May 25, 2009
Promote sustainable products and sustainable consumption in the mass market
Summary of the case
The EcoTopTen (ETT) initiative (www.ecotopten.de) is an innovation and communication system for sustainable products and sustainable consumption started by the Oeko-Institut in Germany. The ETT initiative started its first phase (phase 1) with two interlinked but separate parts – the ETT research and development project on sustainable products, and the ETT consumer information campaign. Now the project has entered phase 2 in which market surveys and the lists of ETT recommended products will be updated on a regular basis.
The ETT initiative encompasses ten product fields: building&housing, mobility, eat-ing&drinking, refrigerating&cooking&dishwashing, clothing, laundry washing&drying, in-formation&communication, TV&Co., electricity and investment.
The criteria for each product group are related to environment, quality and costs. To a large extent, the criteria are based on existing labels and product tests, like the European energy label, the German eco-label, as well as labels for green electricity or product tests published in the journal of the German ‘Stiftung Warentest’ which carries out product quality tests and consumer information.
ETT is aiming at going beyond existing labels and consumer information schemes by inte-grating environmental and quality aspects as well as annual life cycle costs. In doing so, the project promotes the further development from environment labels towards sustainability la-bels. Furthermore, the Oeko-Institut promotes sustainable product development: sustainable innovation goals are communicated to manufacturers showing which advanced criteria relat-ing to environment, quality and costs should be met by products in a few years.