Environmentally friendly products are easily identified in the County Supplies Catalogue – just look for these symbols:
The Recycled logo is used for stationery and paper goods. You will find this symbol next to products made from recycled materials.
Electrical products marked with the Low Energy Symbol have low energy credentials.
The Environment Friendly logo is used for all goods that do not fall under the 'recycled' or 'low energy' headings. It is County Supplies' own symbol as there are many environmental labels in use, but no standard as yet. This symbol shows that the product meets our own criteria for environmentally responsible purchasing.
The logo of the Forest Stewardship Council indicates that the wood used to make a product comes from a forest which is well-managed according to strict environmental, social and economic standards. The forest of origin has been independently inspected and evaluated according to the principles and criteria for forest management agreed and approved by the Forest Stewardship Council.
The Mobius Loop
This is one of the most widely used and commonly misunderstood symbols in use today. It has no legal or formal authority. It can be used to suggest or claim that a product contains a proportion of recycled material. Alternatively, it is often used to indicate that the packaging concerned can be put back into the waste chain and recycled. Often there will be additional letters or numbers with the symbol which show what the packaging is made of. If it has been used for food, drink or items for personal consumption then the material is almost certainly not itself recycled.
The Blue Angel Award
Germany's Blue Angel is the world's established eco-labelling scheme, started in 1978 by the West German Government. The mark is in widespread use in Germany but few UK products qualify. Recycled papers must be 100% recycled and must contain at least 51% low-medium grade waste papers.
Swedish Standards Institute (Nordic Swan)
The Nordic Swan was introduced by the Nordic Council of Ministers in 1989 and is the official eco-label of the Nordic countries. The Swan logo is used to show that a product's life-cycle meets certain environmental criteria. The logo also shows that a product has met various quality standards.
The Energy Label
The Energy Label was first introduced to the United Kingdom on l January 1995. It is now obligatory for all washing machines, tumble dryers, fridges, freezers and dishwashers to carry a relevant Energy Label for the particular model.
The Energy Label does not guarantee the environmental credentials of a product. Instead, it shows how the product has performed in a series of carefully controlled tests. The Energy Label indicates an average kwh/year figure so, by referring to the Energy Label, it is possible to estimate the cost of running an appliance.
The Carbon Trust
The Carbon Trust is a Government-funded not-for-profit organisation that helps businesses and the public sector to cut carbon dioxide emissions. The Carbon Trust supports technology aimed at reducing or eliminating carbon dioxide emissions.
Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS Verified)
County Supplies stocks a range of non-recycled papers produced by mills working within the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). This means that the paper is manufactured to stringent environmental standards.
EMAS is a voluntary initiative aimed at improving organisations' environmental credentials. Organisations register with EMAS voluntarily and their green credentials are independently checked by an environmental verifier. Organisations can then use the EMAS logo to show that they are accredited and have a publicly reported environmental statement of annual progress.
International Standards Organisation (ISO) 14001
ISO 14001 is an international standard intended to improve an organisation's environmental performance. ISO 14001 accreditation is awarded to those organisations who have assessed their compliance with environmental laws and regulations, set long-term objectives for improvement and drawn up a management plan to achieve their objectives. The organisation's progress is reviewed periodically by an external third party organisation.
The Paper Federation of Great Britain
The Paper Federation of Great Britain recycled paper classification scheme uses letters to denote the type of waste paper included in the paper:
e.g. A classification of 70B/30D would mean that the paper comprises 70% unused printers' offcuts and 30% low quality waste.