Environmental effects of ecolabels at Miljømærkning Danmark

As one of the steps towards becoming more sustainable and achieving the target of reducing Denmark's green­house gas emissions by 70 per cent in 2030, the Danish government put forward a strategy for green public procurement in 2020 to reduce the 12 million tons of greenhouse gasses related to public procurement in Denmark. A cornerstone in the strategy is promoting ecolabelled procurement in the public sector by making it mandatory to purchase ecolabelled products with a gradual implementation towards 2030.

The official Danish ecolabels (Svanemærket and the EU flower) are labels for environmental excellence. The ecolabels are awarded to goods and services if they meet high environmental standards throughout their entire life cycle: from raw material extraction through production and distribution to disposal. As such, the ecolabels offer reliable eco-friendly alternatives to conventional products, empowering consumers, and purchasers to make informed choices and play an active role in the green transition.

To quantify the environmental effect of the green public procurement strategy, which includes purchasing many different types of ecolabelled products, it is necessary to assess the environmental effect of ecolabels within individual product groups, as different environmental concerns are related to different products, e.g. paper, packaging, textiles, buildings, cleaning services, etc. The project will focus on one or more of these product groups, depending on the interest of the student(s), the type of the project (Fagprojekt, Bsc, Msc, special course) and the number of ECTS. The project represents an important contribution to the environmental assessment of the green public procurement strategy, which Ecolabelling Denmark is currently working on.

Aim and objectives
The project aims to assess the environmental effect of having an official Danish ecolabel (Svanemærket or EU-flower) within one or more predefined product groups.

This will be done by fulfilling the following objectives:

  • For the product group(s) in focus, identify Ecolabel criteria relevant for an environmental assessment.
  • Based on the relevant criteria, estimate the average properties of an ecolabelled product.
  • Estimate the average properties of an average alternative product on the market (baseline product) through a literature review, contact with companies, etc.
  • Compare the ecolabelled and the baseline product in an environmental assessment. Depending on the project, this can be a simple CO2 accounting or a full life cycle assessment (LCA).
  • Discuss the results and evaluate the magnitude of the potential environmental benefit from buying ecolabelled products.

Collaboration with Ecolabelling Denmark
The project will be supervised in collaboration with Ecolabelling Denmark. Depending on the project type, the student can work from Ecolabelling Denmarks office facilities in Nordhavn. If you have any questions or want to discuss specific project ideas, please don't hesitate to contact us at mke@ecolabel.dk or psh@ecolabel.dk

Green Procurement for a Green Future ("Grønne indkøb for en grøn fremtid") available at:  

Attention: Often you need a pre-approval from your university or study counselor, to ensure that projects or thesis found on SDU Jobbank will be accepted as part of your education. Please contact the right entity in due time to ensure that you're picking the right project.