New Zealand eco-labels win Defra endorsement
by David Masters
August 21, 2008
A labeling scheme in New Zealand, that helps consumers choose eco-friendly paper and furniture, has been acclaimed as an international model of best practice by the UK government.
Shoppers often find it difficult to distinguish between greenwash and genuine green credentials, and a government endorsed labelling scheme can be a big help to consumers who are looking to be eco-friendly in their shopping habits.
The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) commissioned a global study into eco-labeling and found that New Zealand has one of the strongest models of environmental assessment in the world.
New Zealand’s Environmental Choice labeling scheme certifies paper from recycled or sustainable sources, and informs consumers whether or not furniture has been made using a sustainable wood source.
Trevor Mallard, New Zealand’s environment minister, said the UK government’s endorsement reinforces New Zealand’s clean and green international image.
Robin Taylor, general manager of Environmental Choice, said the endorsement was like winning an Olympic gold for the environment.
Taylor added that one of the criteria for being shortlisted for Defra endorsement was going beyond existing EU legislation on environmental labeling.
He added that it is very encouraging to see New Zealand outperforming international benchmarks.
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