The EU and Nordic ecolabels
The EU and Nordic ecolabels are the only two officially recognised ecolabels in Denmark. Both ecolabels place certain demands with regard to the environmental impact of a product. Consumers can be assured that products carrying ecolabels meet strict environmental requirements, that human health is taken into account and quality is assured. The EU and Nordic ecolabels are voluntary supplements of environmental regulations for companies and organisations.
Reason and requirements
The ecolabel philosophy sees labelling as a way towards more sustainable production and consumption, through continuous improvement. Its advantage is in enabling producers to provide evidence that their product lives up to specific environmental requirements.
The system is voluntary; producers can decide whether they wish to go beyond minimum legal requirements and ecolabel their products. The EU and Nordic eco label requirements are reviewed every three to five years, ensuring a level in keeping with general developments in the field.
Advantages for companies
Ecolabels are a strong marketing tool for manufacturers and distributors of environment-friendly products, both with regard to the regular consumer and professional customers.
Ecolabels also strengthen the reputation of a company in the eyes of both customers and employees. In addition, economic benefits can be achieved by implementing environmental requirements in the design phase of production, for example in terms of electricity and water conservation.
Ecolabelling influences consumption and production in a more environment-friendly direction. The goal is a cleaner environment and better health, with advantages for everyone.
The EU and Nordic ecolabels are not competitors, but represent two sides of the same coin. The biggest difference between the two labels is that they emerged from different agencies and cover different markets. The Flower covers the EU, whilst the Swan is Nordic and aimed at the Nordic market.
Their objectives and requirements are broadly the same. There are, however, a few practical reasons for the co-existence of the two labels. For example, there are more product groups eligible for the Nordic ecolabel than the EU ecolabel.
If a manufacturer is eligible for both eco labels, they would benefit from choosing the label according to whether the majority of sales volumes are in Europe or the Nordic countries. Thereby choosing the ecolabel best known by the majority of the consumers.
The EU and Nordic ecolabels are found on common products such as clothes, detergents and cleaning products, soap and shampoo, washing-up liquid, paint, etc. However, recent years have also shown an increased interest in labelling electronic products. More and more televisions, computers, batteries and energy-saving light bulbs are now eligible for eco labelling.
In addition to common products, services such as hotel accommodation, camp sites, printing, dry cleaning and laundry can now also carry ecolabels. Finally, Denmark's first ecolabelled shop was opened on 7 October 2010.