Girl with school material. Copyright by BMK_Viktoria_Miess

Five times as many sustainable school articles

With the campaign UmweltTipp! the initiative "Clever Shopping for School" supports parents and pupils in sustainable school shopping before school starts. Since the campaign began in August 2008, the number of product recommendations for sustainable school shopping has increased almost fivefold to more than 5,700 products.

For 15 years, the initiative "Clever Shopping for School" together with the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection has been supporting parents and pupils with the campaign "UmweltTipp!" has been helping parents and pupils to quickly identify environmentally friendly school products and to make it easier to switch to environmentally friendly products. While in 2008, when the first product list was published, there were 1,183 product recommendations, this year there are 5,727 office and school products that are recommended with the UmweltTipp! campaign. The products are independently researched, selected according to ecological criteria and receive a purchase recommendation. Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler congratulates on the anniversary and emphasises: "The 'UmweltTipp!' initiative helps to identify environmentally friendly school products at a glance. For example, the products are low in pollutants, are often made of recycled material or are refillable - that's good for our children and our environment."

Sustainable office and school supplies in vogue

There is a great willingness to cooperate among companies. There is a clear trend among manufacturers to bring more environmentally friendly alternatives to the market, confirms the initiative "Clever Shopping for Schools". The front-runners in the eco-range are paper products with over 2,000 articles, followed by accessories for filing with over 1,400 product recommendations and many other articles in the areas of writing and marking, painting and handicrafts.

Expert advice and affordable environmental quality

However, it is not only an extensive assortment that is important, but also high-quality expert advice and a good price/performance ratio. Andreas Auer, chairman of the federal committee of the paper and toy trade in the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ), confirms that competent partners are available to parents and pupils for good advice: "The Austrian paper trade is the right contact here. At the same time, a comprehensive range of UmweltTipp! purchase recommendations with an appropriate price/performance ratio should be offered. As cooperation partners of the initiative, 637 stationary shops of the paper retailers and branches of LIBRO, PAGRO Diskont, THALIA and INTERSPAR will again enable parents to make sustainable school purchases this year.

Number of products recommended by UmweltTipp! © BMK

Criteria for environmentally friendly products

All UmweltTipp! product recommendations are characterised by positive and comprehensible features. For example, the products are low in pollutants, are often made of recycled material or are refillable. With environmentally friendly exercise books, for example, CO2 pollution can be reduced by almost three quarters compared to conventional exercise books, as the leading stationery producer Format Werk has calculated. The Austrian Ecolabel and campaigns like the UmweltTipp! help to identify such sustainable alternatives. The product list can be found online at

© BMK_Viktoria_Miess

The certified eco-products of the Austrian Ecolabel are subject to strict criteria, are independently tested, low in pollutants, environmentally friendly, durable and have a high quality and fitness for use. In addition, they must not contain any questionable chemicals, which not only protects children but also the environment, emphasises Dr. Susanne Stark, chemist and eco-label expert at the VKI. Wood must come from certified sustainable forestry and plastics must have a minimum proportion of renewable raw materials or plastic recyclate. And product design also plays a role: office and school supplies must be dismountable, recyclable, refillable and repairable. In addition, there must be replacement options for wearing parts.

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