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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Jan Erik Stokke bids farewell after 30 years

There is only one employee who has been involved since the Swan label scheme was established and his name is Jan Erik Stokke. Before starting with the Swan label scheme, he worked at the Norwegian Consumer Council together with the first manager in Norway, Tove Tronstad. For the first few years, Jan Erik, Tove and the first secretary, Grethe Fjelstad, and Geir-Olav Fjeldheim, worked as contractors, criteria evaluators, communicators, lawyers and administrators. They were involved in developing regulations, receiving inquiries of interest, launching filing systems, learning from the German Blue Angel scheme, while they coordinated work with Sweden and, eventually, Finland. They did everything.

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