Sustainable Supply Chains and Product Stewardship

We have been working on sustainable supply chains and product stewardship for over 20 years. Product stewardship is a key element in establishing environmental labels, or a stand-alone scheme.

Our staff have worked with New Zealand’s governmental environmental labelling programme - Environmental Choice New Zealand and internationally with Global Ecolabelling Network and the United National Environmental Programme.

We have completed research projects for the New Zealand Government, including international environmental assurance market requirements for Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and international ecolabel databases for Ministry of Economic Development.

Environmental Choice New Zealand

Environmental Choice New Zealand (ECNZ) is New Zealand's official environmental labelling programme. It recognises environmentally preferable products and services by licensing companies. This allows them to use the ECNZ label on their products or services.

The programme and its label are owned by the New Zealand Government. An independent trust (The New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust) manages the programme on behalf of the Government. We have a longstanding relationship with ECNZ and The New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust.

To be licensed, a product or service must comply with strict environmental standards. These are based on a lifecycle evaluation of the product or service and its effects on the environment. Our staff provide a range of technical services, including:

  • Developing and reviewing product specifications
  • Completing assessments for licence applications and supervision of licence holders
  • Providing training for licence assessors and maintaining the approved assessor register
  • Programme management and technical advice support.

We have developed product stewardship criteria for a range of product and service specifications for end-of-life services. Our staff have researched the relationship between the national labelling programme and the provisions of the Waste Minimisation Act for accredited product stewardship schemes - to advise the Trust and the Ministry for Environment.

Our licence application work and supervision assessments involve international supply chain tracing and on-site auditing. This assesses compliance with technical environmental criteria and environmental regulatory requirements.

Our work for the Trust on ECNZ has received recognition as international best practice. And in July 2009, we received an Association of Consulting Engineers New Zealand Silver Award of Excellence.

Global Ecolabelling Network

The Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) is a non-profit association of third-party, environmental performance recognition, certification and labelling organisations. It was founded in 1994 to improve, promote and develop the ecolabelling of products and services.

Our connections with GEN date back to its start. We completed research for - and provide ongoing technical and governance advice to - GEN. We researched and advised on an assessment and conformance framework for coordinated global ecolabelling in 2003 to establish the GENICES peer review programme.

We are currently advising on processes to develop international common core criteria for ecolabel standards.

United National Environment Programme

We were a lead trainer for the 2009 United Nationals Environment Programme (UNEP) ‘train-the-trainer’ workshop in Bonn. This was a key aspect of the capacity-building stage of a four-year UNEP programme, Enabling Developing Countries to Seize Ecolabelling Opportunities. We have maintained connections with this project and subsequent UNEP and OECD projects.

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