Environment Directorate

Environmental Labelling and Information Schemes (ELIS)


The OECD has a long history of influencing the development of environmental labels. Following the first report on environmental labelling in 1976, extensive reviews of existing and planned schemes were carried out in the 1980s and into the 1990s, contributing to promoting their use and effectiveness. Later work turned to interactions of environmental labelling and information schemes (ELIS) and international trade, notably from the late 1990s.

Recent OECD work has focused on the multiplication of schemes, through a joint project of the Joint Working Party on Trade and Environment (JWPTE) and the Working Party on Integrating Environmental and Economic Policies (WPIEEP). The joint project produced three reports since 2013. The first report documented the scale and nature of this growth and multiplication. A second strand of the work investigated the implications of the rapid growth of schemes around the world, notably for environmental effectiveness and international trade. A third report centred on how public policies have guided and regulated ELIS.

A synthesis report is also available presenting key findings from these three OECD reports. While ELIS have been used for over forty years, recent growth has led to the family of ELIS now covering an increasingly wide set of policies and initiatives providing information to external users about one or more aspects of the environmental performance of a product or service.



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  • OECD work on environment and trade


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