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.

English Norwegian


2003-2009 Øystein Solevåg – the brains behind the buyers’ guide

In the early 2000s, as part of Local Agenda 21, environmental days were arranged in Stavanger, called “Synergy” plus the year in question. This is where the author met a red-haired chap with a beard, imbued with a strong commitment. We had a beer together at a bar in one of the narrow streets down towards the harbour. The man’s name was Øystein Solevåg and he had worked in environmental protection for as long as anyone could remember, considering how young he was. He thought that Ecolabelling Norway was doing a good job and that public sector buyers could use ecolabelling more actively than they did. Like us, he was not impressed by government campaigns with names like Green Government 1, Green Government 2 or Green Start. Øystein thought we could achieve a great deal by asking buyers to what extent they stipulated environmental requirements, whether they used ecolabelling and, at the same time, inform them about our excellent tool, ecolabelling.

English Norwegian

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