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Norway

Sustainability

Updated 11/2012

Legal requirements

Corporate social responsibility

Report to the Storting no 10 (2008-2009) deals with corporate social responsibility in a global economy.

Value creation in trade and industry contributes to economic growth and development in society. Norway wants businesses that behave responsibly and develop products and services that can help to meet social and environmental challenges.

Globalisation has focused attention sharply on the challenges facing business in terms of social development. Many consumers, customers and investors demand that products and services should be produced in a socially and environmentally acceptable way. The Government expects all Norwegian companies to draw up and comply with guidelines on corporate social responsibility.

Standardisation in the environmental field should promote sustainable development. This area covers environmental management, energy, the quality of environmental data and information, and environmental measures in a number of sectors of society. The area covers both the natural and man-made environment. National (NS), European (EN) and global (ISO) standards have been defined in the environmental field.

Standards

In Norway, the standards bear the codes NS-EN ISO 9001 and 9004 for quality management systems, and NS-EN ISO 14001 and 14004 for environmental management systems.

The law requires businesses to comply with minimum social and environmental rules.

Administrative procedures

Certification

Standards for quality management

To obtain certification for a quality management system, the enterprise has an independent third party evaluate whether the system satisfies the requirements set out in ISO 9001 and whether the system is part of day-to-day work and is adhered to within the enterprise.

Environmental standards

An official environmental mark is the easiest and most credible way of communicating that goods or services meet a high environmental standard.

Producers and their representatives (importers, agents etc.) can apply for environmental marking of products or services.

EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) is a voluntary scheme for environmental registration of businesses within the EU. Under the EEA Agreement, Norwegian businesses can also participate in the scheme. The EMAS Register is held at the Brønnøysund Register Centre.

For Norwegian companies that wish to compete in the European market, there is competitive advantage to be gained from being in the EMAS Register. An EMAS business will gain credibility with lenders, investors and society in general.

The Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif) is responsible for establishing the conditions for Norwegian businesses to participate in the EMAS scheme.

The swan mark is the official Nordic ecolabel, and is intended to reduce the overall impact on the environment. The swan indicates that products and services meet defined environmental requirements, based on tests by independent laboratories and control visits.

The Ø-label confirms that production is monitored and approved under the regulations covering organic production.

All organic foodstuffs produced in Norway are approved by Debio. This approval is a requirement if you want to call a product 'organic' and use the Ø-label in marketing.

Standards for health and safety at work

SN-BS OHSAS 18001 sets out the requirements for OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Services). It contains requirements for a health and safety system to enable an enterprise to manage risk in its working environment and achieve better results.

SN-BS OHSAS 18001 can be used in conjunction with NS-EN ISO 9001 and NS-EN ISO 14001 to facilitate integration for of an enterprise's quality, environmental and health and safety management systems where required. Norwegian businesses can be certified according to SN-BS OHSAS 18001.

Resources

You can find further information on the following web sites:

Ecolabelling Norway (Miljømerking) administers the two official ecolabels in Norway - the Nordic swan and the European flower. These labels enable people to choose products and services that have undergone an objective environmental assessment.

Debio certifies organic agricultural production, processing, imports and sales.

Report to the Storting no 10 (2008-2009): Corporate social responsibility in a global economy.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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