Miscellaneous - Furniture

EU Ecolabel, the European Ecolabel for furniture: why it's needed, how to get it, what benefits it brings

Furniture manufacturers tendering to buy furniture for kindergartens, schools and other such establishments have found that the chances are greatly improved if the furniture has European Ecolabelin short EU Ecolabel. Although not compulsory, the label is important because it attests to the product's quality, sustainability and low environmental impact. The European Ecolabel is issued only by the Ministry of the Environment, Water and Forests, which is the only institution authorized to do so.

De ce este necesară o etichetă ecologică pentru mobilier

The European Ecolabel is a voluntary certification scheme set up by the European Commission to encourage the production and consumption of products with a low environmental impact. It covers a wide range of product and service categories such as cleaning products, clothing and textiles, flooring and roofing, DIY products, electronics, furniture and mattresses, gardening, accommodation, lubricants, paper, care products.

The criteria for each product group are set by the European Commission and regularly reviewed to keep up with technological innovations and market changes. These criteria cover the product's main environmental impact, technical performance and health and safety aspects, promoting the substitution of hazardous substances and supporting sustainability and recyclability.

The furniture industry has a significant impact on the environment through the natural resources used, the emissions generated in the production process and the waste resulting at the end of the product life cycle. The EU Ecolabel for furniture and mattresses guarantees that these products meet strict environmental criteria throughout their entire life cycle, from raw material sourcing, production, use and disposal.

Such labeling has important benefits because it attests to a number of qualities that are increasingly important to beneficiaries. The EU Ecolabel on a piece of furniture shows that it has been produced using wood from sustainably managed forests, does not contain and has not been produced using hazardous substances, has reduced formaldehyde emissions, it is durable, can be repaired in the event of malfunctions and can be largely recycled at the end of its life cycle.

Cum se obține eticheta EU Ecolabel

Obtaining the European Ecolabel in Romania involves a structured process of assessment and certification of products and services to ensure compliance with the European Union's environmental standards. This label is a symbol of environmental excellence and helps consumers identify environmentally friendly products and services.

Here are the steps that manufacturers interested in obtaining the European Ecolabel for furniture should follow:

1. Identification of relevant criteria:

First, manufacturers and service providers should identify the specific ecological criteria for their product or service category. Furniture manufacturers should verify that the specific criteria set by EU Commission Decision 2016/1332 completed by EU Decision 2022/1229. The criteria cover issues such as sourcing of wood and other materials, chemicals and emissions, durability and repairability, consumer information.

2. Preparation of documentation

Having identified the relevant criteria, applicants must prepare detailed documentation demonstrating the compliance of their products or services with these criteria. This includes laboratory tests, declarations of conformity and other necessary evidence.

3. Submitting your application

The application for the European Ecolabel is submitted to the national competent authority in Romania, which is the Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests. The application is registered in the EU Ecolabel Online Electronic Catalog (ECAT). The steps to be followed are in the Manual for using the electronic catalog which can be downloaded from here.

The submitted application must include all prepared documents and the application fee. According to the Environment MinistryThe fee is now €200, payable in lei at the BNR exchange rate on the day of payment.

4. Evaluation and verification of submitted documentation

The Ministry of Environment will evaluate the submitted documentation and carry out checks to ensure that all criteria are met. This process may include visits to the manufacturer and additional tests which will be done and paid for by the beneficiary.

5. Approval and award of the European Ecolabel

If the product or service meets all the criteria, the European Ecolabel will be awarded and the applicant will be able to use the official logo on its products. This certifies that the product is environmentally friendly and complies with EU standards. The label is valid in all EU countries.

6. Monitoring and renewal

Products and services awarded the European Ecolabel are regularly monitored to ensure continued compliance. The certification shall be renewed at regular intervals as required by the competent authorities.

Benefits of the European Ecolabel

Earning the European Ecolabel offers multiple competitive advantages in the marketplace:

  • Enhance brand image- Certified products and services are perceived as more sustainable and environmentally responsible
  • More credibility with consumers - Products will be viewed with more confidence, as the label certifies that they have been tested and checked
  • Differentiation from the competition - In direct competition with competing products, the Ecolabel can make the difference as a guarantee of quality
  • Access to new markets - Eco-labelled products can attract environmentally conscious consumers and be preferred in green public procurement
  • Contribution to environmental protection - Promoting green products and services helps reduce negative environmental impacts and promote sustainable consumption.

For the Romanian furniture industry, the adoption of the EU Ecolabel is an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to environmental protection and to access new markets sensitive to sustainability issues. It is also an incentive for innovation and improving production processes.

The current criteria for furniture are valid until December 31, 2026, thus providing a stable framework for manufacturers interested in obtaining this certification in the coming years.

In conclusion, the European Ecolabel is a valuable tool for the furniture industry to reduce its environmental footprint and respond to the growing demand for sustainable products. Its adoption by as many producers as possible will help the sector to move towards a circular economy.

For more details and full application guides, visit The official page of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests dedicated to the European Ecolabel.

About the author

Mihaela Radu

Mihaela Radu is a chemical engineer but has a great passion for wood. She has been working in the field for more than 20 years, wood finishing being what defined her during this period. She gained experience working in a research institute, in her own company, as well as in a multinational. She wants to continuously share her experience with those who have the same passion - and more.

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