KIEV, Ukraine, 20-Nov-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — Delegates of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) voted to accept the application of software giant Google Inc. for affiliate membership at their recent AGM in Kiev, Ukraine. The information technology company’s sustainable operations program is responsible for green procurement policies at Google offices around the globe, where they encourage the use of Type I ecolabelled office and sanitary products. Consistent with GEN’ s broader agenda of bringing about sustainable consumption and production patterns through ecolabelling, Google believes Type I ecolabels are important to the sustainability movement, and is willing to support the network in its outreach.
“The availability of comprehensive product selections for Type I ecolabelled janitorial and office supplies in every country is inconsistent and often non-existent, so we leveraged the GEN website for our own green product requirements,” says Lauren Riggs, Sustainable Operations Team Lead, Real Estate and Workplace Services at Google.
GEN chair Bjorn-Erik Lonn, who was re-elected unopposed for a two-year term, welcomed the environmental commitment of Google. “Both our global organisations have a mission to make information universally accessible and useful. Collaboration is sensible and future-focussed as we face climate change and sustainability challenges.”
The GEN meeting and conference was held concurrently with the host Ukraine ecolabel “Living Planet” Green Mind forum. Members also attended workshops on communications, strategic outreach and ecolabel effectiveness measurement, and discussed a pilot mobile device app for recognising ecolabelled products, developed and presented by the Russian Vitality Leaf programme.
Mr Lonn emphasised GEN’s pillars of growth, leadership and service in a strategic plan which was workshopped at the AGM.
Associate membership was granted to Kazakhstan’s Academy of Ecology; full membership was granted to German based TÜV Rheinland. Recent GEN member, India’s certification body CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) was also represented among the delegates “The expanding membership demonstrates GEN’s outreach into Asia and developing economies,” says Mr Lonn.
The full membership of the Board for 2017 is: Mr. Chin-Yuan Chen (Environment and Development Foundation, Chinese Taipei); Dr. Hans-Hermann Eggers, PhD (German Federal Environment Agency, Germany); Ms. Eva Eiderstrom (The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Sweden); Ms Linda Ho, (Hong Kong Green Council); Mr. Guy Ladvocat (Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas – ABNT, Brazil): Mr. Bjorn-Erik Lonn (Nordic Swan Ecolabel, Sweden) – Chair; Ms. Xiaodan Zhang (China Environmental United Certification Center, China).
GEN now has a network of over 30 members, associates and affiliates, spread across some 60 countries and territories. It is the world’s pre-eminent network of ISO-defined “Type 1” ecolabels.