Sustainable production, safety and ISO 14021:2016: a standard that wants to clarify environmental declarations

Ecology and Environment

How can you prove that you have taken a step towards the environment? But first, how to do it without running into the infamous greenwashing?

Without any doubt, many certifications are available to companies for this purpose. However, if the company wants to demonstrate its own peculiarity, which has not yet found its own reference certification, it can find support in the UNI EN ISO 14021:2016 standard. This standard defines self-declared environmental claims, or type II claims, made by companies for their products or processes and allows the company to declare an environmental characteristic that can be validated by a third-party body. The purpose of the regulation, as defined within it, is to provide a guarantee of reliability in a world where environmental labels are present.


For a list of selected declarations, including compostable, recycled content, designed for disassembly and many others, there is a description of generally used terms and qualification for their use. The general methodology of evaluation and verification for self-declaration is also described. A high scientific component is at the basis of this activity.


The standard also defines what cannot be declared: environmentally friendly, ozone friendly, green and the declaration of “sustainable” itself cannot be validated.


Last but not least, the concept of “environmental claim” refers to a statement, symbol or graphic indicating an environmental aspect of a product, component or packaging: this provides companies with a significant marketing tool with which to “make the news” about themselves and their contribution to environmental sustainability. In this way, companies will contribute to ” fulfilling the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs “.

Centrocot is able to assist companies in the validation phase such as the support provided to the company MAEBA INTERNATIONAL in the  RELIVE TEX project to give new life to textiles that otherwise would have ended up in landfills.


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For more information, please contact Dr. Stefania Dal Corso at the following e-mail address

Author: Stefania Dal Corso

Sustainable Development Dept.