Ahead of its time and more relevant than ever

  • Government ecolabel Environmental Choice (ECNZ) is celebrating 30 years.
  • A not-for-profit, ECNZ is the most rigorous accreditation for goods and services in this country.
  • To date, 2,600 products across a wide range of industries have been certified.

Environmental Choice New Zealand, the country’s only official Type 1 ecolabel, celebrates its 30th anniversary on Friday 18 March.

“In that time, we’ve worked with businesses, and often whole industries, to reduce their environmental impact,” says Laura Gemmell, ECNZ Chief Executive. “For instance, by adhering to our specifications, our certified toilet paper manufacturers now collectively save an estimated 21,000 tonnes of CO2 entering the atmosphere each year. Similarly, companies producing hand dishwashing detergents prevent approximately 75,000 litres of unnecessary chemicals entering New Zealand waterways.”

“For the last 30 years, Environmental Choice New Zealand has provided Government, business and members of the public the assurance that products bearing the mark meet high environmental standards and minimise harm to the environment,” says Hon. David Parker, Minister for the Environment. “I look forward to Environmental Choice continuing to support better environmental outcomes for Aotearoa and the planet for years to come”.

From paint to concrete, cleaning products to printer consumables, 175 companies have sought and achieved ECNZ accreditation across 60 categories and 2,600 products. “Getting our badge is no walk in the park, often businesses need to change their production process or redesign the product itself. Each of our licensees should be commended for their genuine commitment to a more sustainable future,” says Ms Gemmell.

Paint manufacturer Resene has worked with Environmental Choice from the beginning. “One of the key differences about the Resene Environmental Choice approved range of paints, is unlike most companies, we didn’t create a separate range of Environmental Choice paints different to our normal products.  What we did was work on our standard product range to make those products Environmental Choice approved,” says Colin Gooch, Resene Technical Director.

With consumers increasingly seeking out brands with robust environmental credentials, the rigour of ECNZ’s label is more relevant than ever says Craig Burston, a recent ECNZ licensee and General Manager of cleaning product manufacturer Will & Able. “The Environmental Choice label is well-recognised and gives us immediate environmental credibility. It has a strong link to our core values around caring for people, while caring for the environment.”

Environmental sustainability is a key driver for more than half of Kiwi consumers, according to Kantar New Zealand research.

“In some ways, Environmental Choice was ahead of its time. Now there is much more widespread recognition of the urgency associated with climate change and the need for each of us to play our part,” says Ms Gemmell. “Environmental Choice is more relevant than ever, and we’re here to support businesses in their sustainability journeys and help consumers make environmentally sound purchasing decisions.”


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