30 Years of Swan History

Anniversary Report for the Nordic Ecolabel

image of 30 Years of Swan History

This is an account of the Swan label’s first thirty years, written in chronological order with short chapters each illustrating various aspects of the scheme. There are few areas of public life in which there have been so many vague pronouncements as for environmental protection. Perhaps that’s because it’s so easy to agree on the goals, but sohard to find the right solutions and practise what you preach. Here at the Nordic Swan, we’ve done things properly from dayone by setting concrete, measurable environmental performance requirements and turning the environment into a competitive advantage. There have been many conflicts and disagreements, but no one can deny that ecolabelling has led to significant environmental improvements. The Nordic region with its 30 million people is the world’s twelfthlargest economy, and this makes a difference when businesses plan product changes and marketing campaigns. The label is a success far beyond the borders of the Nordic region.

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1996 Industry associations and the Nordic Swan

Over the years, many industry associations have been negative about the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and companies within their industry applying for a license from us. After all, their common purpose is to keep the industry in question together, and to work for its positive development, profitability and fair competition. The last of these concerns product, pricing, positioning and impact (PR). Having the environment as a competitive element was not as popular, and was considered by some to be something that pushed up costs. In the interest of fairness, it must of course be stated that several industry associations had also been positive and seen the benefit of pushing their industry towards sustainability and increasing the level of confidence among the general public.

English Norwegian

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