The impact of the EU Ecolabel on companies and the consumer

Martins Geneix, Maria Claudia (2015) The impact of the EU Ecolabel on companies and the consumer. Masters thesis, University of Cumbria (awarded by University of Lancaster).

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Abstract

This year, the European Union Ecolabel (EUE) celebrates its twenty third birthday. When analysing the results of the past two decades, most research on the subject tends to say that the effective results of the EUE are weak. In fact, if we compare the quantity of products available in the EU with that of EU ecolabeled ones, it is true that the impact of EUE can be questioned. 43000 products across Europe bearing the flower logo (or the EUE) does not seem that high when we think of the size of the European market. In the course of this Dissertation an inductive qualitative approach was employed to collect and analyze stakeholder’s perspectives regarding their feelings about the European environmental labels results. In total, twelve actors were interviewed. They were chosen amongst national authorities in charge of the EU ecolabel certification, consumer’s associations, European federations which sectors are impacted by the EUE, companies of different sizes, some certified and others not, and policy officers from the EU Commission.

The findings presented in the following chapters suggest that: All interviewees considered that the results of the EUE could be enhanced and brought forth suggestions based on their own experience. These suggestions relate to pan-European marketing actions, less time demanding procedures, more communication with businesses and developments of KPI for the sake of transparency. Several said that the EUE is a label of excellence and its goal should be to lead the way in environmental certification and, in this regard, the results of the EUE have been highly achieved. Most interviewees held the view that the work undertaken by DG environment and the Joint Research Center (JRC) has to be recognized because they have been able to support and develop the EU Ecolabel whilst facing budget cuts. Nonetheless, they also spoke about the need to reference EUE green policies. The European label is only referenced in the Sustainable Consumption Action Plan and most interviewees didn’t understand why the label was not better supported by the EC. Finally, because price has a major influence on consumption, a supermarket study was carried out to compare the prices of the labelled and non-labelled products in the different product groups available.

The conclusion of this study is that in most categories, the price of a labelled product is not higher than the one of an unlabelled one. Moreover, this supermarket study also intended to test the visibility of green products in retailers. In that regard it showed that the location of EUE certified product tended to be best when the retailer acted as producer of an EUE labelled product. The dissertation concludes with more general observations on the impact of the EUE on companies and the consumer.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Related URL(s):
Departments: Faculty of Education, Arts and Business > Business, Law, Policing and Social Sciences > Business
Additional Information: Project submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Master of Business Administration of the University of Cumbria.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 10 May 2017 10:33
Last Modified: 11 May 2017 02:54
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/2920

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