The idea of establishing systems for the verification of environmental technologies (ETV) was first put into practice in Canada (1993) and the U.S. (1995). Although the US and the Canadian schemes do aim at the same objectives: proof of performance of technologies or products, the approaches are thus diverging. The most important difference with respect to methods is that the U.S. EPA scheme requires a full verification with independent production of test data and verification against generic performance criteria, while the Canadian system allows for verification based upon peer-reviewed third-party test data against vendor defined performance claims. Both schemes are currently developing methods for adapting converging elements.
Based on these two examples ETV systems followed and are still being established e.g. in South Korea, the Philippines and Japan.

Since 2004, the European Commission (EC) has initiated projects that support the development of a EU ETV system. Activities started with the review of existing systems and basic structural considerations. The projects followed under the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) were aiming to sustain the development of an ETV system for specific fields of technology application, e.g. the project AIRTV supports the development of an ETV system for air emission abatement technologies. In the FP6 projects and in the LIFE project TRITECH-ETV first pilot verifications were completed.

Stakeholder consultations done by ETV activities so far revealed that recognition of a European ETV system outside Europe is a key issue for many vendors and technology developers and would increase the expected benefits significantly. Similar considerations known from the other ETV systems in place already led to first discussions between the members of the international ETV community and resulted in the establishment of the International Working Group on ETV (IWG-ETV) by U.S., Canada and EU. The Philippines are the youngest member of the IWG, indicating the stronger integration of Asian ETV activities.

In the international context, the goal of AdvanceETV is to bring together the EU ETV activities and to link them with outcomes of already existing ETV systems worldwide. The perspective is to support international harmonisation and mutual recognition.