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Eco-vouchers encourage sustainable consumption, including second-hand and refurbished goods

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Belgium
City: 
Brussels

Language for original content:

Project elaborated in partnership: 
Yes

Scope:

Submitted by: 
Belgian Labour Council
Start/End date: 
02/2009
Ongoing: 
Yes

Type of funding:

Description: 

Eco-vouchers were introduced in Belgium by the social partners through collective agreement. Eco-vouchers can only be used to purchase, in Belgium, environmentally-friendly goods and services included in an exhaustive list annexed to that agreement. That list contains 3 categories:

  1. Ecological Goods & Services
  2. Sustainable Mobility & Leisure
  3. Re-use, recycling, repair and waste prevention

The eco-vouchers can also be used for purchasing re-used, recycled products or products made from recycled or biodegradable materials, second-hand products or repaired goods, rechargeable batteries or eco-friendly lamps. Maintenance and repairing costs can also be paid with eco-vouchers.

Every two years, the list of eligible products is evaluated to keep up with ecological developments. Eco-vouchers are issued by Belgian firms through a voucher issuer (represented by Vouchers Issuers Association). Currently, approximately 1.8 million employees receive eco-vouchers and 62% of eco-vouchers are distributed in electronic form. 

Communication actions are regularly organised and a dedicated website has been launched.

More information on the ecococheques scheme

Main activity field:

Main results: 
  • A study of Hasselt University carried out at the request of VIA in collaboration with Indiville shows a positive impact on the consumption behaviour of the beneficiaries of eco-vouchers since more than half of them are more sensitive to environmental interests.
  • The very same study also highlights that due to the use of eco-vouchers, families’ energy savings amount between EUR 6.89m and EUR 15.70m. 
  • Another study of CO2Logic, also carried out at the request of VIA, concludes that eco-vouchers also have a positive impact on the climate by contributing substantially to the reduction of CO2 emissions.