The European Commission (EC) adopted its Environmental Technology Action Plan - ETAP (COM (2004) 38) to improve the development and wider use of environmental technologies. One instrument to achieve the ETAP objectives is Environmental Technology Verification (ETV). In December 2011, following the review of the ETAP and as a follow-up to the plan, the EC DG Environment developed and launched the Eco-Innovation Action Plan (EcoAP). This expanded the focus of ETAP from green technologies to all aspects of eco-innovation.

Up to date several European research projects funded within FP6 and the LIFE programme developed generic testing protocols for specific technology areas. Based on the results from these projects and former studies the EC has launched the EU ETV pilot programme in December 2011 as part of the EcoAP.
Other countries such as Canada, the U.S., the Republic of Korea, the Philippines and Japan have already established ETV systems.

In order to approach the slogan "verified once - accepted everywhere" the International Working Group on ETV (IWG-ETV) was founded to work on the harmonization of the different international ETV systems. One of the aims of IWG-ETV is to establish mutual recognition of ETV results among the participating members the EC, Canada, the Republic of Korea and the Philippines.
Currently (June 2012) the IWG-ETV is developing a proposal for a new ISO-ETV Standard with an accreditation framework. The ISO-ETV Standard will define and describe all phases of the ETV process, while the accreditation framework will give guidance on the accreditation of organizations involved in the ETV process (i.e., Verification Organizations).

The FP7 coordination action AdvanceETV on the one hand supports the EC with the integration of the FP6 project results in the EU ETV pilot programme. Its other main task is to promote the international harmonization and mutual recognition of the international ETV systems, to ease the access to international markets for environmental technologies.

Towards mutual recognition and harmonization of ETV