“Save the world a little bit each day”
“We suspected that we were already working according to the strictest environmental requirements throughout the whole production process of our wood floors. But we didn’t know how to prove it. The answer was to apply for ‘The Swan’ Nordic Ecolabel certification,” says Bruce Uhler, Kährs environment ambassador. Today, more than 150 floors from Kährs have been certified according to the Nordic Ecolabel – one of the world’s most comprehensive environmental certifications.
“Save the world a little bit each day”. This is the motto that Nordic Ecolabel has been using for more than two decades to help consumers make the best green choices. “The Swan” label was born 25 years ago, when the Nordic Council of Ministers initiated the Nordic Ecolabel to guide consumers to find the most eco-friendly products and services. It started with paper and batteries – and today more than ten thousand products and services have been certified. The non-profit state owned company Ecolabelling Sweden, which operates on consignment from the Swedish government, has the overall responsibility for the Ecolabel certification.
In 2014, Kährs initiated preparations to apply for certification of its wood floors according to the Nordic Ecolabel. “It was a natural step, since we suspected that we have been meeting the demands of ‘The Swan’ label for a long time. Meanwhile, we also noticed increased demand for environmentally certified floors both for public spaces and
private homes,” Bruce Uhler says. “We also knew that if we could prove that our floors live up to the strict requirements of the Nordic Ecolabel, they would also meet most other international environmental demands,” he continues.
Despite the strong conviction that the company was working the right way, documentation was lacking. This meant that the process to achieve this turned into a major investment in both time and money for Kährs. “We were obliged to analyse and document our products throughout their life cycles; from raw material to waste,”
explains Bruce. The work yielded results – today more than 150 wood floors from Kährs have been certified according to the Nordic Ecolabel. “Our effort has attracted a lot of external attention. We have also noticed a great interest in the Nordic Ecolabel from other countries, including the US and several other markets in the EU and the Middle East, as the certification covers so many environmental aspects,” Bruce adds. Bruce Uhler and his colleague Sverre Severindsen from Norway were invited to the 25th anniversary of the Nordic Ecolabel, which was opened by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, to give their account of Kährs journey towards achieving “The Swan” certification.
The Nordic Ecolabel – “The Swan” – is one of the most comprehensive and strict product certifications in the world. “The Swan” includes criteria such as content and use of hazardous chemicals, emissions to air, water and land, use of energy and resources, as well as waste disposal. It also includes demands on quality and functionality. “The Swan” is today one of the most recognizable brands in Sweden with more than 96 per cent recognition.