Eco-Lighthouse enterprises work towards satisfying requirements and implementing environmental measures on a systematic and ongoing basis in order to create more environmentally friendly operations and safer work environments.
The Eco-Lighthouse Foundation has prepared industry-specific requirements for a range of different industries. Enterprises are certified subject to independent assessment and must undergo a recertification process every three years. They are also required to submit annual environmental reports. The Eco-Lighthouse certification scheme has been approved by the Norwegian public procurement authorities.
The Eco-Lighthouse Foundation started as a local project in Kristiansand, Norway in 1996. In 2000 it was expanded to a national project, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment. In 2004, when the project period ended, the Eco-Lighthouse scheme was evaluated and the not-for-profit Eco-Lighthouse Foundation established by central organisations in the Norwegian local and national governance and business community, including several large municipalities and the main business and labour interest organisations. From 2006 onwards, the Foundation has been self-financing.
The scheme has grown and gone through a substantial development from its start in 1996. From certifying small and medium-sized enterprises, today the Eco-Lighthouse certifies most enterprises, offering 72 applicable industry-specific criteria, divided into 14 groups classified according to the Norwegian Standard Industrial Classification (SIC2007). The Norwegian government, through Standard Norge, regards the Eco-Lighthouse as a complementary scheme to the ISO-14001 and EMAS systems since its industry criteria constitute concrete and relevant measures offering an understandable and applicable way for enterprises to implement environmental management. The board of the Eco-Lighthouse Foundation has decided upon the Eco-Lighthouse vision: “Norwegian employees work in environmentally certified enterprises”.