Nordic Swan Ecolabel and Organisation Environmental Footprint

Focus on the organisation environmental information used in the retail sector

image of Nordic Swan Ecolabel and Organisation Environmental Footprint

The Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF) initiative of the European Commission and the Nordic Swan Ecolabel both aim at more sustainable consumption and production. We compared the two schemes in relation to their environmental information concerning the retail sector. The Swan aims to push stores to perform better and to help customers make environmental choices, whereas the OEF aims to create a common Life Cycle Assessment based methodology to assess impacts related to a retailer’s product portfolio. Overall, the OEF is considered a broader approach still under development, while the Swan is well-known in the Nordics. Their scopes, relevant impact categories and life cycle stages differed. However, climate change, resource use and biodiversity impacts were significant in both schemes. Possible synergies concern criteria setting, measurement and communication.




This part of the report discusses the differences and similarities of the Swan and the OEF and assesses their relevance and function for different stakeholders. The Swan indicates stores with a relatively low environmental impact, whereas retailers with a low OEF value are expected to sell products with a low product environmental footprint. The range of products may vary more in the OEF with the Swan focusing on food, consumables and durables. They both focus on areas that they can affect related to a store and products it provides. From a retailers point of view they both act as an EMS and a way of recognizing hotspots to affect by selecting products with a lower environmental impact. The main points of the chapter are collected and presented in Table 10.


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