20 years on the green line to standards

From a small technically-minded organisation to a go-to international NGO in the field of standards and environmental policies - take a look at our journey!


ECOS is founded

Founded by EEB, WWF Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe, BirdLife International, Danmarks Naturfredningsforening and France Nature Environnement, we start our work as a technical NGO tasked to defend environmental interests in standardisation. Our small team works closely with a network of experts, translating environmental thinking into technical language.


We make our way into the standardisation system

ECOS is accepted as an Associate Member of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and is granted its first observer role in the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) working group on Environmental Standardisation.


Our impact is now clear:
ISO publishes a new standard we helped shape

The first version of the ISO standard on Environmental Management Systems is adopted, paving the way for companies to uphold their environmental responsibilities.
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Our membership starts to expand

More members across Europe join our network, bringing us to 16 in total and making the environmental voice in standardisation stronger.

Our impact grows:
We influence the development
of the landmark LCA standard series

An important work area till this day, Life Cycle Assessment ensures a better understanding of the environmental impacts of products at all stages of their lifecycle.


We begin working on
 Ecodesign & Energy Labelling
- a key focus of ECOS until today

We add Ecodesign & Energy Labelling legislation to our growing portfolio. A few years later, we will become the most influential NGO in the field, pushing towards better products through ambitious standards, policies and laws.


Fewer toxic flame retardants
in televisions

Thanks to our active involvement, IEC votes against a standard allowing toxic chemicals. Our work will later contribute to the exclusion of flame retardants from other standards by IEC & CENELEC.
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ECOS & EEB launch
the Coolproducts campaign

We become co-leaders of a new coalition of environmental NGOs working to ensure that ecodesign and energy labelling truly work for Europeans and the environment.
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A new EU law opens the door
for civil society to participate
in the European Standardisation System

The European Union decides to officially support underrepresented stakeholder groups – making room for an environmental voice at the table where standards are developed.


We work towards a robust Directive on Energy Performance
of Buildings

We help ensure that the transposition of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive to national levels is based on a common language and robust methodologies.

Ecodesign regulations for boilers and water heaters are a breakthrough after years of campaigning

After seven years of discussion, the regulations are finally approved. Gradually applied from 2015, they contribute to CO2 emissions savings of about 80 Mt each year.


Our unique role as an NGO defending the environmental interests in standardisation becomes official

ECOS is now recognised as a so-called Annex III organisation, representing environmental interests in standardisation, as stipulated by EU law, and giving us the right to participate in all European Technical Committees.

We make the case for natural refrigerants, adding a new key area to our work

Our advocacy for natural refrigerants will lead to important successes such as a new standard that will allow larger quantities of climate-friendly alternatives to damaging fluorinated gases in commercial refrigeration.
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ECOS helps shape a more inclusive standardisation system

…thanks to our work on the Vademecum for European standardisation.

We help bring forward sustainability reporting
for bioenergy

After years of standardisation work, ECOS welcomes the adoption of ISO 13065, to date the most comprehensive sustainability reporting framework for bioenergy.

We experience rapid growth
- of our network, staff and work areas

As we demonstrate more and more tangible results, we start to increasingly push our technical expertise into the policy area.


ECOS signs the Joint Initiative
on Standardisation

Reiterating our commitment to work together with other stakeholders to improve the European Standardisation System and reinforce societal stakeholders’ participation.

We ramp up our work on plastics, laying the ground for our prominent role in the field today

Following the publication of the EU’s first Circular Economy Action Plan, we launch a new long-term programme on plastics and become part of the Break Free From Plastic movement.
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Taking capacity building
to the next level

With the launch of the AccESS project, we undertake unprecedented efforts to support our members’ participation in standardisation.

Towards a better Energy Label

The new Energy Labelling Framework Regulation includes points on label rescaling and anti-circumvention, for which we heavily campaigned.
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Laying groundwork for more environmentally friendly cements

The standard specifying cement composition will be supplemented to include lower-carbon cements - a driving force for increased demand for greener alternatives.
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Launch of e-learning tool
on standardisation for civil society

ECOS joins forces with CEN-CENELEC, ANEC and ETUC in developing a free interactive online course on standards and standardisation processes.
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We shape an ambitious
EU Ecodesign Package

Our technical input at every stage of the process was vital to raise the ambition of the new ecodesign rules, which will lead to more efficient, repairable and durable appliances.
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We start exporting the ecodesign concept to new sectors

Our influential report on applying ecodesign principles to plastic will later push the EU to decide to introduce ecodesign in more sectors, such as textiles or construction.
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We are among the first to advocate for a universal right to repair

As co-founders of the Right to Repair campaign, we work to remove the barriers to repairing our products. We also play a critical role in shaping the ‘repair standard’.
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The material efficiency standards are published – a culmination of several years’ worth our efforts

The EN 4555X standard series will support the introduction of ecodesign requirements on material efficiency aspects such as repairability, durability or recyclability for a number of products, including fridges, dishwashers and washing machines.
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Our work area portfolio continues to expand

We launch new programmes on construction, textiles, and sustainable finance.


A growth spurt at 20!

ECOS secretariat grows to more than 20 staff members. Our network is also expanding, counting over 50 experts and 51 member organisations across the world.

ECOS officially becomes Environmental Coalition on Standards

We rebrand to ECOS - Environmental Coalition on Standards, with a fresh, modern look, fit for the years to come with our mission and brand reinforcing our outlook as an international environmental NGO.
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Take a look at us now!

ECOS is co-funded by the European Commission and EFTA

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