The Five-Leaf System as a springboard for the Eco-label 

Any hotel that expresses concern for the environmental impact of their activity and is ready to start with a more environmentally friendly policy can receive its first leaf in the Five-Leaf System.

One of the ways that hotels have if they wish to extend this philosopy is through the choice of products and services that already follow the principles underlying the system.

The award of the EU eco-label aims to highlight ecological products where the manufacturer is showing respect for the environment. Joining the scheme is voluntary and there are minimal costs involved in assessing the production processes involved and in maintaining the level needed for the award.

The Portuguese Ministry for the Economy is a member of the EU Eco-label committee (CREUE), which defines the ecological criteria underpinning the award of the Eco-label. The criteria that are used have been chosen as a result of a wide-ranging battery of scientific studies.

Hotels can choose from a dozen of distinct products groups – and as the process is dynamic there are new awards every month! Just look for the symbol of the daisy!

The Eco-label system in the European Union

The system is pan-European, voluntary, selective, and transparent. The procedures are officially recognised and based on an array of criteria, with an independent award process. The award gives the right to display a special logo.

The demand for ecological products provides a major spur for companies to reflect on ways to make their products more ecological, to bolster their pro-environment policies and enhance the performance of their products and services throughout their life cycle.

The Eco-label system provides the ideal way of reaching this goal.

It was created in 1992 (and amended in 2000 through Regulation (CE) 1980 and in 2010 through Regulation (CE) 66 of the European Parliament and the Council). The system encourages manufacturers to create environmentally friendly products and covers services and goods for everyday consumption.

The ecological critieria that are used mean that scientific studies on environmental impact have to be carried out for each phase of the product life cycle. The following points must be taken into account:

  • energy consumption
  • water pollution
  • air pollution
  • the production of waste
  • sustainable forest management
  • noise pollution
  • soil pollution, There are also criteria relating to performance.

These criteria, following adoption by a majority of the member states and by the European Commission, are valid for between two and five years. They are then reviewed and may be strengthened with a view to improving the environmental performance of products that display the Eco-label.