What is ...The Blue Angel Mark?
The Blue Angel (Der Blaue Engel) is a German certification for products and services that have environmentally friendly aspects. The Blue Angel mark is the oldest ecolabel in the world, and it covers some 10,000 products in some 80 product categories!
The reason that I thought I would draw people's attention to it, is that here in the UK, it is hardly known about or recognised, whereas on mainland Europe it is both highly visible on products and very highly regarded.
It was originally conceived and put in place by the government of the former West Germany and has been awarded since 1978. The Environmental Label Jury (Jury Umweltzeichen) is an independent, decision-making body for the Blue Angel and includes representatives from environmental and consumer associations, trade unions, industry, the trade, crafts, local authorities, academia, the media, churches, young people and the German federal states. As a result, it isn't open to political interference, industry pressure groups or vested interests, either from industry or the fanatical green groups. This is the reason that I rate the scheme so highly and it annoys me that the UK government has never had the guts to put such an independent system in place in the UK - equally it's a shame that there isn't a pan European system.
The award of the Blue Angel is preceded by a review of the entire life cycle of the products. Such review considers as many aspects of environmental and health protection as possible for the respective product. Subsequently, the criteria limit or rule out those environmental impacts which are considered to be the most important impacts for the respective product. The Basic Award Criteria for a product are specified for each product group and they are all published
The Blue Angel covers a wide range of different products including paints, gardening products, construction, electronics and many more, including paper and board.
We carry products which have been awarded the Blue Angel mark (including our Colorset range) but because of the lack of recognition in the UK, it hasn't been worth becoming a stakeholder, in the way that we hold FSC accreditation for example.
You can read more about the scheme here: