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Environmental labeling

Background introduction

      Environmental labeling was originated in Germany in the end of 1970s. Later, more than 30 countries and regions such as Japan, Canada, 5 Nordic countries, EU and Korea have launched their environmental labeling program one after another.

      With simple label easy to understand, environmental labeling helps consumers to choose environment-friendly products. It encourages consumers to employ their bank note as environmental vote and encourages enterprises manufacturing environment-friendly products based on the option of consumers.

     The certificate signed by the third party with high authority and credibility facilitates green consumption and standard environmental products, helps consumers understand what products are conducive to the environment, and benefits the producers of true environmental protection products. 


       Under the background of international campaign on eco labeling, the former National Environmental Protection Agency advocated and developed the China Environmental Labeling Program in 1994 in order to echo the idea of sustainable development presented by 1992 World Conference on Environment and Development. By promoting the production and consumption of China environmental labeling products, China is going to create green development mode of Chinese enterprises and promote the development of green economy, circular economy and “Beautiful China”. MEP is in charge of the organization, management and implementation of China Environmental Labeling Program as well as the review, approval and release of the standards. The Ministry of Environmental Protection authorizes CEC in charge of the use of Chine Environmental Label and certification of China Environmental Labeling. 

       Ministry of Environmental Protection has registered the China Environment Label at the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, which represents national recognition to environmental performances of relevant products.  

        China environmental label is a new approach for environmental management. That is, compulsory laws and regulations serve as one approach; while recommendations and certification serve as another.   

        Aiming at sustainable consumption, China’s certification program for environmental labeling provides an approach for public participation in environmental protection and facilitates sustainable consumption.

        With unique economic approach, environmental labeling motivates public action and takes the purchasing power as a tool for environmental protection. It promotes producers addressing the impacts of their products on the environment in each process from product design to final disposal, thus meeting the targets of preventing pollution, protecting the environment and gaining more benefits.  


     CEC has set up branches in big cities and provinces such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Sichuan, Fujian, Hubei and Liaoning and expanded regional environmental labeling market and provide clients with convenient service.  

  Working with industrial associations, research institutes, universities and colleges, testing institutions and famous Chinese and international enterprises, CEC has been continuously expanding the certification scope for environmental labeling products and facilitating the development of environmental labeling cause.

      At present, there are 96 types of China environmental labeling products such as automobiles, electronic products, building materials, textile, packaging supplies, daily chemicals and light industry products. China environmental labeling has included services and some industrial products in its certification activities over the past few years such as printing, decoration as well as concrete, cement and buildings. Investigation on the impacts of China environmental label on the public  With the approval of MEP, CEC held the meeting “Environmental Labeling and Sustainable Consumption ─ The 20th Anniversary of China Environmental Labeling” in Beijing on September 23, 2014. More than 350 people including officials of relevant departments from CPPCC Economic Committee, Ministry of Finance, NDRC, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Certification and Accreditation Administration, State Administration of Press Publication, Radio, Film and Television; representatives from relevant industrial associations, research or testing institutes, NGOs and certified enterprises as well as representatives from GEN, UNEP, environmental labeling organization of many countries and regions and ASEAN countries attended the meeting.  


Green government procurement of environmental labeling products

    Ministry of Finance and State Environmental Protection Administration jointly issued the Suggestions on Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products and List of Government Procurement of Environmental Labeling Products in 2006 to start green government procurement in China. The amount of product types in the government procurement list of environmental labeling products has gone up from 14 to 59 including office equipment and consumables, automobiles, electronics and household appliances, furniture and building materials over the past 10 years since the implementation of green government procurement. The amount of certified enterprises has been gone up from 81 to over 3000 with the increase of the amount of certified product models from more than 800 to over 200,000. According to the statistics of Ministry of Finance, the total volume of government procurement of environmental labeling products in China reached 715.45 billion yuan during 2008~2015 with continuous rise of the percent of such products in similar products. In 2015 alone, government green procurement of several types of products such as furniture, computer, printer and copying machine may save over 100 million yuan direct cost each year for treatment of pollutants. 

Green Printing

     Vice Minister Yan Xiaohong from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television expressed appreciation to the outstanding contributions of MEP, Environmental Development Center and CEC to green printing activities at the 2016 Annual Meeting of China Printing Technology Association & Meeting on Summary and Commendation of Green Printing held on December 28 of 2016. 

CEC wins the “Special Contribution Award for Green Printing” granted by China Printing Technology Association. 

 International mutual recognition

    As an important market approach to the promotion of prevention and control of pollution, environmental labeling is enjoying continuous application and development in the world. With rapid expansion of the benefits resulting from environmental labeling, some industrial sectors and international organization have presented a series questions on potential impacts of these environmental labeling programs on trade and paid wide and special attention. Because the ways of achieving environmental label reflect the values and ecosystem sensitivity of each country, complete application of international standard is hardly possible. Some hidden green trade barriers also emerge. At present, most countries have reached common understanding on mutual recognition of products. With the internal driving force of environmental labeling, the implementation of internationally mutual recognition of environmental labeling products will surely become the general development trend of environmental labeling program.   

In 2008, joined in Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN)

In 2012, became GEN board member and passed GENICES peer review

Signed MOU/MRA with eco-labelling program in Japan, Koran, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Nordic, Thailand, Singapore, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and China Hong Kong.

    As a member of GEN Council, CEC has signed the cooperation agreement on mutual recognition with environmental labeling agencies of 12 countries and regions such as Germany, Australia, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Korea and Japan and conducted study on mutual recognition of environmental label and relevant implementation work. CEC has successfully held the GEN 2014 Annual Meeting.


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