Global Ecolabelling Network

The Global Ecolabelling Network is an association of national Type-1 environmental labelling organisations from across the world. GEN is a prominent international opinion leader in the field of Type-1 ecolabels and makes a significant contribution to the development of these types of environmental labels in accordance with ISO 14024. It serves as a platform for the exchange of information and knowledge, supports newly established environmental labelling organizations in developing the required structures and provides assistance in the organisation and quality assurance of the corresponding processes.

National Environmental Labels


  • The China Environmental Labeling scheme (CELS) was launched in 1993 by the national Chinese Environmental Protection Administration (current Ministry of Environmental Protection). It is implemented by China Environmental United Certification Center Co., Ltd (CEC), which is a member of Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN).

  • The Hong Kong Green Label Scheme (HKGLS) was established in the year of 2000. It is managed and awarded by the non-governmental organization Green Council (GC) in association with the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC).

  • Hongkong Eco-label was managed by Hongkong Federation of Environmental Protection (HKFEP) Limited.

  • In 1991, the Indian government launched the „Ecomark“ into the market. This made India the first among the developing country to make an ecolabelling scheme part of its environmental policy. In addition, India is one of the few countries where foods are also eco-labelled. Another special feature are the public reviews of new draft criteria that form an integral part of the Indian ecolabelling scheme.

  • Israel launched its “Green Label” programme in 1993. The Committee of the Ministry of the Environment and the Standards Institute of Israel (SII) are tasked with organizing and managing the label.

  • In 1989, the Japanese Environment Association (JEA) developed the "The Eco Mark" in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment and the Japanese Environment Association.  Together with Germany, the Scandinavian countries and Canada, Japan is among the first countries to introduce ecolabelling schemes as an instrument of politics. A special feature of the Japanese ecolabelling scheme is the fact that the scheme is not implemented and managed by a national body but by a Japanese environmental association.

  • The "Green Choice Philippines" eco-label was launched in 2001 on the initiative of the Philippine government. The independent Clean and Green Foundation, Inc. is tasked with managing the eco-label.

  • The "Green Label Singapore" was launched in 1992 by the Singapore Ministry of the Environment. Since 1999, it has been managed by the Singapore Environmental Council, a non-governmental organization (NGO). The „Green Label“ publishes the draft criteria as does the Indian ecolabelling scheme.

  • The "Korea Eco-Label" was launched into the market by the government of the Republic of Korea in 1992. Administration and organization are in the hands of the Korea Environmental Labelling Association (KELA). Award of the "Korea Eco-Label" to particularly eco-friendly products is primarily based on life-cycle analyses.

  • The Green Mark Program is the official eco-labelling program in Taiwan which was founded in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Administration (TEPA).  TEPA is one of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) founding members in 1994.

  • The Thai ecolabelling scheme "Green Label: Thailand" was officially launched in 1994 by the Thailand Environmental Institute (TEI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry.


  • Australia developed the "Environmental Choice" eco-label in 1991. In 2001, Australia launched a new attempt to introduce a labelling scheme for ecologically best possible products – this time with the "Environmental Choice Australia" eco-label.

  • New Zealand’s eco-label "Environmental Choice New Zealand" was launched into the market in 1992 by the New Zealand Ministry of the Environment as credible evidence for eco-friendly products. Since 2002 the independent New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust is responsible for the implementation and management of the ecolabelling scheme. The label is owned by the Ministry for the Environment.


  • The Austrian "Umweltzeichen-Bäume" eco-label was launched in 1990 by the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Environment. The competent institutions are the Ministry of the Environment which awards the eco-label as well as the Verein für Konsumenteninformation (VKI) (Consumer information association) which establishes the criteria and manages the label. The Austrian eco-label co-ordinates its activities with the German Blue Angel eco-label.

  • Croatia’s “Environmentally Friendly” eco-label was developed in 1993 by the country’s Ministry of the Environment on the model of the “EU-Flower” and Germany’s “Blue Angel”.

  • The Czech "Ekologicky Setrany Vyrobek" eco-label was developed in 1993 by the Czech Ministry of the Environment  and officially launched into the market in 1994 as "National Programme for Labelling Environmentally Friendly Products“. What is remarkable about the Czech ecolabelling scheme is the fact that it is the Minister for the Environment who decides on the award criteria for the individual product groups. This makes it the only national eco-label that puts the labelling of environmentally friendly products into the hands of a single person.

  • The French “NF Environnement” eco-label was developed in 1992 by the French government in collaboration with AFNOR, the French Standardization organization. Since then, this system of close co-operation between national government and standardization authorities has been adopted by a number of ecolabelling schemes.

  • The Hungarian eco-label "Környezetbarát Termék" (Environmentally Friendly) was launched in 1994 by the Ministry of Environment and Area Planning. Hungarian Eco-Labelling is the competent implementing and managing agency.

  • The Dutch “Milieukeur” eco-label was launched into the market in 1992 on the initiative of  the Ministry of the Environment and Economics in close co-operation with the independent  organization Stichting Milieukeur – the competent managing body for the eco-label. Stichting Milieukeur is tasked with defining the criteria as well as with supervising the award of the eco-label. Since 1995, the "Milieukeur" eco-label has also included environmental criteria for agricultural products.

  • The Nordic eco-label "Miljömärkt – The White Swan" was launched in 1989 by the Nordic Council of Ministers, a multi-national body involving the countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Denmark. The aim of the Council of Ministers was to establish a uniform Nordic environmental label for products and services. Like the European eco-label, "The White Swan” pursues a holistic approach in the development of criteria.

  • Slovakia’s eco-label “Environmentálne Vhodný Výrobok" (Environmental Friendly Product) was launched in 1996 by the country’s Ministry of the Environment and first awarded in 1997.

  • The Spanish eco-label "AENOR Medio Ambiente", developed by the Associación Espanola de Normalización y Certificación (AENOR), was first awarded in 1993. AENOR is under the control of the Spanish Ministry of Industry and Energy. The Spanish ecolabelling programme is very similar to the French scheme because, here too, the managing and implementing body is a standardization agency.

  • The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), a Swedish non-governmental organization (NGO), has been elaborating criteria for environmentally friendly products since 1987. The "Bra Miljöval“ eco-label using the falcon as a symbol was launched in 1992. Like the US eco-label it is not a national eco-label as it had not been established on government initiative. In Sweden, both eco-labels, the Scandinavian White Swan and the Swedish “Bra Miljöval” falcon, exist side by side and are engaged in a healthy competition.

North America

  • The Canadian "EcoLogoM" was launched in 1988 by the Canadian Ministry of the Environment, Environment Canada (EC), within the framework of the Environmental Choice Programme. The Canadian eco-label was the second big labelling initiative for eco-friendly products worldwide – second to the German Blue Angel. The private enterprise Terra Choice was tasked with implementing and managing the Environmental Choice Programme.

  • USA

    In 1989, the independent and non-profit organization Green Seal developed the US "Green Seal" eco-label. "Green Seal“ is a private eco-label that was launched independent of all state authority. The American labelling scheme is, however, principally very similar to the national state-organized eco-labels.

South America

  • The Brazilian Qualidad Ambiental eco-label was launched in 1993 by the Associacao Brasileira de Normas Tecnicas (ABNT) in collaboration with the Brazilian government. The award of the Brazilian eco-label is based on life-cycle analyses.