EU Environmental Technology Verification

Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) is a new tool to help innovative environmental technologies reach the market. The problem at the moment is that many clever new ideas that can benefit environment and health are not taken up simply because they are new and untried. Under ETV, claims about innovative environmental technologies can be verified – if the 'owner' of the technology so wishes – by qualified third parties called 'Verification Bodies'. The 'Statement of Verification' delivered at the end of the ETV process can be used as evidence that the claims made about the innovation are both credible and scientifically sound. The EU Environmental Technology Verification pilot programme is trying out ETV on a large scale with volunteer organisations and Member States.

For a technology company developing eco-innovations

The ETV pilot programme provides for third-party verification, on a voluntary basis, of the performance claims made by technology manufacturers in business-to-business relations. The end product is a Statement of Verification, summarising the actual performance of the verified technology as well as the results of the tests performed. With proof of performance credibly assured, innovations can expect an easier market access and/or a larger market share and the technological risk is reduced for technology purchasers.

The ETV pilot programme is open to environmental technologies ready for the market and showing a potential for innovation, while providing environmental benefits in three technology areas:

  • Water treatment and monitoring (for example: monitoring of water quality, treatment of drinking water and of waste water)
  • Materials, waste and resources (for example: separation and sorting of solid waste, recycling of materials, end-of-life products and chemicals, products made of biomass)
  • Energy technologies (for example: renewable sources of energy, energy from waste, energy efficiency technologies)

To know more about the ETV pilot program, how it works and relevant contacts in Member States, please have a look here.     

For an organization interested in being an ETV Verification Body or testing laboratory

ETV services are provided by 'Verification Bodies', which are existing organisations specifically accredited to perform verification under ETV for a given area of technology. The accreditation requested is based on the ISO/IEC Standard 17020 for inspection bodies, and on the ETV General Verification Protocol.

The ETV General Verification Protocol (GVP) is the technical reference document describing the procedures guiding the verification process and the requirements for the organisations taking part in it. The GVP has been revised in July 2014 and the revised version is applicable immediately. The revised text (version 1.1) is available here.

Organisations interested to become Verification Bodies should contact their national accreditation body, whose contact details can be found on the webpage of the European Co-operation for Accreditation.

Organisations interested to become testing bodies (performing the tests on which technology verifications are based) or analytical laboratories (analysing test samples when analyses are required) should refer to the ETV General Verification Protocol to ensure that they fulfill the requirements to participate in ETV. In particular, certification to the ISO Standard 9001 is recommended for testing bodies and accreditation to the ISO Standard 17025 is required from analytical laboratories.

Verification Bodies participate in ETV technical working groups, along with independent experts, with the objective to exchange experience, harmonise practices and give guidance on procedures. Technical working group may also be consulted in case of disagreement between a Verification Body and a third party. To contact the technical working groups or ask for more information, please send an e-mail to: JRC IET ETV

For someone wishing to know more about ETV and similar programs world-wide

The objectives and operational principles of the ETV pilot programme are described in the Commission Staff Working Paper on 'The Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) initiative – Helping Eco-Innovations to reach the Market'.

Summary information on ETV and relevant contacts in EU Member States are available in the Information Note. Also available are Frequently Asked Questions.

The ETV initiative is part of the Eco-innovation Action Plan. The EcoAP website provides information on other EU actions to support eco-innovation, as well as news and good practices on eco-innovation in EU countries.

A detailed assessment of the market potential and demand for an EU ETV scheme was produced by the EPEC consortium and published in June 2011.

Please also have a look at the following websites on ETV in countries participating in the ETV Steering Group:

Information on ETV international activities and links to non-EU programs is available on the 'International ETV links' page.

Other documents and links

ETV events 2010-2013

Source: EU Environmental Technology Verification - European Commission

Image credits

Icon image: ETV logo EU