ECOMARK

 

 

 

Background

 

The Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt.  of India have instituted a scheme on labeling of Environment  Friendly Products through Gazette Notification No. 71 dated 21st February 1991. The scheme is operating on a national basis and  provides accreditation and labeling for household and other consumer products which meet certain environmental criteria along with quality requirements of the Indian Standards for that product.

The Scheme is known as "ECOMARK". Any product which is made, used or disposed of in a way that significantly reduces the harm it would otherwise cause to the environment, are categorized as environment friendly product.

The scheme is voluntary and invites participation from common citizens and concerned industrial sectors in the larger interest of environment.

 

 

 

Objectives

 

The specific objectives of the ECOMARK scheme are as follow:

 

    • To provide an incentive for manufacturers and importers to reduce environmental impact of products.

    • To reward genuine initiatives by companies to reduce adverse environmental impact of their products.

    • To assist consumers to become environmentally responsible in their daily lives by providing information to take account of environmental factors in their purchase decisions.

    • To ensure citizens to purchase products which have less harmful environmental impacts.

    • Ultimately to improve the quality of the environment and to encourage the sustainable management of resources.

 

Organizational structure

The MoEF has constituted two committees namely Steering Committee and Technical Committee to identify product categories, develop criteria and to coordinate related activities. The Bureau of Indian Standards is to assess and certify products and draw up a contract with the manufacturer, allowing the use of the label, on payment of a fee. The terms of committees shall be for three years or until reconstituted.

Functions of Steering Committee:
    •  Selection of the logo for ECOMARK.

    • Activities related to creation of mass awareness for promotion and  acceptance of the scheme.

    • Determining the product category to be taken up under the scheme.

    • Coordinating ways of ensuring that industry is actively involved in the scheme.

    • Securing the involvement of other Ministries, Government Departments, Industry Associations and other Non-Government Organizations and consumer organizations.

    • For emulation of strategies for future development of the scheme.

    • Identifying institutions in India or outside which are engaged in the standardization of any article or process or improvement of quality of any article or process and recommending assistance to build consumer awareness.

    • Promoting programme of comparative testing of products by consumer organizations and disseminate their results to the general public.

    • Supporting any research for the formulation of ECOMARK  products in the interest of consumer groups.

Composition of Steering Committee

S.No.

Authority

Designation

1

Secretary, Deptt. of Environment & Forests

Chairman

2

Secretary, Ministry of Industry (or his    representative)

Member

3

Secretary, Deptt. of Civil Supplies

Member 

4

Secretary, Ministry of Chemicals & Petro-Chemicals (or his representative)

Member

5

Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture (or his representative)

Member

6

Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (or his representative)

Member

7

Director General of Technical Development (or his representative)

Member

8

Director General, CSIR (or his representative)

Member

9

Director General, Health Services, (or his representative)

Member 

10

Development Commissioner, Small Scale industries (or his representative)

Member

11

Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board

Member

12

Officer In-charge, 'ECOMARK' in the Ministry of Environment & Forests,

Member Secretary

 

Besides above central Govt. shall nominate not more than five non-officials to represent the interests of industry, consumer groups or other NGOs of which at least two will represent consumer groups.

Functions of the Technical Committee
    • Identification of specific products for classifying as environment friendly.

    • Reviewing the existing State of knowledge and the environmental criteria being followed in other countries.

    • Recommend the most appropriate criteria and parameters to designate various products as environment friendly.

    • Review various technologies available for determining criteria.

    • Recommend various laboratories and analysis for products assessment to the MoEF.

    • Evaluation of Environmental Import of products.

    • To review implementation of the scheme by BIS.

    • Set up Sub-committee for each product category.

    • Setting up of expert panels to advise it for specific products.

Composition of Technical Committee.
S.No Authority Designation
1 Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board Chairman

2

Director General, Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi.

Member 

3

Director,  NEERI, Nagpur,

Member

4

Director, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune

Member 

5

Director General, National Test House, Calcutta.

Member

6

Director, Industrial Toxicology Research Institute, Lucknow

Member

7

Director, National Institute of Occupational Safety

Member

8

Officer In-charge, 'ECOMARK Scheme' CPCB

Member Secretary

 

Besides above, the Central Govt. shall nominate not more than five non-officials to represent the interests of industry and consumer groups.

Functions of Bureau of Indian standards
    • Assess the product for ECOMARK, certify the product for award of the Ecomark.

    • Review, suspend or cancel or license, for the use of Ecomark.

    • Inspect and monitor the industries.

Certification and Licensing

For certification under ECOMARK scheme the manufacture shall apply testing of products which fall under the notified categories along with fee set by BIS. The testing and certification shall be carried out by BIS. The label shall be awarded for a minimum period of one year and shall roll forward annually.

Criteria for ECOMARK 

Primary criteria i.e. parameters to be considered for determining product for ECOMARK is as follows:

    • Production process including source of raw material.

    • Case of natural resources.

    • Likely impact on the environment.

    • Energy conservation in the production of product.

    • Effect and extent of waste arising from the production process.

    • Disposal of the product and its containers.

    • Utilization as 'waste' and recycled materials.

    • Suitability for recycling or packaging.

    • Biodegradability.

Status of ECOMARK scheme in the M.P. State

The M.P. Pollution Control Board has identified 192 industries in the State which come under purview of this criteria and are being pursued to obtain ECOMARK certification in the large interest of the environment.  These identified industries are from textile, vegetable oil and soap & detergent sector.

Incentives :

As per notification issued by Govt. of Madhya Pradesh Deptt. of Housing & Environment, Dt. 28th Aug. '98 all such industries which have been awarded ECOMARK label for their products shall be given an exemption of 50% fee in the consent/renewal of consent under Water Act / Air Act.

ECOMARK Products

The MoEF have so for identified 16 products categories to be  covered under the scheme of ECOMARK. The products are :

Soaps and detergents

Paints

Paper

Food items

Food additives and preservatives

Wood Substances

Textiles

Batteries

Lubricating oil 

Packaging

Plastics

Aerosols

Cosmetics

Pesticides & drugs

Electronic goods

Vegetable Oils