We hear more and more about environmental or ecological labels to differentiate laboratory consumables or instrument or equipment performance, but how can we find our way through this label jungle ?

We will explain what an environmental label is and review the main labels that can be found in a laboratory.

What is an environmental label ?

An environmental label is a guarantee that a product or service has been designed according to quality criteria or standards. It is therefore a proof of quality that guarantees that a product or an actor has a reduced impact on the environment.

For an eco-label to be reliable and credible, it is important that it is controlled by independent bodies. Thus, each official label (developed, evaluated and awarded by independent bodies) is subject to strict specifications that list the evaluation criteria to be checked by the certifying body.

Selecting a product with a label is therefore reassuring for the user since it will also be associated with traceability allowing to know the origin of the materials used in the production.

Each label is represented by a logo affixed to the products, making it easy to identify products that guarantee compliance with environmental standards.

The main ecological labels :

In order to better understand all the labels and to identify the logos easily present in the laboratory, let’s review the main environmental labels:

Generic labels :


Description : The European Ecolabel is the official environmental label recognized by all EU countries. It specifies products with a low impact on the environment and without loss of performance (an Ecolabel product must be as effective as a non-labeled product).

In order to obtain the ECOLABEL label, the product must meet strict requirements and criteria. These criteria cover all aspects of a product’s life: production of ingredients and packaging, use and end of life of the product.

Fields of application :

The products and services that can receive the ECOLABEL label are divided into about twenty categories. The products are very diverse since they range from detergents to chairs and wipers.

However, the European Ecolabel cannot be awarded to pharmaceutical products and medical devices.

Each product category is subject to specific requirements depending on the type of product.

Some examples of Ecolabel products: paper wiping (hand towels, toilet paper)

NF Environment

Description : The NF Environnement label is similar to the European ECOLABEL but specific to the French market, since it is awarded to products that have an impact on the environment, it is a guarantee of ecological quality. The label allows to guarantee its quality by the respect to defined standards and the low environmental impact throughout its life cycle (from manufacturing to disposal).


Fields of application :

The NF Environnemental label covers even more product categories than the ECOLABEL, with areas of application just as vast: from cleaning products to waste bags and furniture.

Some examples of NF Environnement products : DASRI waste bag


Description : This international label is awarded to products that respect the preservation of the environment. ECOCERT is one of the most demanding certification bodies on the market. Indeed, it guarantees a high level of quality and the eco-responsibility of the manufacture of the product through the respect of a schedule of conditions which will evaluate the quality of the raw materials, the process of transformation and the whole chain of production. This makes it possible to certify products that are part of a sustainable logic.

Some of the items evaluated by the agency include :

  • A mode of production and transformation respectful of the environment,
  • Respect for biodiversity,
  • The quality of the packaging,
  • Products without GMO, without synthetic perfume, without dye or paraben,
  • The integration of the green chemistry concept

Fields of application :

The ECOCERT label concerns household and hygiene products, cosmetics, textile raw materials and certain food products

Some examples of ECOCERT products : ACTION PIN disinfection products

Eco-labels for paper and wood :


Description : The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label is an environmental label that encourages forest management that is environmentally friendly, socially beneficial and economically viable.  Three criteria are evaluated to obtain the FSC label: ecological aspects (protection of forests, soils…), social aspects (job creation, respect of employees…) and economic aspects (improvement of the local economy…).

There are three types of FSC labels to identify the raw materials of the product :

  • FSC 100%: product made entirely of wood/fiber from FSC certified forests.
  • FSC Mixed: product made from a mixture of wood/fiber (FSC forests, controlled origin (but not FSC) and/or recycled fiber).
  • FSC Recycling: product made from recycled material: at least 85% recycled wood/fiber.

Fields of application :

The FSC label concerns all products made of wood and wood fibers (paper, cardboard…)

Some examples of FSC products : paper wipes (hand towels, toilet paper), SEALBAG sample transport bags, boxes for archiving slides and blocks or even DASRI boxes


Description : Like the FSC label, PEFC (Pan European Forest Certification) guarantees sustainable forest management. The label certifies that the product is made of at least 70% of wood meeting the national and regional PEFC criteria. These criteria are similar to FSC since they take into account the societal, environmental and economic dimension of the forest.

Fields of application :

The FSC label concerns all products made of wood and wood fibers (paper, cardboard…)

Some examples of PEFC products : paper wipes (hand towels, toilet paper), sample bags SEALBAG LABELIANS lines and boxes for archiving blades and blocks.

Label guaranteeing the origin :

Made in France 

Description: “Made in France”, “Designed in France”, “Made in France”… these are the different titles that can be found on products assembled in France. To use these different terms, the company must respect certain rules governed by the DGDDI (General Directorate of Customs and Indirect Rights): only maximum value of non-French raw materials in relation to its price, to have been the subject of transformation in France.

Field of application : all products meeting the rules of the DGDDI.

Some examples of Made In France products from THE French distributor of consumables and equipment for laboratories LABELIANS: disinfection and hygiene products, French Kolmi PPE from head to toe, wiping range, transport bags.


Here is a good overview of the ecological labels that we can find on our products and in your laboratories. You now know how to decipher them and know the different products that may be subject to labels. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information on products and labels.