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  1. Printing companies and printed matter 041

Printing companies and printed matter 041

The product group includes printing companies and printed matter such as magazines, newspapers, advertising matter brochures, books, envelopes, banners, and packaging.

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel focuses on reducing the total environmental and climate impact of the printing company and of the printed matter and promoting a good work environment. E.g. through requirements for printing materials, chemicals, and energy consumption. Requirements that ensure suitability for recycling also helps to reduce consumption of resources and waste volumes, thereby promoting circular economy.

Only Nordic Swan Ecolabelled printing companies can produce Nordic Swan Ecolabelled printed matter.

The requirements for both the printing company and printed matter include:

  • Use of sustainable manufactured paper.
  • Use of printing materials such as textile, plastic and aluminium/composite board material which meets strict requirements for chemicals used in surface treatment and content of PVC.
  • Use of 100% Ecolabelled or inspected printing material and ban on the use of PVC in Nordic Swan Ecolabelled printed matter.
  • Limits for energy consumption.
  • Environmental and health properties of chemicals used in production of printed matter as well as at external book binders. Among other things, there are strict requirements to substances that are carcinogenic, toxic to reproduction and can damage genetic material, and bans on halogenated organic and fluorinated substances.
  • Limits for use of chemicals containing VOC.
  • Documentation that inks, tones, adhesives, and varnishes do not create problems in connection with deinking and recycling of printed matter.

Below you will find all the necessary documents and background information to apply for the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

    1. Start your application process by reading the criteria document below and find out if your product can obtain the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. 
    2. Read your Application Guide: "New application or change" or "Renewal" (see below).
    3. Get your login credentials.
    4. Now you are ready to enter the Nordic Ecolabelling Portal.

     

    Please note that you may have to contact your suppliers and ask them to declare items that are included in your product. Supply them with your Application ID in the Nordic Ecolabelling Portal and direct them to the "For suppliers" tab down below. 

     

    To the Portal                                             Get login credentials

     

  • Please contact one of our national offices for information about fees for this product group.

  • In the criteria document, you can read about how to document and verify compliance for each requirement.

  • Thank you for helping your customers finding your items, in connection with an application to obtain a Nordic Swan Ecolabel licence.

    Item is a general term for various goods and materials. For example chemicals, paper boards and printing papers.

    Please, declare your items in the Supply Chain Declaration Portal.

    To the Declaration Portal

  • 6.9 ⇛ 6.10: Adjustment of requirements

    On 19 December 2023 Nordic Ecolabelling decided to adjust appendix 1, part 2, prohibited substances in chemical products regarding Diphenyl(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl) phosphine oxide (TPO)" listed on the SVHC Candicate list and Trimethylolpropane triacrylate (TMPTA) with CAS 15625-89-5 classified as Carc 2, H351. The exemption for dry toner containing per- and polyfluorinated alkylated compounds has been prolonged for 3 months to 30 June.

    The new version is called 6.10 and is valid to 31 December 2027.

    6.8 ⇛ 6.9: Prolongation of the validity of the criteria

    The validity of the criteria has been extended. The new version is called 6.9 and is valid to 31 December 2027.

    6.7 ⇛ 6.8: Adjustment of requirements

    On 26 September 2023 Nordic Ecolabelling decided to adjust appendix 1, part 2, prohibited substances in chemical products regarding per- and polyfluorinated alkylated compounds in latex ink, dry- and wet toner. 

    The new version is called 6.8 and is valid until 31 december 2026.

    6.6 ⇛ 6.7: Adjustment of requirements

    Adjustment of requirement O6 (Print materials other than paper) to include only PVC and PVC coating. The calculation method has been changed from total purchases of printing materials other than paper to total purchases of printing materials (paper + printing materials other than paper). In addition, production chemicals classified as Repr. 1, H360 due to the content of acrylates (used in a closed pressure system) have been exempted from requirements O10 (Chemicals).

    The new version is called 6.7 and is valid until 31 december 2026.

    6.5 ⇛ 6.6: Adjustment of requirements

    Adjustment of Appendix 1, classification of production chemicals regarding chemical products classified H317 and H334 used in closed systems. In addition, requirements for prohibited substances in chemical products regarding chlorinated phenols in sublimation dye inks have been adjusted. 

    The new version is called 6.6 and is valid until 31 december 2026.

    6.4 ⇛ 6.5: Adjustment of requirements

    On February 14 2023, Nordic Ecolabellling decided to adjust requirement O1 Type of printing company, reagarding printing companies with multiple printing methods, of which one of the methods consitutes a maximum of 5% of the total consumption. 

    The new version is called 6.5 and is valid until 31 december 2026.

    6.3 ⇛ 6.4: Adjustment of requirements

    On October 25, Nordic Ecolabellling decided to adjust requirement O6 (Other substrates than paper) regarding the trivial limit for share of substrates exempted from the requirement from 15% to 25% ( a time-limited adjustment). Furthermore, printing companies only carrying out braille printing are exempted from requirment O12 (Energy use).

    The new version is called 6.4 and is valid until 31 december 2026.

    6.2 ⇛ 6.3: Adjustment of requirements

    On 7 June 2022, Nordic Ecolabellling decided to adjust appendix 1: the content of isothiazilions is adjusted from 300 to 500 pp, and acidic products may contain bronopol up to 2500 ppm (0.25% by weight). The new version is called 6.3 and is valid until 31 december 2026.

    6.1 ⇛ 6.2: Adjustment of requirements

    On 8 March 2022, Nordic Ecolabellling decided to adjust appendix 1, prohibited substances in chemical products regarding halogenated pigments and BHT in offset printing inks. The new version is called 6.2 and is valid until 31 december 2026.

    6.0 ⇛ 6.1: Adjustment of requirements

    Appedices 1 and 2 have been adjusted with regard to the classification of production chemicals and prohibited substances. The new version is called 6.1.

    6.0: New generation of criteria

    Nordic Ecolabelling Board decided to adopt a new generation of criteria for Nordic Swan Ecolabelled printing companies and printed matter on the 17 of march 2021. The criteria are valid until 31 December 2026.

    5.21 ⇛ 5.22: Prolongation of the validity of the criteria

    The validity of the criteria has been extended by 3 months. The new version is called 5.22 and is valid to 31 March 2023.

    5.20 ⇛ 5.21: Prolongation of the validity of the criteria

    The validity of the criteria has been extended by 3 months. The new version is called 5.21 and is valid to 31 December 2023.

    5.19 ⇛ 5.20: Prolongation of the validity of the criteria

    The validity of the criteria has been extended by 4 months. The new version is called 5.20 and is valid to October 1, 2023.

    5.18 ⇛ 5.19: Prolongation of the validity of the criteria

    The validity of the criteria has been extended by 3 months. The new version is called 5.19 and is valid to June 1, 2023.

    5.17 ⇛ 5.18: Adjustment of requirements

    Appendix 1 Chemicals and materials have been adjusted for BHT in section 1.2 Particularly problematic ingredients. The new version is called 5.18 and is valid until 28 February 2023.

    5.16 ⇛ 5.17: Adjustment of requirements

    Appendix 1 Chemicals and materials have been adjusted for isothiazolinones in section 1.1 Classified chemicals and 1.2 Particularly problematic ingredients. The new version is called 5.17 and is valid until 28 February 2023.

    5.15 ⇛ 5.16: Prolongation of the validity of the criteria

    The validity of the criteria has been extended by 8 months. The new version, 5.16, is valid even through February 28, 2023.

    5.14 ⇛ 5.15: Prolongation of the validity of the criteria

    The validity of the criteria has been extended by 18 months. The new version, 5.15, is valid even though June 30, 2022.

    5.13 ⇛ 5.14: Adjustment of requirements

    An exception for plasticizers in latex ink from the requirement for additives of poly- or perfluorinated alkylate compounds in generation 5 has been decided, but not in future generation 6. The new version is called 5.14 and is valid until March 31, 2021.

    5.12 ⇛ 5.13: Prolongation of the validity of the criteria and adjustment of requirements

    The criteria were extended by 21 months and a number of adjustments were made. These include:

    • alternative limit value of the printing company's economic turnover and on packaging pressure in different pressure categories in requirement O1
    • exemption for dry paint colors in requirement O5 on chemicals
    • exceptions from the minimum points and the energy limit value in requirement O9 for printing with UV colors in sheet offset and printing with wet tones during digital printing

    The new version is called 5.13 and is valid until March 31, 2021.

    5.11 ⇛ 5.12: Prolongation of the validity of the criteria

    The validity of the criteria has been extended by 18 months. The new version, 5.12, is valid even though June 30, 2019.

    5.10 ⇛ 5.11: Adjustment of requirements

    Icelandic printers heated by geothermal energy do not need to include this in the energy calculations in requirements O9 and P9.

    The procedures for managing and maintaining the licence have been updated with respect to the annual report (M6).

    The new version, 5.11, is valid even though December 31, 2017

    5.9 ⇛ 5.10: Adjustment of requirements

    Chemicals for film and printing form production are excluded from the requirement for classification with H373 and / or H411. The new version, 5.10, is valid even though December 31, 2017

    5.8 ⇛ 5.9: Adjustment of requirements

    Adjustments have been introduced in the requirement for paper (P1) and in the requirement for chemicals (O5). In the requirement of paper. P1, the total paper points achieved can be weighted by a factor of 1.5. In the requirement for chemicals, O5, the exception for cobalt complex paints in foils for foil printing has been made permanent. The new version, 5.9, is valid even though December 31, 2017

    5.7 ⇛ 5.8: Adjustment of requirements

    It has been decided that packaging offset should be included as part of the sheet offset. A formula for calculating minimum points for the purchase price has also been introduced. The packaging offset must not exceed 50% by weight of the printing house's total sheet production. The new version, 5.8, is valid until December 31, 2017.

    5.6 ⇛ 5.7: Adjustment of requirements

    A change in the requirement for chemicals O5 has been carried out - until December 31, 2015, cobalt complex paints in foils for foil printing and UV ink in the inkjet machines are exempted. The new version, 5.7, is valid until December 31, 2017.

    5.5 ⇛ 5.6: Adjustment of requirements

    A change in the requirement for chemicals O5 has been implemented. This means that cobalt compounds used as siccatives in overpressure varnish are exempted from the requirement. At the same time, requirements M8 on marketing was removed. The new version, 5.6, is valid until December 31, 2017.

    5.4 ⇛ 5.5: Adjustment of requirements

    • O1: The calculation method for certain printing methods has been clarified and the possibility that the Nordic Ecolabel marks a printing company where turnover on products other than paper products exceeds 25% has also been adjusted.
    • Paper requirements, P8: The score for paper selection can be weighted by a factor of 1.75 to 31 December 2015.
    • O5: The lower limit for product chemicals has been reduced from 99% to 95%. Inks, tones and inks have been made into a category.
    • VOC P8: The calculation method has been clarified.

    The new version, 5.5, is valid until December 31, 2017.

    5.3 ⇛ 5.4: Adjustment of requirements

    • O5: An adjustment of the requirement for chemicals has been made. Ink (for large format and UV ink) is exempted from the requirement with certain conditions. The ink that is exempt may not be included in Nordic Ecolabelled printed matter.
    • R43 & R52 / 53: Chemicals for film and printing form production were also excluded from the classification requirement.

    The new version 5.4 is valid until December 31, 2017.

    5.2 ⇛ 5.3: Adjustment of requirements

    Nordic Ecolabelled / checked paper / paper envelopes approved according to the old criteria (printing paper version 3, envelope version 4) can be used as long as these criteria are valid. EU Ecolabel-labeled paper (as raw material for Nordic Ecolabelled printed matter) can be used with the same validity period as Nordic Ecolabelled / controlled paper, version 3.

  • In the background document below you will find reasoning and facts behind the specific requirements in the criteria document.

    Here you can also read the comments, requirement for requirement, from the public hearing.

    If the documents are in a Nordic language, you can get help in understanding the sections you need by contacting the product specialist in your chosen country below.

  • Look up inspected paper for printed matter and inspected paper for printing companies for help with your Nordic Swan Ecolabel application.

     

    Read more about our new logo for printed matter, including transport, postal and webshop packaging, below:

FESPA Global Print Expo 2023

Podcast

Swedish senior advisor Anders Jacobsson on the 5 criteria that should be considered in business terms for the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

Film Interview

FESPA Global Print Expo 2023 - Sustainability Spotlight: How does the Nordic Swan Ecolabel enhance business opportunity? Interview with Swedish senior advisor Anders Jacobsson.


Contact one of our Nordic national printing teams