Consultation concerning proposed criteria for Printing companies and printed matter

Nordic Ecolabelling gives you the opportunity to comment on the proposal for criteria for Nordic Swan Ecolabelling for printing companies and printed matter. The ecolabelling is assessed based on a life cycle perspective and fulfil high environmental and health requirements. Your comments are important and will be considered by the national Ecolabelling boards and the Nordic Ecolabelling Board.

Due to the occurrence of the corona virus in Europe, Nordic Ecolabelling has decided to prolong the current public consultation period of proposal for generation 6 of Criteria for Nordic Ecolabelling of Printing companies and printed matter for two months

We look forward to your comments, which should be sent to the Nordic Ecolabelling no later than June 30, 2020 to be taken into consideration.

Please find the proposed criteria for download further down on this page.

What has been changed?

  • Product definition; Printing companies are only allowed to print on packaging made of paper-based materials.
  • The requirement for consumption of inspected and Nordic Swan/EU Ecolabelled paper has been stringent from at least 25% to 70%.
  • New requirements for printing substrates other than paper. As for paper, substrates other than paper needs to be inspected in order to be available for the printing company in the electronic application aid.
  • The requirement for energy use has been re-structured and stringed.

Chemical requirement

The requirement for classification of production chemicals has been updated in relation to CLP and the Nordic Ecolabelling´s general chemical requirements. This means that several exemptions and trivial limits for specific chemical has been removed in generation 6. For example:

  • Toluene-based washing agents and printing ink and chemicals containing chrome trioxide and copper sulphate used in gravure printing. This means that it is not possible to use rotogravure printing in the new generation 6;
  • UV inks (energy-curable inks) used in inkjet machines. This means that there is limited opportunity to use UV inks in the new generation 6.


  • The chemical requirement has been restructured (no longer included in a matrix and point system) and replaced with absolute requirements for the individual chemical.
  • New requirements have been introduced for the definition of ingoing substances and impurities in chemical products, and the limit for impurities in the chemical product is 100 ppm.
  • Printing inks, toners, inks, varnished and adhesives must be tested for de-inkability according to INGEDE and have a positive score according to EPRC De-inkability Scorecard.

Use of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel logo on printed matter

  • The requirement has been expanded with the possibility to use the logo on Nordic Swan Ecolabelled or EU Ecolabelled textiles or Nordic Swan Ecolabelled construction and facade panels such as acoustic panels.

We wish to highlights on the following points in the consultation draft

Regarding the chemical requirements

  • Please note the new definition of ingoing substances and impurities in chemical products in requirement O10 and appendix 1. We are aware of the fact that this is a sharp limit. We would especially like your comments on how this might affect the approval of your products according to the new criteria. 
  • Please note the new requirement for de-inkability regarding printing inks, toners, inks, varnished and adhesives. We would very much like your comments on the requirement it selves but also on other possible test methods.

Documents for download

Who can provide input?

All people, companies and institutions who are interested in taking part in the development work of Nordic Ecolabelling criteria for Prining companies and printed matter can provide us with their opinions and comments. We would appreciate if you kindly distribute information about this review to whom it may concern.

How can comments be sent in?

Your input is most valuable to our criteria development. We prefer to receive your answers via mail for each contry.

For further questions, please contact our Product Specialist for Sweden:
Christer Andersson
E-mail: or

For further questions, please contact our Product Specialist for Norway:
Arne Godal
E-mail: or

For further questions, please contact our Senoir consultant for Denmark:
Jakob Wegener Waidtløw
E-mail: or

For further questions, please contact our Product Specialist for Finland:
Harri Hotulainen
E-mail: or

What happens next?

When the consultation period is complete, the answers will be compiled and evaluated. For this reason, a new revised proposal for criteria will be submitted to the  national committees. On this basis, the Nordic Ecolabelling Board will then decide on new criteria.

Part of the decision document is the summary of all consultation responses together with answers from Nordic Ecolabelling. The summary will be public and available on each country web page in connection with the publication of the new criteria.

We look forward to receiving your comments no later than April 30, 2020.