Region / Country

  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Iceland
  • Norway
  • Sweden

Environmental standards


Social and ethical responsibility standards


Is there a label to put on the product?


Who can hold accreditation?

  • Distributor
  • Publisher
  • Printer
  • Sellers
  • Warehouse

Who / what has accreditation

  • Product
  • Services

Independent verification / audit


Accreditation information

Key stats

Relevant to book industry?

  • Publishers
  • Distributors/ sellers
  • Printers
  • Warehousing

Where in supply chain?

  • Across the supply chain

Key stakeholders?

  • Any organisation that wishes to apply for the standard

What type of entity is the badge certifying?

  • Product labelling

Organisation/management procedures & outcomes?

Nordic Swan is the Ecolabel program for the Nordic Countries. Denmark Sweden Norway Finland Iceland This is a Type 1 Environmental Label (ISO 14024:2018) Criteria is life cycle assessment based. The label currently has a number of criteria specific to the printing industry including: Copy and Printing Paper. Printing companies and printed matter. Nordic Ecolabelling works to reduce the environmental impact from production and consumption of goods with the aid of their logo: the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

Environmental Attributes

Identifying the key elements

  1. What are the applicable environmental attributes?

Sets ambitious and absolute environmental requirements in all relevant phases of a product’s life cycle.

  1. Does the badge intend to assess social aspects & how are they related to environmental attributes?


  1. Which Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the accreditation aligned to? How would receiving the certification help an organisation to achieve these goals?

Not defined at this time.

  1. Is it recognised on an international, European or country level?

Nordic countries, but is part of the Global Ecolabelling Network.

  1. Does the badge have mutual recognition with other labels?

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is one of the founders back in 1994 of the international network for ISO 14024 Type 1 ecolabels, GEN, the Global Ecolabelling Network.

  1. What are the benefits and practicalities to the organisation receiving the accreditation? 

It is an effective tool to help companies that want to go ahead with sustainable solutions – and thereby enable consumers and professional buyers to choose the environmentally best goods and services.

  1. a) Cost 

3000 euros +VAT for an application, which can cover a number of products produced at the same site. Also dependent on the product/s you want to certify. There is an annual fee of a minimum of 2000 euros +VAT even if you aren’t using the logo for marketing purposes.

  1. b) Time to achieve certification 

It would appear to take a maximum of 12 months to complete. After which time an application might be rejected.

  1. c) Do the certified bodies have to publish your progress every year ?

The certificate is issued for a year or certain period of time depending upon the product. You can then apply for an extension after the period runs out.

  1. d) Response times for audit outcomes, reports and recommendations 

Applications have to be completed in a year, and changes to the product have to be reported immediately.

  1. Is the accreditation tiered?

Not defined at this time.

Assessment criteria

Governance Quality

  1. What is the overarching objective of the accreditation body? 

The Nordic Ecolabel takes into account the environmental impact of goods and services during their entire life cycle, from raw materials to waste products. It places strict requirements on climate and environmental impact, and also function and quality.

  1. a) How is the badge verified? 

By using test laboratories that are competent and independent for the products. There are also site inspections of the applicants premises.

  1. a) i. Independent body 


  1. a) ii. Governing body 

Not defined at this time.

  1. a) iii. Self-regulating 

Not defined at this time.

  1. b) What are the criteria used to be recognized as the above? Considering human resource, technical expertise and financial input 

Independent laboratories and inspectors. Experts from all Nordic countries contribute to developing new and revised criteria including using close contact with businesses and using literature from academic institutions and experts.

  1. a) How often are the certified products/organisations/projects re-evaluated? 

Annual reports and unannounced inspections.

  1. b) How often are the assessment and certification practices re-evaluated? 

It depends upon what product is being assessed under the scheme. Notification of changes are passed onto the applicant prior to a reapplying. The criteria are continually revised (approximately every 4 to 5 years) and in order for a business to continue to use the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, they must document that their product meets the revised requirements.

  1. c) What input do stakeholders have to the governance structure and certification processes? 

Government controlled across the Nordic nations, with region government input. The website has an option for anyone to hear about criteria proposals and sign up to consultation hearings and appears to be regularly updated.

  1. d) How responsive is the certification body to this feedback? 


  1. To what extent are the answers questions 2 and 3 made transparent to consumers, the certified organisations and any other stakeholders? 

Public information available through the website.

Governance effectiveness

  1. What environmental performance metrics are used – consumption data, emissions, life cycle analysis etc.? 

Not available without starting the registration process for a product with the specific requirements.

  1. a) How complete and accurate are these assessments? 

Not defined at this time.

  1. b) How are these benchmarked? 

Not defined at this time.

  1. c) What is the scoring system used? 

Not defined at this time.

  1. In what form are the outputs of certification delivered? 

Ability to use the certification in marketing purposes and on the product.

  1. Are clear, actionable recommendations delivered and implemented? 

Any non-conformity has to be addressed in 14 days.

  1. To what extent do end-users understand what the badge is certifying? How visible is this on an end-product e.g., through a label? 

Nordic Ecolabelling works to reduce the environmental impact from production and consumption of goods with the aid of their logo: the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. This makes it easy for consumers and professional buyers to choose the environmentally best goods and services.

Social Responsibility Attributes

Key elements

  1. What are the key social performance areas the accreditations assesses? For instance, community involvement and human rights


  1. Do the above social performance areas interlink with achieving any positive environmental impacts?


  1. Does the accreditation have different requirements for SMEs compared with larger organisations?


Governance Effectiveness

  1. What indicators are used to assess the social impact areas?


  1. Are the above indicators a complete and accurate reflection of these social impacts?


  1. How does the certification weight these indicators according to their effect on social value?