A sea of blooms. Copyright by Austrian Ecolabel.

Ecolabel concrete: market control

Not only the strict, transparent criteria and the independently prepared expert opinion ensure that Ecolabel products also deliver what they promise. The Association for Consumer Information (VKI) also tests products from all guidelines for correct use of the Austrian Ecolabel.

Goals and procedure

On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection (BMK), the VKI inspects products on the Austrian market on a quarterly basis and checks whether the use of the Austrian Ecolabel is correct. For example, whether it is clearly recognizable which products are certified with the Austrian Ecolabel - and which are not. Or whether the communication regarding the certification with the Austrian Ecolabel is correct: the Austrian Ecolabel awards individual products, but - apart from the tourism and education sector - not entire companies.

Thus, products from all relevant guidelines are tested annually by means of market control. In addition, additional, specific checks are carried out in some areas to ensure compliance with the criteria - for example, in the case of printing companies or financial products.
In addition to the market controls proactively carried out by the VKI, information from critical consumers or competitors is also received time and again - this is particularly useful if a company without a contract for the use of the Austrian Ecolabel advertises an Ecolabel-certified product.


If a discrepancy is found in the course of a market control, the company in question is written to and asked for clarification of the facts - i.e. an adjustment of the communication or the removal of the advertising with the Austrian Ecolabel is requested, for example. Deliberate misuse of the Austrian Ecolabel is, however, extremely rare - most of the complaints, which are rare anyway, are based on ignorance or misunderstanding, which are then also corrected accordingly quickly and cooperatively.

Theoretically, however, there would also be the possibility of blocking the use of the mark in the case of serious misuse - however, this option has never had to be used. On the contrary, the quarterly market checks show that the vast majority of label users use the Austrian Ecolabel correctly to promote their products. Nevertheless, the market control is an important and central instrument for monitoring and controlling the use of the label and ultimately serves to ensure that the credibility and reputation of the Austrian Ecolabel is not undermined by false applications.