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A sign from above – Der Blaue Engel

Der Blaue Engel - The Blue Angel

Der Blaue Engel – The Blue Angel

You want to make your contribution to a more eco-friendlier perception of our life on earth? But you are waiting for a sign? Here is one coming right out of the blue! The eco-label “Blauer Engel” (Blue Angel) is a German certificate for products and services which are environmentally friendlier in comparison with others of the same use.

“Der Blaue Engel” is one of the oldest eco-labels in the world and played a role model for many similar national labels in European and non-European countries. Since 1978 environmental and consumer protection groups award the label to some 10.000 products covering 80 product categories. Such as paper, colors and lacquer, gadgets, … .

How can I contribute to by buying watching out for the Blue Angel?

First of all product with the Blue Angel fulfill certain criteria all directed to health and environmental protection. These criteria are put up for every product categories individually, that is to say that for instance reason of health for a TV are not that important like for insecticides. moreover they are updated every 3 to 4 years saying they are not static but highly dynamic.

On the webpage you can check out the exact demands, corresponding products and providers.

Secondly your demand for the products signals providers consumers’ interest, which is in reverse supporting the production of eco-friendlier products and services. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? We can use that old game of supply and demand setting the prices for our own sake.

But of course a product with the Blue Angel will cost more than a similar product with the same functions!

Not necessarily! But an eco-friendlier approach involves the use of material and services with better quality. Furthermore costs for tests and controlling are levied but according to the webpage they don’t necessarily mirror in prices. Unfortunately we cannot have everything at a time. But on the plus side an environmental approach always is always addressed to sustainability. So you will definitively save some money and time on the annoying repairing. Always look at the medal from both sides.

Critic – something that is to be read between the lines

The Blue Angel is not exclusively a quality sign, saying it is no certificate of non-objection. It is not a seal of quality for the whole product or service but it is focused on its impact on environment and health. So therefore you should pay attention to the labels’ subtitle (protects environment and health, water, climate or resources). Because of this reason the assessment of the German organization for the quality of products “Stiftung Warentest” can differ from those of the Blue Angel. Nevertheless tests of always include products with the Blue Angel – Label supporting its credibility and quality.

The Blue Angel because it protects health and environment, climate or ressources

The Blue Angel because it protects health/climate/resources/water

Unfortunately the label doesn’t state which one out of two awarded products is environmentally friendlier.

On the market and shops respectively you can purchase products which fulfill the criteria of the environmental label but they are not marked by the Blue Angel. “Der Blaue Engel” is not obligatory but companies can apply for it voluntarily. The administrative charge amounts 250€ plus a financial interest depending on the yearly income.

For more detailed information check out the webpage:

Are Blue Angel products internationally available?

Unfortunately the Blue Angel is very unknown out of Germany. Thus to support companies using the Blue Angel as an environment and climate protection label in the international context, the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) funded the project “Strengthening the International image of the Blue Angel as a Climate Protection Label”.  The Primary objective of this project is to increase international sales of climate-friendly and more environmentally friendly products – and to show that the Blue Angel can be an effective marketing tool to promote energy-efficient and environmentally friendly products on international markets, too. Currently, 1380 suppliers have concluded a contract on the use of the Blue Angel. 22 percent of them are foreign suppliers.

So get involved, get engaged try to spread the sign and make your contribution very easy just by watching out for an innocent blue angel.

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