Singapore: Singapore Green Labelling Scheme to be expanded into region

The Singapore Green Labelling Scheme looks set to expand into the region.

Chairman of the Singapore Environment Council Isabella Loh said Singapore will cooperate with other Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) members on mutual recognition agreements, which will allow Singapore Green Labelled products to be accepted for import into other member countries.

Ms Loh was speaking at the 20th Anniversary celebration of the scheme on Friday.

In addition, Singapore will also enhance the collaboration with GEN members in the region to maintain high standards for product certification, criteria development and review.

This international cooperation will bring great benefits to businesses and customers because it simplifies the process and helps cut costs when products are exported to other GEN countries, said Ms Loh.

Under the Mutual Recognition Agreement, a Singapore Green Labelling Scheme certified products wouldn’t need to be re-tested under the same categories in other GEN ecolabelling schemes.

It is hoped that the scheme’s regional expansion will open up new markets for businesses, and make it easier and cheaper to get products certified overseas.

Ms Loh said the council will first reach out to companies in countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia, where the scheme already enjoys considerable success.

She added: “At the same time, we have already laid out plans to potentially enter into countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, to provide awareness and ecolabelling in these countries.”

Senior Minister of State for Environment and Water Resources Grace Fu believes that Green Labelling is an important piece of the jigsaw on sustainable development.

She added that adequate information on the environmental impact of their actions should be made available to consumers so that they can make informed decisions.

The scheme will also have more value-added features such as information on the expiry date of the Green Label certification.

This enables customers to ensure that the product meets the latest environmental criteria, and encourages manufactures to keep up with environmental certification criteria.

This will be implemented for more than 2,000 products by June this year.

In other improvements, the scheme’s certification process will be endorsed by the Singapore Accreditation Council.

Existing product criteria will also be revised and 20 new product criteria will be added to meet market demand by the end of 2013.

In the next few years, the scheme will also have a paperless application and renewal system.

Source : Channel News Asia

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