GEN chair praises sustainability associate

Published On: 13-Apr-2016

The chair of the Global Ecolabelling Network, Bjorn-Erik Lonn, says that ISEAL is an ideal associate member of GEN, as there is much common ground shared by the two international sustainability leaders. Mr Lonn is looking forward to representing GEN at the ISEAL global sustainability conference in Washington DC, 10-12 May.


“ISEAL are leaders in global sustainability labels for raw materials, and in the past few years they have placed much focus on environmental impact descriptions, as they seek to improve impacts on people and the environment. From our GEN work, we know how important the measurement of environmental impact has become. In the long run we have much to learn from each another, especially in this respect.”


The ISEAL member schemes are often well represented globally, says Mr Lonn, and they are prominent among the buyers in the markets that GEN penetrates with ecolabelling. “When we, with the lifecycle approach of our ecolabelling Type 1 schemes, highlight hotspots for production of raw materials such as wood and palm oil, or foodstuffs like coffee and tropical fruit, we do so from a broad lifecycle (LC) view. We often rely on certified produce with the global sustainability standards subscribed to by members of ISEAL.”


The compatibility of the organisations comes from a shared dedication to standards of practice, says Mr Lonn. “Just as the ISO standards 14020 and 14024 show us the frame and principles to implement in our product ecolabelling, so ISEAL have developed their own Codes of Good Practice with equal high focus on creating credibility and trust among the actors in the markets globally. The work they do and their innovative ways of using labelling initiatives are highly appreciated.”


The annual ISEAL conference moves in May from London (or Berlin) to Washington DC, and Bjorn-Erik Lonn says he is looking forward to two days among hundreds of people dedicated to reliable and credible information on product performance from all sustainability aspects.  “I look forward to reporting back to GEN some reflections on ISEAL member presentations and issues of common interest.”


Indeed, the entire lifecycle of GEN itself will be represented at the conference, as Arthur Weissman from Green Seal, who is one of  the founders of GEN and a pioneer for Type 1 ecolabels, is also attending. Bjorn-Erik Lonn says he is keenly anticipating their first meeting.


The agenda for the conference can be checked in detail here.