1998-11-30

Self-Declared Environmental Claims: A Case Example 982191

This paper presents a case example of the evolution of a Self-Declared Environmental label for a supplier. A comprehensive database system combined with Life Cycle Management (LCM) concepts provided the basis of the label design.
Environmental labeling is under intense discussion and debate. Although three types of labels are discussed in the draft ISO 14000 Standards, the Type II Self-Declared Environmental Claim presently appears to be the only realistic choice for many suppliers. The Self-Declared Environmental Claim allows manufacturers to make environmental claims about their products in a practical manner. The Traverse Group Label Management Team uses a standardized data collection methodology and Life Cycle Management (LCM) analysis to produce Type II labels for suppliers. For the manufacturer described in the case example, the Type II label is currently being placed on shipments of plastic seat protectors. The evolution of this label is described in the case example. The definition of “consumer of label information” is discussed and the role of market hierarchy is noted as a complexity in label content determination. The Type II label developed (ENVIROLABELSM) is shown as an Attachment.
The authors conclude that several obstacles exist to the development and use of labels for manufactured goods which are: data availability, consumer knowledge, and the hierarchical nature of complex multi-component systems. For the case example presented, the data and analysis were already available from existing programs. These programs were created for other business purposes and adopted for label development.

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