An environmental label with a long history

The environmental label was created in 1978 on the initiative of the German Federal Minister of the Interior and approved by the Ministers of the Environment for the German federal states. Since then the Blue Angel has been a market-based, voluntary instrument of environmental policy. Its scientific and holistic approach, as well as its independence thanks to the broad-based involvement of professional and commercial groups and the Environmental Label Jury, provide the foundations for the trust that consumers have placed in the environmental label.

The standards set by the Blue Angel provide clear guidance for manufacturers and commercial companies when they want to improve the environmental performance of their products and services. Consumers can base their purchasing decisions on the Blue Angel and consciously choose the better environmentally-friendly alternative.

The Blue Angel celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2013. It has achieved numerous successes in the areas of environmental and consumer policy and has become a recognised label delivering a high level of guidance: 92% of those surveyed were aware of the Blue Angel. 37% of those surveyed stated that the environmental label influences their purchase decision (Study on Environmental Awareness 2014 (Umweltbewusstseinsstudie 2014)).

Source: BMUB/UBA, Study on Environmental Awareness 2014 (Umweltbewusstseinsstudie 2014)

The Blue Angel was used as the role model for the ISO 14024 standard – an international standard upon which many new global environmental labels are based today. Environmental label programmes that operate in accordance with ISO 14024 (so-called Type-1 ecolabels) fulfil the highest requirements when it comes to standards they set and the relevance of their award criteria, as well as the independence of their control systems and the transparency of their development and award processes.

In addition, the Blue Angel is also constantly able to focus in advance on anticipated changes to legal regulations. Before legal regulations are introduced to address environmental issues, the environmental label can set voluntary standards and thus provide companies with the opportunity to highlight their pioneering role in this area.