During the gathering of relevant domestic and overseas ecolabelling information, it was observed that many ecolabelling programs are starting to slow down in introducing new product criteria, and instead focused more on revising and integrating existing product criteria and standards. In performing follow-up surveillance activities, many programs are also found to emphasize more on the risk management concept and random sampling. If non-compliances are observed during the surveillance activities, the most severe penalties are usually the termination of license holder’s right to use ecolabel on non-conforming products. While promoting green consumption, several countries have mandated the preferential purchasing of eco-labeled products by government agencies, and leading multinational companies are also imposing green requirements on their suppliers to produce green products. These public and private initiatives can all serve to increase consumers’ awareness of ecolabelling.
During 2015, 12 new criteria have been developed, including: external hard drives, uninterruptible power supply systems, bio-fuel oil, light-emitting diode (LED) street lamps, electric ovens, electric shredders, coffee machines, doors and windows, interior lighting, wallpaper, vacuum cleaners, and shoes. A total of 16 product criteria have also been revised, including: recycled toner cartridges, ink cartridges, products made from recycled glass, products made from recycled plastics or rubber, kiln-fired recycled building materials, non-fired recycled building materials, displays, notebook computers, computer systems, desktop personal computers, fans, recycled textile products, facial paper, toilet paper, cars, and motorcycles. In addition, three informational seminars have been offered to manufacturer applicants, and one information seminar was held on testing requirements during Green Mark application process. These seminars served to provide assistance to manufacturers in applying for Green Mark, while also receive views expressed by participants from testing laboratories, which can be used as inputs during the future review of the Green Mark Program.
This year, three representatives from EDF attended the 2015 GEN Annual General Meeting held in Hong Kong, and Mr. Chin-Yuan Chen was selected as the member of the GEN Board. During the meeting, Mr. Chen also presented the results on evaluation of product environment performance of Green Mark products, and was assigned by the new GEN Chair to lead the GEN working group on environmental performance evaluation. Thus, EDF will be able to set the direction for future research, and continue the lead in this field.
Besides paying attention to development of domestic and overseas ecolabelling programs, responding to views and comments expressed by Green Mark licensees and applicants, and organizing relevant informational seminars, it is recommended that future work of the Green Mark Program should include developing product criteria for new product categories, reviewing existing product criteria, and considering integrating criteria for similar product categories. Regarding recommendations for medium to long term work, it is recommended that EPA-Taiwan commission some impartial and independent consultancies to offer consulting services related to Green Mark application process, and strengthen the requirement that Green Mark users are also responsible for conducting consumer education and awareness activities. If resources are available, it is recommended that international ecolabelling workshops or seminars should be held in order to offer training to personnel of newly founded ecolabelling programs, in order to maintaining the capacity for international cooperation and information exchange. To improve the promotion of Green Mark, the promotion activities are recommended to be managed by professional public relations firms, and incentives should be provided during these activities to increase consumers’ interests.