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Canadian Ecolabel Project
Topic Started: Jun 4 2014, 07:36 AM (117 Views)
Alterrum
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I'd like to propose the creation of a Canadian ecolabel system, similar in principle to the Nordic Ecolabel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_swan).

Essentially, products that have been certified to meet certain environmental (and possibly other, e.g. social, health etc.) criteria can bear this label, which would then in principle be an established sign of genuinely eco-friendly products to consumers, helping to promote environment-friendly trade throughout Canada.

Setting the criteria would be carried out by a non-governmental organisation composed of representatives from all member countries.

There would be two options for certifying the products:

1) Leave it to the same organisation which deals with setting the criteria, and thus make it legal for the company to use the label in all countries, or
2) Leave it to national organisations, since some countries might have more stringent environmental goals than the ones set in the general criteria, and thus a product can only carry the logo in the nation it was certified in. The general idea behind the logo would still be to promote the most eco-friendly products available in a specific country/region.

The system would be entirely voluntary to all companies in member countries, and joining the project is of course voluntary for all nations as well.
More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
- Charlie Chaplin
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Almonaster
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Homophonophile
Minister
Almonaster Nuevo uses a similar system internally, but with an important extension. Rather than using a single composite measure, the products are evaluated in several categories, covering the entire creation and delivery process. The labels have 3 grades, and the results in each sub-category are included on an info box. We see this as a balance between simplicity (for a quick consumer decision) and detail (for those with more detailed concerns). Further details on all certified products are published online. (See cwn.environment.gov.an/greenlabel )

One key purpose of this is to avoid the practice of "cherry-picking" areas where improvements are cheap, and avoiding others where more substantive improvements could be made.

In general, we would suggest that countries have local certification authorities, but that an international body should oversee standards. We also believe that the standards and certification process must be clear and documented in terms meaningful to the typical consumer.

It is very hard to find properly cited quotes on the internet.
~Abraham Lincoln

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Alterrum
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The system used in Almonaster Nuevo seems like a good template to me. I think the label could at least contain two general ratings - enivronmental and social impact, and then details about each, as Al said. Since this would take more room on a product than a simple logo, it might be a good idea to let the manufacturer decide how much detail they want to include - but the minimum that should be included are the two ratings above, with an online database including all the information.

I also think the certification should be carried out by national authorities, but since the main goal of this is to promote green industry throughout Canada, so that it would be easy for an eco-friendly company in one Canadian country to expand into others, a good compromise might be to allow a product to bear the label in all countries, so long as the certifying country is noted in the label. Alternatively, it can be left up to each nation to decide whether they want to allow the use of labels certified by other countries in their nation or not.

There should also be some sort of time period after which the product has to be certified again - the one used by the Nordic Ecolabel of 3 years seems reasonable to me.
More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
- Charlie Chaplin
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Almonaster
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Minister
Here is one possibility for a label design, based on those used in Almonaster Nuevo. The illustrated designs are for a base level and a top-level item. Both indicate their origin as being certified in Devil Heart, as shown by the map and flag. The letters indicate the scores in each of 8 sub-categories. These are clearly visible, but should not compete with the basic one-, two-, or three-tick design which indicates the overall level of compliance.

Posted Image

Posted Image


(OOC: Derivative works from the static map of Canada - thanks dpl.)
It is very hard to find properly cited quotes on the internet.
~Abraham Lincoln

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Alterrum
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What are the 8 categories used in your nation? The design is quite nice, maybe I'd add the category names, since I don't think most people will remember them. And perhaps the map could be removed to save size? I'm also thinking that maybe different levels should have a different colour outline as well, to better distinguish between them. Green - teal - orange for example. And maybe some sort of ID number or designation for each product, so it could be easily found on the internet database.
More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
- Charlie Chaplin
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Almonaster
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Homophonophile
Minister
The categories are fairly easy to remember, as they essentially follow the total lifecycle of a product.

1) Raw materials (sustainability, side effects of extraction/harvesting)
2) Impact of supply chain (e.g. working conditions, pollution during sub-assembly)
3) Assembly miles (modified by form of transport)
4) Impact of final assembly (social and envronmental).
5) Packaging and distribution impacts (including advertising)
6) Consumables, and pollution in use.
7) Durability
8) Impact of disposal.

If a category is irrelevant, it is marked as -, categories where the product is sub-standard, but has been accredited due to high standards in other areas are marked as X (applies to basic award only). C B and A represent increasingly good sustainability and low social cost.

We have found that a consistent design aids recognition - the multi-colour borders may help, or may cause confusion. Not all cultures interpret colours in the same way. The map was included as it provides cross-cultural recognition - if anything we feel the flag is the element which is less clear.

It is very hard to find properly cited quotes on the internet.
~Abraham Lincoln

Visit Al's FractAl Gallery

I'm in ur detailz likin' ur sinz. :evil:
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