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  1. Criteria development process

Criteria development process

Development of criteria for new areas is based on preliminary studies that highlight areas of particular focus, where the need for requirements is the greatest.

Revision of existing criteria is based on an evaluation of environmental concerns to decide whether there are possibilities for tightening and implementing new requirements. There is also a study of how the existing criteria have worked for businesses until now.

Our experts from all Nordic countries contribute to the development of ideas for new or revised criteria. The revision takes place in close contact with businesses and other stakeholders with relevant knowledge, and of course by keeping up to date with scientific research.

A detailed proposal for criteria is prepared, and the justification for the criteria is explained in a background document. This document is posted in public consultation and altered based on comments put forward. The final proposal is passed by the Nordic Ecolabelling Boards. When a proposal is passed, it is uploaded to both the Nordic and national websites, together with background documents and comments from the public consultation.

The criteria are passed with an expiry date; normally 4 years later. For businesses that already have a licence to the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, the revised criteria are available at least one year prior to the expiry of the existing criteria.

It is possible that the Nordic Ecolabelling Boards choose to extend the validity of existing criteria. This happens if an evaluation has demonstrated that environmental standards are still high, or that an extension period is necessary due to time constraints.

It is also possible to amend criteria during their term of validity, if requirements prove to have been set in such a way that they are practically impossible for businesses to fulfil.

When working with the criteria for the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, we single out areas of production and carefully studies the possibility of making a change for the better.