The Development of Eco-labelling Schemes

An Economic Perspective
  • S. Salman Hussain
  • Dae-Woong Lim


Eco-labelling might be considered as an extension of conventional marketing practices, a profit-driven response by industry to the commercial pressures of green consumer-consciousness. Peattie defines green marketing as ‘the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying the requirements of customers and society, in a profitable and sustainable way’ (1992:11). If this definition is adopted then eco-labelling is simply a form of media that communicates information to a (receptive) user on the impact of a firm’s product on the natural environment compared with those of its competitors. An externally verified eco-labelling scheme should then serve to validate such a marketing claims, therein protecting the user from deceptive and/or false environmental information, a phenomenon known as ‘greenwashing’ (Rockness, 1985). The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) interprets the goals of environmental labelling as follows: improving the sales or image of a labeled product; raising the awareness of consumers; providing accurate information; directing manufacturers to account for the environmental impact of their products; and protecting the environment (OECD, 1991).


Life Cycle Assessment Product Category Life Cycle Management Green Consumerism Corporate Environmental Performance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Blaza, A.J. (1992) Environmental Reporting - a View from the CBI. in Owen, D.(Ed) Accounting and the Challenge of the Nineties. London: Chapman & Hall.Google Scholar
  2. Callenbach, E., Capra, F., Goldman, L., Lutz, R. and Marburg, S. (1993) EcoManagement: The Elmwood Guide to Ecological Auditing and Sustainable Business. Twickenham, UK: Adamantine.Google Scholar
  3. Engel J.F., Blackwell R.D. and Kollat D.T. (1978) Consumer Behavior, 3rd ed.. Hinsdale: Dryden Press.Google Scholar
  4. EPA (1993) Status report on the use of Environmental Labels Worldwide. Report prepared by Abt Associates for the US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  5. Fava, J.A., Curran, M.A., Denison, R., Jones, B., Vigon, B., Selke, S. and Barmum, J. (1990) Technical Framework for Life Cycle Assessment, SETAC.Google Scholar
  6. Fox, M.A. and Singh, M. (1997) Life Cycle Management: Status of Concepts and Techniques. Proceeding of the 1997 Total Life Cycle Conference — Life Cycle Management and Assessment. SEA: 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Howard J.A. and Sheth J.N. (1969) The Theory of Buyer Behavior. New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  8. ISO (1997) ISO/DIS 14020 Environmental Management/Environmental Labelling: Environmental Labels and Declarations. International Standards Organization.Google Scholar
  9. Klein, B. and Leffer, K.B. (1981). The role of market forces in assuring contractual performance, Journal of Political Economy, 89 (4): 615–641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kuhre W.L. (1997) ISO 14020s Environmental Labelling and Marketing. Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  11. Ministry of Environment, Korea (1998) 1998 Environmental Mark Scheme. Ministry of Environment, Korea.Google Scholar
  12. North, K. (1992) Environmental Business Management. Geneva: International Labor Office.Google Scholar
  13. OECD (1991) Environmental Labelling in OECD Countries. Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.Google Scholar
  14. Peattie, K. (1992) Green Marketing. London: M&E Handbooks, Pitman Publishing.Google Scholar
  15. Rockness, J.W. (1985) An Assessment of the Relationship between US Corporate Environmental Performance and Disclosure. Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, 12(3): 339–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. UNEP (1991) Global Environmental Labelling: Invitational Expert Seminar, Lesvos, Greece. New York: United Nations Environment Programme/IEO Cleaner Production Programme.Google Scholar
  17. Volvo (1998) Environmental Product Declaration Volvo S80 2.9. PR/PV 981003, Volvo Car Corporation.Google Scholar
  18. Welford, R. (1995) Environmental Strategy and Sustainable Development. The corporate challenge for the 21st century. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Williams T.G. (1982) Consumer Behavior: Fundamentals & Strategies. New York: West Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  20. Wiseman, J. (1982) An Evaluation of Environmental Disclosures. Accounting Organization & Society, 7 (l):53–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Salman Hussain
    • 1
  • Dae-Woong Lim
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Natural Resource EconomicsSACEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Eco Management Consulting Co.Dongdaemoon-KuSeoulKorea

Personalised recommendations