Hard to get. Easy to choose. Supporting sustainable living with the help of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel

Hard to get. Easy to choose. That is the tagline for the first cross-Nordic campaign of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. Raising awareness of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel as a tool for Nordic consumers and businesses to make sustainable choices is an important part of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel project within the Sustainable Living programme, coordinated by Nordregio. The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is continuously raising the bar for companies applying to get the label – to ensure that the Nordic Swan Ecolabel is the strictest ecolabel in the Nordics.

The Story of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and the Nordic Council of Ministers

It all started in the late 1980s. Somewhere amidst shoulder pads and hairspray, people became increasingly aware of the accelerating environmental destruction and its consequences.

During the same period, the United Nations’ World Commission on Environment and Development (better known as the Brundtland Commission) released the report “Our Common Future” and introduced the concept of sustainable development. One of the conclusions was that the environment should not be an issue for experts only, but that everyone can contribute to reducing environmental impact.

The Nordic Council of Ministers took this seriously. To enable consumers to make environmentally friendly choices, they initiated the official Nordic ecolabel inspired by their own logo: The green-and-white Swan Ecolabel was created and is now recognized by 95% of Nordic residents.

New vision boosts collaboration for sustainable living

Since then, the Council of Ministers and the Nordic Swan Ecolabel have collaborated at the Nordic and national levels, in various arenas and in different ways. When the Nordic Council of Ministers adopted a new vision in 2019, “to become the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030,” plans were born to further deepen their collaboration.

Under the new vision, several exciting projects and programmes were initiated. One of these aims is to facilitate and encourage sustainable living in the Nordics: It should be easy to make sustainable choices in everyday life. The Nordic Swan Ecolabel became a natural partner to the programme, because this is precisely what the Swan is about, being a practical tool for a more sustainable lifestyle.

With the Swan Ecolabel on everything from batteries to investment funds, hotels, and housing, we show how easy it can be to make sustainable choices in everyday life. Just look for the Nordic Swan Ecolabel when you are purchasing a product or service.

E-commerce and investment funds – new additions to the Swan family

E-commerce transportation is the newest product category in the broad range of goods and services that can now carry the Nordic Swan Ecolabel – if they pass the tough evaluation process. This is partly thanks to the Nordic Council of Ministers, that were involved in establishing new criteria for transportation services. They also supported the development of new requirements for investment funds. As a result, there are now 58 Swan-labelled investment funds to choose from in the Nordic region.

Another example of the collaboration’s impact is the first joint Nordic advertising campaign supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the programme Sustainable Living. Nordregio is a proud partner of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel as we are coordinating the programme Sustainable Living.

Read more about the advertising campaign (in Swedish) here.

Read more about Sustainable Living here.