TÜV Rheinland signs MoU with Environmental Choice New Zealand

By Wright Communications

TÜV Rheinland, a global leader for independent inspection services, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the New Zealand Government's official ecolabelling programme, Environmental Choice New Zealand (ECNZ).

The move provides ECNZ and its licensees, which include more than 60 New Zealand businesses and some 1,700 products, with access to TUV Rheinland's global network of expertise.

"Many of our New Zealand licensees have manufacturing facilities overseas, which need to be assessed against our criteria on a regular basis. This would normally mean sending an NZ-based verifier to the site to do the audit," said ECNZ General Manager Francesca Lipscombe.

"That won't be necessary in most, if not all, cases now, which will provide real cost savings," she said.

TUV Rheinland's Executive Vice-President - Products, Holger Kunz, noted that his organization is very interested in pursuing joint-activities with its new NZ partner to stimulate sustainable public procurement through ecolabels.

"Today's consumers are demanding that the products and services they purchase reflect their own values. This means that companies in all industries need to consider their ecological and social footprint if they want to remain successful in the market," said Kunz.

"This new agreement between with ECNZ is a great step forward for sustainable procurement. The increased availability of credible, trustworthy ecolabelled products and services will also strengthen the links between New Zealand and international markets," he said.

ECNZ's New Zealand-based verifiers will continue to co-ordinate audit efforts. However, TÜV Rheinland and ECNZ will now actively share information, particularly around specification development. The TUV Rheinland MoU is one of seven agreements ECNZ now has with members of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) for the sharing of information.

"We regularly call on GEN members to do audits on our behalf," said Lipscombe, who added that TUV Rheinland is already working on an audit for ECNZ in Indonesia and will soon begin one in Malaysia.

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