is at its core an environmental label but it increasingly focuses on other aspects such as working conditions during the production process. Alongside environmental benefits, companies want to demonstrate that they also offer more than comparable products when it comes to these social aspects. The Blue Angel faces up to this challenge and incorporates social aspects into the requirements for relevant product groups, e.g. textiles, mobile telephones, toys and shoes.
What does the Blue Angel take into consideration in the Basic Award Criteria?
- resource-saving production (water,energy,(recycled) materials)
- sustainable production of resources
- avoidance of harmful substances in the product
- reduced emissions of harmful substances in the ground, air, water and indoors
- reduced noise and electromagnetic radiation
- efficient use, e.g. products which save energy or water
- longevity, ability to repair and recycle the product
- good fitness for use
- compliance with international occupational safety standards
- take-back systems and shared-useservices, e.g. car sharing
Testing and further development
Products with the Blue Angel have verified their compliance with the defined criteria and thus have an environmental advantage over comparable products. The compliance verifications for each requirement are defined in the Basic Award Criteria. Compliance with all requirements must be verified in accordance with the Basic Award Criteria – e.g. in the form of test reports, approved certificates or legally binding manufacturer declarations. The applications and compliance verifications are examined by RAL gGmbH.
The experts at the UBA are responsible for any updates that are required due to changes in technological standards and for periodic reviews of the criteria, sometimes in cooperation with other independent scientific institutions and experts. Interested stakeholders, such as companies, scientists and NGOs from the relevant product sector, are also involved in the development of the Basic Award Criteria and dialogue is maintained with them.
The Blue Angel is transparent and publishes all of the Basic Award Criteria (in German and English), as well as information on the background to the different labels, companies, certified products and updates to each product group.