Crafting Next Generation Eco-Label Policy
Environmental Law, Vol. 48 (2018)
44 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2018 Last revised: 1 Oct 2018
Date Written: August 9, 2018
Eco-labels present a promising policy tool in the effort to achieve sustainable consumption. Many questions remain, however, about the extent to which eco-labels can contribute to sustainability efforts and how to maximize their effectiveness. This Article deploys research from evolutionary psychology, behavioral law and economics, and norm theory to offer specific insights for the design and implementation of eco-labels to enhance their influence on sustainable consumer choice. Notably, this research suggests possibilities for eco-labels to shape or expand consumer preferences for green goods, and thereby enhance eco-label influence on consumer behavior by extending it beyond eco-minded consumers. We suggest that public exposure of the label (so that people see it) and the exposure of the purchasing behavior (so that other people can see that you have bought the product) are key elements to the success of eco-labels—the social context around product purchasing may be as important as the eco-label itself.
Keywords: eco-label, labels, sustainability, sustainable consumption, consumer, consumer behavior, consumer choice, consumer information, neutral label, environmental label, environmental product declarations, eco-label seal, personal norm, social norm, inconvenience barrier, environmental preference
JEL Classification: D11, D19, D80, D89, K1, K19, K32, K39, Q01, Q50, Q58, Q59
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation