Since its foundation in 2001, natureplus e.V. has brought the interests of building professionals from the building materials industry, merchants, planners and the construction sector together with those of environmental and consumer protection agencies, trades unions and critical scientists from across Europe in order to promote sustainable building and accommodation.
The association is structured in such a manner that the interests of the most important players within the building sector are combined in a participative, democratic fashion. This approach leads to decisions that can be supported by all the interested parties.
Since 2018, natureplus e. V. has been officially recognized as a public utility institute for consumer protection. The association will continue to define the fundamental concepts and criteria of the natureplus label. An independent Criteria Commission ensures the transparent and non-discriminatory determination of the requirements by taking into account the views of all interested parties.
In addition, even more than in the past, the natureplus association is involved in scientific and political discussions and campaigns for the promotion of sustainable building materials across Europe. To this end, natureplus will count on the support of its active members and partners.
Through the publication of relevant information materials and educational events, architects and decision makers in particular, but also consumers and developers, will be kept informed and educated about sustainable building materials.
The initiative for the natureplus eco-label originally came from the German specialist building products suppliers. The Bundesverbands Deutscher Baustoff-Fachhandel e.V. (BDB) (Federal Association of German Specialist Building Products Suppliers) and a number of important trading companies invited the leading test institutes, who were involved in the award of ecological labels in the building sector, to take part in a common, Europe-wide initiative. The main aim was to improve the advisory services provided by the specialist suppliers. From this initiative, the ARGE ecoNcert was formed and was comprised of the following institutes:
eco-Umweltinstitut, Köln - (eco-Environmental Institute, Cologne)
IBO Österreichisches Institut für Baubiologie und Ökologie, Wien - (Austrian Institute for Building-Biology and Ecology, Vienna)
Institut für Umwelt und Gesundheit (IUG), Fulda - (Institute for the Environment and Health)
Bremer Umweltinstitut, Bremen - (Bremer Environmental Institute)
TÜV Süddeutschland (Industrie Service), München - (TÜV South Germany –Industrial Services, Munich)
From the very beginning, ARGE ecoNcert’s aim was to organize broad social support at the European level for sustainable building and to involve as many interest groups as possible, from the areas of commerce, manufacturing, the building industry, planning and tradesmen on the one side and environmental agencies, consumer protection organisations, trades unions, building biology advisors and environmental science institutes on the other, by uniting them within an association. Through the participation of numerous associations and organisations from several (west) European countries ecoNcert e.V. was formed. Later, through a change of name, this then became natureplus e.V.. On 20.04.2001, the International Association for Sustainable Building and Living – natureplus e.V. was formed at the founding assembly in Frankfurt/Main and listed in the official register of associations. In June 2002, the first products were certified with the natureplus eco-label by the Association’s patroness at that time, the German Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, Renate Künast.