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The ISO 14020 series

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As part of its ISO 14000 series of environmental standards, the International Standards Organisation has drawn up a group of standards specifically governing environmental labeling.

The ISO 14020 family covers three types of labeling schemes:

  • Type I is a multi-attribute label developed by a third party;
  • Type II is a single-attribute label developed by the producer;
  • Type III is an eco-label whose awarding is based on a full life-cycle assessment.

The family of standards is as follows:

Standard Description Application
ISO 14020 Environmental Labeling: General Principles Sets out nine general principles that apply not only to labeling schemes but to all environmental claims, designed to promote accurate, verifiable and relevant information
ISO 14021 Environmental Labels and Declarations: Self-Declaration Environmental Claims, Terms and Definitions Sets out requirements for Type II labels, i.e. environmental claims made for goods and services by the producer
ISO 14022 Environmental Labels and Declarations: Self-Declaration Environmental Claims, Symbols Promotes the standardization of terms and symbols used in environmental claims, e.g. 'recycled content'
ISO 14023 Environmental Labels and Declarations: Self-Declaration Environmental Claims, Testing and Verification (Currently under review)
ISO 14024 Environmental Labels and Declarations: Environmental Labeling Type I, Guiding Principles and Procedures Provides guidance on developing programmes that verify the environmental attributes of a product via a seal of approval

In addition to the five standards outlined above, an ISO technical report, ISO/TR 14025, addresses Type III schemes, and offers guidance on technical, formatting and administrative issues.

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