Published On: 10-Jul-2019
Ecolabel “Vitality Leaf”–
A Project of the Ecological Union, St. Petersburg, Russia
A 30-year-old history by Semyon Gordyshevskiy
The ecological union of professional ecological enterprises, the first in Russia, was established in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) 30 years ago, in 1989. It was called the Union of Ecological Cooperatives (UEC). One of its founders was the Engineering Production Cooperative (EPC) “Ecocomplex”, of which I am the founder and leader.
The UEC was a non-profit association whose task was to provide information and technical assistance to the work of the newly emerging ecological cooperatives. Let me remind you that the first cooperatives, a product of perestroika, appeared in the USSR in 1987.
However, the UEC did not exist for long, like some of its founders, and collapsed, unable to withstand the economic turbulence. Taking into account its negative and positive experience, the St. Petersburg Ecological Union (SPEU) was established in 1991. Its main founder was EPC and its main work was sending information, reference materials and normative materials to users throughout the Russian Federation.
In 2001, we developed the Ecology and Man Program, the main project of which was the Ecolabel Vitality Leaf, developed on the basis of ISO 14024. Other projects of the program are:
● Exhibition Ecology and Man
● Eco-promotion Save yourself and the Planet
● Internet portal www.ecounion.ru
● Electronic Waste Exchange www.otkhodov.net
● Information and education Eco-knowledge
For the development and implementation of the program Ecology and Man and its key project Ecolabel Vitality Leaf, SPEU was awarded the Giovanni Marcora European CEPAM (Italy) in 2002.
The first Russia ecolabel Vitality Leaf was awarded in 2003 to the “Ovion” room air purifier-ionizer, developed and produced by a St. Petersburg company. The award ceremony took place in the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry and created a positive response in the business community (see the photo).
A new important stage began in 2007, when the Vitality Leaf ecolabel entered the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN). In 2011, the ecolabel Vitality Leaf was awarded in the international mutual trust and recognition program of the world's leading ecolabels (GENICES).
The international exchange of information and support from GEN, added to the intensive work of SPEU, resulted in the rapid development of the Vitality Leaf. In 2010, the label had 3 self-developed eco-standards, and 9 names of certified products from 2 companies. By the end of 2018, there were already 25 developed eco-standards, 192 names of certified products and one service from 21 companies.
At the same time, the Ecological Union continues to actively develop and implement other projects:
● Promoting increased production of environmentally friendly products (goods and services)
● Enlightening consumers and developing a culture of environmentally friendly consumption and promoting the ecolabel
● Environmental protection in St. Petersburg and other cities of Russia (primarily atmospheric air and environmentally sustainable waste management)
The mission of the Vitality Leaf ecolabel is to promote the development of a green economy in order to ensure a high quality of life and preserve a healthy environment for future generations, i.e. biosphere.
Semyon Gordyshevskiy is the Chairman of the Board of the Ecological Union, St. Petersburg, Russia