AGM refreshes commitment and reaffirms leadership

Kiev delivers a united and future-focussed outlook

Published On: 07-Nov-2016

GEN commits to growth, consistency and leadership

At the annual general meeting of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) in Kiev, Ukraine, delegates confirmed action plans to realise a strategy of growth, service and leadership.

Successful participation or partnership is to be continued or increased with compatible international organisations and programmes, such as UNEP-10YFP (the UN Environment Programme 10 year framework of programmes), GIZ programmes (the German agency for international cooperation for sustainable development) and the World Green Building Council. A series of communications projects was also discussed to serve members and further elevate the GEN brand.

This was the first AGM to be held under new bylaws introducing two-year mandates for board members. Half of the six re-elected board members agreed to stand down in 12 months, and Hong Kong Green Council co-founder Linda Ho was newly elected to the board of directors. Three directors will remain for two years under the renewed leadership of Bjorn-Erik Lonn, providing consistency in realising outreach and development goals.

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 evolving membership demonstrates GEN’s outreach into Asia and developing economies,” says Mr Lonn.  He also congratulated Ukraine’s Living Planet programme on its organisation and successful hosting of the 23rd GEN annual general meeting.

“The opportunity to take part in the Ukraine Green Mind Forum, staged concurrently with our AGM, is another example of GEN’s presence and influence in areas outside the mainstream European and Western economies where we had our genus 21 years ago. We see ourselves as serving and guiding sustainable production and consumption in a climate that needs the positive influence of strong and verified ecolabels. The AGM has refreshed us in our mission.”

Delegates voted to accept the application of software giant Google Inc for affiliate membership. The information technology company has introduced a green procurement policy consistent with the most stringent sustainability requirements of GEN, and in its application has vowed to support the network in its outreach.

Over the three days, 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.

The full membership of the Board for 2017 is: Mr. Chin-Yuan Chen (Environment and Development Foundation, Chinese Taipei); Mr. 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.