Experts from the Nordic Ecolabelling organisations develop proposals for criteria. Other experts are often called upon to give their views, and these can represent other environmental organisations, industry or the government. Before The Nordic Ecolabelling Board finalises the criteria, they are sent out for review. They are also available to the general public on the national organisations´websites.
To ensure that a Nordic Ecolabelled product or service is at the cutting edge from an environmental point-of-view, criteria are continually revised. As product development progresses and new scientific discoveries are made, the criteria are reviewed in order to continue the process of reducing a product or service´s environmental impact. Approximately every three to five years, the criteria documents are reviewed and products carrying a Nordic Ecolabel licence must apply and fulfill the new criteria requirements. In this way, Nordic Ecolabel led products and services are continuously being improved.
In order to select the product groups which are most suitable for the Nordic Ecolabelling scheme, a product is analysed for their relevance, potential and how they can be controlled or "steered". This is the RPS scheme.
Relevance is assessed according to the specific environmental problems relating to the product group and how great they are.
Potential is evaluated by looking at the possible environmental gains that can be made within the product group by having Nordic Ecolabel criteria.
Steerability is a measure of how the product, activity or problem might be affected by the requirements of the Nordic Ecolabel.
If the Nordic Ecolabelling Board decides that these three parameters show that it would be an advantage to develop criteria for the particular product or service, then a study is started on developing criteria for this product group. This work takes on average three to four years, since it is a complex procedure.