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A holistic certification

Today's complex environmental crises require a holistic focus. This is the primary focus of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.


We face a number of serious and complex environmental crises; a climate crisis, a biodiversity crisis as well as a chemicals crisis. Each crisis cannot be solved in isolation – they are interconnected and therefore require a holistic approach. This is the primary focus of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is the official Nordic ecolabel and among the world’s most stringent environmental certifications.

A holistic label

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is a label with a holistic approach. This means that all relevant environmental parameters are considered throughout the entire product life cycle; from raw materials, production and use to re-use, recycling and disposal.

In this way, the Nordic Swan Ecolabel promotes a circular economy, the efficient use of resources and biodiversity – and works to ensure a reduced climate impact and to prohibit the use of harmful chemicals.

This is what sets the Nordic Swan Ecolabel apart from the majority of other labels and makes the Nordic Swan Ecolabel a powerful tool to work with.

Making maximum impact

Taking a holistic approach means that action is taken where it will have the most impact on the environment. This approach also moves away from a one-sided focus on a single stage in the life cycle of a product (e.g. raw materials) or a one-sided focus on one environmental problem (e.g. climate change), which in the worst case could potentially have a negative impact on a different environmental issue.

In this way, the Nordic Swan Ecolabel works towards tackling a number of complex challenges that businesses, consumers and purchasers alike may find difficult to resolve.

Simple illustration of the four phases in a product life cycle

Product-specific requirements

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel establishes product-specific requirements – i.e. one set of requirements relating to furniture and another set of requirements for personal care products. This is necessary in order to adequately tackle the areas of most environmental concern in relation to different products groups.

This is important as some products have the greatest impact on the environment during the production phase, whereas with others it may be during use. In addition, for some product groups the goal is to reduce climate impact, while for others it may be to restrict the use of certain chemicals. The Nordic Swan Ecolabel has issued a guide which explains where and how it is most important to take action to minimise the overall environmental impact.

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel covers more than 50 different product areas.

Type I ecolabel

Certification with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel may be used as supporting documentation for companies or public purchasers who require Type I ecolabels.

Characteristics of Type I ecolabels:

Compliant with ISO standard 14024 on ecolabels.

Requirements are based on a life cycle perspective.

Evaluates all relevant environmental parameters.

Is an Independent third-party certification.

Sets absolute requirements as well as product-specific requirements.

Requirements are developed in an open process where everyone can provide input. The final requirements are 100% transparent.

Regularly tightens up requirements, which means companies must make continuous improvements.