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Environment

• The Nordic countries have long experience in environmental labelling. The Nordic Ecolabel  (also known as the Swan label) is a voluntary ecolabelling scheme that evaluates a product's impact on the environment throughout the whole lifecycle. The Swan label is well known all over the Nordic countries and it covers 63 product groups. A company can apply for the label within any of these product areas. The product groups range from stationery to detergents, furniture, and hotels. The requirements concern the manufacturing, use, and disposal of the product. www.nordic-ecolabel.org


• The EU Ecolabel was established in 1992 by the European Commission to encourage businesses to market  products and services that meet high standards of environmental performance and quality. The EU Ecolabel is awarded according to environmental criteria agreed on by experts, industry, consumer organizations and environmental NGOs at European level. EU Ecolabel criteria consider the whole life cycle of a product, from the extraction of raw materials, through manufacture, packaging, distribution, use and disposal of the product. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecolabel


• The second best known ISO standard is the environmental management standard ISO 14000, with over 200,000 issued certificates. In accordance with ISO 14000, organizations must identify and monitor their relevant environmental aspects, develop an environmental policy and programme, and improve performance. However, specific targets are not required, for example pollution levels. www.iso.org


• Environmentally Sound Production (ESP) may be a part of an environmental management system, or it may be a separate system. Regardless, it is necessary for a producer from a developing country to use ESP in order to be able to gain market access in the Nordic countries or any other countries in the EU. 


• The GLOBALG.A.P. (formerly known as EUREPG.A.P) initiative has been developed by the main European retailers, based on the concepts of Good Agricultural Practice (GAP). GAP applies recommendations and available knowledge to addressing environmental, economic and social sustainability for on-farm production and post-production processes. GLOBALG.A.P. includes specific standards for the production of fruits and vegetables, combinable crops, livestock, feed, flowers, and coffee. The system specifically targets producers outside Europe. Most major Nordic fruit and vegetable retailers apply the GLOBALG.A.P. certification protocol as a precondition for purchasing foodstuff imported from outside the EU, either themselves or through their wholesaler or importer in another EU country. www.globalgap.org


• FSC certification is a voluntary, market-based tool that supports responsible forest management worldwide. FSC certified forest products are verified from the forest of origin through the supply chain. The FSC label ensures that the forest products used are from responsibly harvested and verified sources. www.fsc.org


• The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent non-profit organization which sets a standard for sustainable fishing. MSC standard is aimed at fisheries that wish to demonstrate they are well managed and sustainable. Seafood products can display the blue MSC ecolabel only if that seafood can be traced back through the supply chain to a fishery that has been certified against the MSC standard. www.msc.org