The requirements of Nordic Ecolabelling ensure that certified products have sufficient quality to obtain a long lifetime. Lifetime or lifespan is the time from when a product is sold or put into use, until it is discarded. The time a product is in use is called service life.
For many types of products, life cycle assessments show that product lifetime and service life are most important for how much the product affects the environment. Longer lifetime often means that less new items are being produced and less raw material is extracted. At the same time, there will be less waste. This means that less resources, energy and chemicals are needed, and emissions to air, soil and water are reduced.
The lifetime can be extended by maintaining the product, and by the manufacturer ensuring that it is possible to repair, replace parts and upgrade. This is essential for a circular economy. '
How does the Nordic Swan Ecolabel contribute?
Nordic Ecolabelling contributes to increased product lifetime by setting requirements for:
- Durability tests
- Functionality tests
- Extended warranty period
- Spare parts availability
- Reuse of parts and materials
- Design for disassembly
- Recycling of packaging
- Optimal use instructions
- Maintenance instructions
Our quality requirements ensure that the products are durable and work as desired. Design requirements make it easier to reuse, repair and recycle the products. This prolongs the lifetime of both the product itself and the materials it consists of. Products made from several types of materials should be easy to dismantle, so the materials can be reused as they are or recycled into other types of products.
Examples of product specific requirements that increase lifetime:
- Outdoor wood furniture and other wood products for outdoor use must resist wear and decay for a certain time period.
- Textiles are tested for high quality, e.g., dimensional change, color fastness, abrasion resistance and how much the garments can pill.
- Windows must have an extended warranty period.
- Spare parts for office machines must be available.
- Parts of toner cartridges for printers must be reused.
- Metals in furniture must be possible to separate from other materials without special tools.
- Laundry detergents must have instructions for optimal use.