Ecolabels are marks placed on products that can help consumers and institutional purchasers quickly and easily identify those products that meet specific environmental performance criteria and are therefore deemed “environmentally preferable”. Ecolabel is a voluntary award scheme based on the Life Cycle Approach to assess the environmental impact of the product and services; it also provides consumers with reliable and science-based information for their buying decision. To improve production to be more sustainable and increase market reputation, Laos has stepped up to develop its first national Ecolabel which helps local producers thanks to the experience of Thailand.
The high level of acceptance, awareness and strong political support has led to the establishment of a technical committee to drive the Ecolabel implementation. For the first time, a Kick-off Meeting of the Technical Committee for Ecolabel Development for Lao PDR was organised on 6 June 2022 at Crowne Plaza Vientiane. The goal is for the country to develop the first Ecolabels to drive green consumption and production, increase the competitiveness of local producers, and reduce environmental impacts e.g. waste and wastewater, raw material and energy use, and chemical substances. “There is only one world, and we all stand at the frontline driving green product and services,” said Mr. Nakhalin Vorasarn from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE).
During the meeting, the capacity development measures, institutional arrangement, potential products and services, and the private sector were discussed. Peer-to-peer learning with Thailand and other ASEAN countries was defined, such as training on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), ISO 14024, and criteria development, to increase the technical capacity of the institution related to Ecolabel implementation.