With the rapid
industrialisation and urbanisation and ever-increasing population,
environmental pollution has assured alarming proportions and has become one
of the most challenging problems of the human race. Individuals,
business organisations judiciary and the governments all over the world have
recognised the need for prevention of pollution and protection of
environment. The emergence of environmental awareness among consumers
world over has led to the growing demand for goods and services that are
environment friendly and attempts are being made to find out ways to consume
natural resources in a sustainable/green(er) manner. An increasing
number of consumers are translating their concern for wider environmental
problems into changes of their purchasing behaviour. The increasing
green consumerism, especially in developed countries, has prompted their
governments to bring in environment related guidelines that will regulate
trade. It is in this context of eco-friendly products and services and
'GREEN SHOPPING' that environmental labeling has assumed grater
significance to develop confidence in the buyers about the goods and
services used by them. This will also lead to increased market share
and provide incentive to companies to change their process/product line to
meet the criteria.
What is Green Shopping?
The meaning of green
shopping is inherent in the word 'GREEN' where each alphabet signifies :
G - Growth
R - Resources
E - Environment
E - Enhancement
N - Nature
Thus 'GREEN SHOPPING' means utilising goods and services in such a manner
that leads to sustainable growth based on optimum management of resources
for protection and enhancement of environment in tune with eco-system
What is an Eco-Friendly Product?
Any product which is
made, used or disposed off in a way, that significantly reduces the harm it
would have otherwise caused to the environment, can be termed as
eco-friendly product. Thus, it involves complete life cycle assessment
of the product right from its raw material extraction stage, manufacture,
use and to the final disposal with regard to its impact on environment.
4.0 Aim of
Eco-Friendly Products Labelling
represents a holistic judgement, giviing an overall assessment of a
product's environmental quality relative to other products in the same
category. In other words it is a claim which indicates the
environmental aspects of a product or service.
Environmental labels operate as informative and voluntary market
Eco-labelling can accomplish several goals:
sales or image of a labelled product;
consumer awareness about environmental impact of products;
manufactures for the environmental impact of their products; and
improving the quality of the environment and encouraging the sustainable
management of resources.
overall goal of eco-labelling is to encourage the demand for and supply
of those products and services that cause less stress on the
environment, thereby stimulating the potential for market-driven
continuous environmental improvement.
and International Scenario
programmes are becoming popular worldover. At least, 15 countries
including India have launched the ecolabelling schemes that are either
sponsored by the governments or by the voluntary organisations that receive
technical and financial support from their government.
While there is a need for greater transparency, voluntary ecolabelling
schemes should not be brought under the scope of the technical barriers to
trade agreement. As ecolabelling is featuring as a contertious issue
in international trade, the Indian industry needs to gear itself to meet the
new challenges. Accrecitation and prevailing laws of individual
countries may at times act as barriers for international trade. To
eliminate such deterimental features in the scheme, it is made amply clear
that the ecolabelling scheme in India is a purely voluntary scheme open to
all manufactures, both domestic and foreign.