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Ecolabels

3rd July, 2024 Environment

Ecolabels

Source: Down to Earth

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.

Context

  • SDG 12 promotes responsible consumption and production. Eco-labels can help reduce the ecological impact of consumer goods, contributing to sustainable development without compromising economic growth.

Details

Key Points

SDG 12 Targets:

  • SDG 12.6:
    • Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.
  • SDG 12.8:
    • By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature.

Importance of SDG 12 for industry

  • Carbon footprint:
    • There has been a significant carbon footprint from manufacturing industries, supply, consumption and disposal of goods.
    • Emphasis should be given to reduce this impact which is crucial for mitigating climate change.
  • Challenges of Degrowth:
    • Degrowth may not be applicable for developing countries like India.
    • India needs growth for employment to utilize its demographic dividend.

Role of Eco-labels

  • Eco-Labels:
    • It is an environmental labelling system created to identify and promote eco-friendly products and services.
    • Certification of products as eco-friendly and informing consumers of their environmental impact.
    • Helping consumers make sustainable choices which are aligning with SDG 12.8.
  • Types and Benefits:
    • There various eco-labels across the world which are usually be developed by government agencies, civil society or private groups.
    • Evaluate the environmental impact throughout the product lifecycle.
    • Manufacturers can obtain a competitive edge in the market by enhancing their environmental, social and governance (ESG) reports, which attracts more investments and appealing to customers with eco-friendly products.
    • It benefits consumers, producers, environment and civil societies.

Need for Awareness and Government campaign

  • Awareness campaign:
    • There has been a limited use of eco-labels in India.
    • Require a mission-mode awareness campaign to increase consumer demand.
  • Government and Market Role:
    • Bureau of Indian Standards need to update its Ecomark scheme to accommodate new products and develop standards.
    • Producers must pay a fee to meet certification standards to capture the market.
    • It acts as a potential to boost the carbon credit market and reduce greenwashing.

Eco-labelling in India

  • Current State:
    • Gradual rise in eco-labelling like GRIHA.
    • Eco-labelled products have limited penetration in Indian markets.
  • Future needs:
    • Emphasis should be given for more research and standards for a wider range of products.
    • Increased participation of consumer in conservation efforts.
  • Achieving Net-Zero Targets:
    • Distinction between genuine and misleading green claims is essential.
    • Eco-labelling plays a significant role in achieving the net-zero targets by 2070.

Mission LiFE Goal:

  • This will increase consumer participation in conservation and path towards sustainability.
  • It supports India's Net Zero targets by 2070 through eco-labelling.

Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA):

  • GRIHA is a Sanskrit word meaning – ‘Abode’.
  • Human Habitats (buildings) interact with the environment in various ways.
  • Throughout their life cycles, from construction to operation and then demolition, they consume resources in the form of energy, water, materials, etc. and emit wastes either directly in the form of municipal wastes or indirectly as emissions from electricity generation.
  • GRIHA attempts to minimize a building’s resource consumption, waste generation and overall ecological impact to within certain nationally acceptable limits/benchmarks.

Sources:

Down to Earth

PRACTICE QUESTION

Q. Consider the following statements regarding eco-labelling:

1.Eco-labels certify consumer goods as eco-friendly, often considering their environmental impact throughout the product's life cycle.

2.Eco-labels are developed exclusively by government agencies to ensure standardization.

3.Eco-labelling aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.8 by promoting awareness of sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

A) 1 and 2 only

B) 1 and 3 only

C) 2 and 3 only

D) 1, 2, and 3

Answer: B)