Mapping barriers and possibilities to ecolabel criteria for innovative sharing economy services – A pre study

01.11.18 | Funding opportunities
The Working Group for Sustainable Consumption and Production (HKP) of the Nordic Council of Ministers hereby calls for a project aiming at promoting the rise of new innovative and ecologically sound ways of consumption and services, based on the sharing economy principles and fitted well into the functioning of the rising circular economy in EU.


Opportunity category
Open calls
Thu, 29/11/2018 - 11:59 PM
Financial framework
270 000 DKK (maximum funding)
Åland Islands
Faroe Islands

In order to making it easier for consumers to choose environmentally sound alternatives on the sharing economy market, we call for mapping barriers and possibilities to develop type 1 ecolabel criteria for innovative sharing economy services.

Aim and purpose

The aim of this pre study is to promote the rise of new innovative and ecologically sound ways of consumption and services, based on the sharing economy principles and fitted well into the functioning of the rising circular economy in EU. More specifically, as a first step, the objective would now be to map and analyze obstacles and possibilities for a potential future development of criteria of a type 1 ecolabel within the sectors of innovative sharing economy services and products.


The striving towards circular economy in the EU is accompanied by arising new services based on sharing economy. These include e.g. car and bicycle sharing, short-term rentals of people's own homes, and rental of different less intensively used products like tools, special kitchen machines, party and baby clothes.

The number of different items that can be borrowed or rented is rapidly increasing, as the mindset of people is changing from owning products to gaining the benefits from the products which need not to be owned.

Looking from the viewpoint of ecological sustainability, sharing economy shows common features with the circular economy. Both are aiming to get more value of the products that have been produced, this way increasing resource efficiency and decreasing harmful environmental impacts of consumption. This way new sharing economy services may fit well into the circular economy. At least in principle a decrease in the number of different products that need to be manufactured will follow.

However, in order to gain the full sustainability potential of new and upcoming sharing economy services it is important to apply eco-design principles and tools already in their early development phases.  E.g. the Nordic Swan ecolabel is an important Nordic eco design tool applying for many different product and service groups, and it is recognized that it could also take responsibility of the development of criteria for the ecologically sound new types of services. An ongoing Nordic project (SCEPEF) about the relations between ecolabels and circular economy pointed out that ecolabels could play a role in the promotion of the innovative sharing economy services and products.

However, it is not straightforward to apply the normal ecolabel criteria development procedure for the new sharing economy services. One special feature is that new services are developing very fast while the normal procedure of criteria development taking 3-4 years is by far too slow to have the wished steering effect to the design of the new services. Another feature is that there will be a wide variety of different services for which specific eco-design aspects of each service type need to be considered.


The consultant shall conduct a pre study on the aim and purpose described above. If a potential for type 1 ecolabels to label sharing economy is identified the consultant should develop the framework criteria set for sharing economy services (FCSE) and pilot it for some services, developing specific criteria to be combined with the FCSE. However it is most probable that a real procedure with the ecolabelling board and real labelling is not yet realized in the project

This work must be done in a close cooperation with the Nordic Ecolabelling organizations.

Target groups

Target groups include type -1 ecolabel organizations, and experts and researchers in the fields of eco-design and sustainable consumption and production.

Steering group

The SCP group (HKP) will select 3-5 representatives who will act as a steering group for the project. The project should be carried out in close cooperation with the steering group and the first meeting, that must be attended by all the sub-consultants, shall take place within one month after signing the agreement. The contract is signed with the coordinator of the SCP working group, Camilla Sederholm. The steering group and the SCP group will give final approval to the results.

Project Context

The Nordic Council of Ministers Working Group for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/HKP) is to contribute to the implementation of the Nordic Environmental Action Plan 2013 – 2018

The activities of the groups must reflect the priorities of the Nordic Environmental Action Plan 2013 -2018, in Chapter 1. Inclusive green development, 1.1. Sustainable productions and consumption and 1.2. Resource efficiency and waste, with an emphasis on resource efficiency.


The working group for SCP should focus on efforts to promote green social development, which includes preventing emissions and waste through resource efficiency in consumption and production.


The working group for SCP should contribute to international development within its areas of responsibility.

The project should be conducted in cooperation between at least three Nordic countries (or the Nordic autonomies). This means that the project should be clearly anchored to at least three Nordic countries, e.g. through consulting organizations or their consultants working in, or interviews and other data collection taking place in, at least three Nordic countries or autonomies.  

Expected results

The expected result is to receive basis for planning of further activities in order to pay attention to possibilities for extended use of Eco labeling for sharing economy business models.


- A comprehensive report, working paper, in English of the results of the study. The report should contain a summary in both English and a Scandinavian language.

- A written Power Point presentation and an oral presentation to the Nordic working group on Circular Economy, (subsequent to the SCP/HKP group from the 1. of January 2019) of the completed report at the end of the project


The deadline for tenders is 29.11.2018 24:00 CET. The tender can be written in English, or a Scandinavian language. The tender should contain a description of how the contractor intends to carry out the assignment, a proposed price in DKK for the costs relating to the consultants working time and any travel, as well as information about the skills and experience of the consultant with regard to Sharing Economy services and the potential of these in the Nordic Countries and Nordic Eco labeling. Tenderer shall use the application form below.

Proposed timetable

12/2018: Selection of consultant

12/2018 Project launched and (web) meeting with steering group

12/2018 Contents list of the report

25. January 2019: short status report ahead of Nordic working group meeting

30 April 2019: short status report ahead of Nordic working group meeting

August 2019: The final report is delivered

Selection of consultant criteria

Competences (experience and/or education) of Eco-design of products and services, as in use in criteria development for Ecolabels or for green public procurement are required.

Award criteria

Description of the work and results (40 %)

Competence and experience above the basic requirements in the selection criteria (30%)

Price (30 %)

Budget and costs

The maximum funding from the NCM is 270 000 DKK. The costs for organizing a workshop and covering the travelling costs (according to the regulations in each participant's organization) of at least 2-3 ecolabel experts and at least 2-3 other eco design experts (other than those in the project group) from at least 3 Nordic countries must be included in the budget, as well as publication costs of the results in a TemaNord report (typically 15.000 DKK).

Please note that the project will use the expertise of the Nordic Swan organizations.  The SCP/HKP group will make a separate agreement with one or two of the national Nordic Swan organizations (depending on the leading partner of the winning tender) for 6 working days of their contribution to the project, with a fixed price of 80 euros per hour (and outside the budget of this tender call). This will however not cover their travelling expenses to the workshop, see above.  In addition HKP will reserve a budget for travelling costs of the steering group for one meeting (assuming video or phone meetings for other ones).

Application form

Please send your tender (application form) by e-mail to the project coordinator of the SCP group (HKP gruppen), Camilla Sederholm, at

Please apply by using this application form:

Contact us

For questions concerning content: Ari Nissinen;

For administrative queries: Camilla Sederholm, Coordinator of the Working Group for Sustainable Consumption and Production (the HKP/SCP group):, Tel: +358 400 930 886

We look forward to receiving your tender!

Contact information