This label was in 1978 by the Federal Minister of the Interior , Gerhart Baum ( FDP ), and for environmental protection competent ministers of the federal states introduced and is where conventional products, the environmental burden, more environmentally friendly developments and alternatives visible. The eco-label is awarded to the providers and they can label their products with it on a voluntary basis.
The logo essentially corresponds to the logo of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), but with the opposite color. In the outer ring are the words "BLUE ANGEL" and "THE ENVIRONMENTAL LABEL". According to the official website, it symbolizes the state anchoring of the UNEP goals in Germany.
The following institutions are currently involved in the award procedure:
- Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety , acts as the owner of the label and informs the public .
- Federal Environment Agency , accepts new applications and presents them to the Environmental Label jury after review and evaluation .
- RAL non-profit GmbH as the certification body, conducts the expert hearings and checks whether the requirements are met.
- Jury Umweltzeichen ("Jury UZ"), the independent decision-making body with representatives from environmental and consumer associations, trade unions, industry, trade, craft, municipalities, science, media, churches and federal states, has the final say in the award procedure and makes the actual award decision.
Anyone can suggest award-worthy products to the Federal Environment Agency.
The Blue Angel is a member of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN), an interest group of 26 eco-label organizations worldwide.
Appreciation and criticism
- It is not a mark that certifies that a product is completely safe. The products labeled in this way are more environmentally friendly than other products in the respective product group and represent as little as possible, as much as necessary in terms of environmental pollution . In concrete terms, this means that the Blue Angel is not a seal of approval for the entire product, but rather identifies certain properties that mainly concern environmental and health protection. Nonetheless, the Blue Angel fulfills its desired consumer guidance function, because its conceptual simplicity in many industries enables it to quickly raise general market standards in terms of the environment.
- Environmental properties that are not mentioned in the award criteria are not checked.
- There may be products on the market that do not bear the Blue Angel although they meet the criteria, as it is only awarded on application.
- Only products with the same purpose and product category are compared (e.g. mechanical and chemical drain cleaner, own and car-sharing cars).
- The Blue Angel does not provide any information as to which of two award-winning products is more environmentally friendly.
- If manufacturers do not want to forego designations such as organic, eco or nature in the product name, these products do not bear an environmental label. According to the guidelines for awarding the Blue Angel, such advertising statements are not permitted. This also applies to trivializing statements such as “non-toxic” or “not harmful to health”.
- Official website
- Detailed description on Umweltzeichen.de
- Ulrich Hottelet: The Blue Angel will in future stand for climate protection , article in Die Welt on September 11, 2008