Environmentally friendly or environment-friendly, (also referred to as eco-friendly, nature-friendly, and green) are sustainability and marketing terms referring to goods and services, laws, guidelines and policies that inflict reduced, minimal, or no harm upon ecosystems or the environment. Companies use these ambiguous terms to promote goods and services, sometimes with additional, more specific certifications, such as ecolabels. Their overuse can be referred to as greenwashing.
The International Organization for Standardization has developed ISO 14020 and ISO 14024 to establish principles and procedures for environmental labels and declarations that certifiers and eco-labellers should follow. In particular, these standards relate to the avoidance of financial conflicts of interest, the use of sound scientific methods and accepted test procedures, and openness and transparency in the setting of standards.
Products located in members of the European Union can use the EU's Eco-label pending the EU's approval. EMAS is another EU label that signifies whether an organization management is green as opposed to the product. Germany also uses the Blue Angel, based on Germany's standard.
In the United States, environmental marketing claims require caution. Ambiguous titles such as environmentally friendly can be confusing without a specific definition; some regulators are providing guidance. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has deemed some ecolabels misleading in determining whether a product is truly "green".
The environmentally friendly trends are marketed with a different color association, using the color blue for clean air and clean water, as opposed to green in western cultures. Japanese and Korean built hybrid vehicles use the color blue instead of green all throughout the vehicle, and use the word "blue" indiscriminately.
Energy Star is a program with a primary goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Energy Star has different sections for different nations or areas, including the United States, the European Union and Australia. The program, which was founded in the United States, also exists in Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Taiwan.
- Cradle-to-Cradle Design
- Design for Environment
- Environmental Choice Program
- Environmental enterprise
- Environmental movement
- Environmental organizations
- Environmental protection
- Green brands
- Green festivals
- Green trading
- List of environmental issues
- List of environmental organizations
- List of environmental topics
- Market-based instruments
- Natural capital
- Natural resource
- Renewable energy
- Sustainable Products
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