2.3.2 Briefly on a few eco-labels and environmental management systems

There are many eco-labels and environmental management systems. Some are reliable, while others have no environmental impact. On the next page follows a presentation of the most important systems available in Norway.

An eco-label is a product label, given based on measurements of the cradle to cradle environmental impact of products. The product should impact the environment as little as possible during its production, when it’s used, and when it’s disposed of. Serious eco-labels provide a guarantee that a product takes minimal toll on the environment.

An environmental management system or control system is about enterprise operations. It is about how any particular enterprise should structure, organise and administer its work. It includes requirements that guide routines and reporting, and how each enterprise should work to continuously to reduce its environmental strain. We can safely recommend the eco-labels and systems presented on the following page.

We can safely recommend the following eco-labels and certifications

logo_debioDebio (the Ø-label) is the control and approval authority for production, processing, import and sales of ecological commodities. In addition to food, the label can also be used on textiles, cosmetics and certain other products. Debio approves the use of the Ø-label and the word ”organic” at events, e.g. on menus. Information can be found online at www.debio.no (go to oversikt over bedrifter, butikker og produkter).

logo_fscFSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is a certification programme which intends to support sustainable forestry and safeguard ecosystems and biodiversity in forests.

logo_svaneThe Swan Nordic Ecolabelling is the official Nordic eco-label. The Swan eco-label makes certain environmental requirements and checks that products and services fulfil these requirements. The label is a guarantee that the product maintains a high environmental- and quality standard. More information online: www.ecolabel.no.

logo_blomstThe EU Eco-label is the European Union’s eco-labelling program for environmental certification, and it imposes strict demands that are regularly checked. The program is administered by the Swan Nordic Ecolabelling. Information on the internet: www.ecolabel.no and www.eco-label.com.

logo_miljovalBra Miljøval (Good Environmental Choice) is the ecolabelling program of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, which imposes environmental requirements that are checked. The label is also found on commodities sold in Norway. Information online: www.snf.se/bmv/hmv-bramiljoval.htm.

logo_fyrThe Eco-Lighthouse Program is a national certification program, a simple program for environmental management. The Eco-Lighthouse Program is suitable for small to medium private and public enterprises. Information on the internet: www.miljofyrtarn.no.

logo_fee-1FEE Norway (Foundation for Environmental Education) offers international programmes for environmental certification. The foundation promotes sustainable development with focus on environmental training and information. www.fee.no

logo_isoISO 14001 is an international standard for private and public enterprises that wish to integrate an environmental management system into their organisation.

logo_emasEMAS is the EU’s environmental management system, and it was introduced in all EU and EEA countries in 1995. It is a voluntary program for environmental registration of both private and public enterprises. EMAS imposes the same requirements on private and public enterprises as the ISO 14001, but in addition, EMAS-registered enterprises must publish a verified and publicly available environmental report.

Other labels:

logo_hippoHippo has specialised in delivering environmentally sound office supplies. The main goal is to promote sensible resource spending. Information online: www.hippo.no.

logo_fairtradeFairtrade is a label which, as its name suggests, guarantees fair trade. Fairtrade seeks to give marginalized manufacturers in developing countries direct access to Western markets and a guaranteed minimum price for their products. This enables growth and development, to the betterment of people and the environment. Fairtrade is recognized by the presence of a label on the product itself. Fairtrade is not really an eco-label, but a label which guarantees fair trade between north and south. In Norway, available Fairtrade products include: Tea, coffee, orange juice, bananas, chocolate, rice, handkerchiefs, wine, sugar, biscuits, beer and roses. Information online at www.maxhavelaar.no.

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