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38 J. Consumer Pol'y 1 (2015)

handle is hein.journals/jrncpy38 and id is 1 raw text is: J Consum Policy (2015) 38:1-18
DOI 10.1007/s10603-014-9275-z
An Analysis of the Growth in Environmental Labelling
and Information Schemes
Guilaume P. Gruere
Received: 23 May 2014 /Accepted: 27 October 2014 /
Published online : 14 November 2014
© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014
Abstract This paper provides an analysis of the growth in environmental and labelling
schemes (ELIS), using a dataset of 544 schemes introduced between 1970 and 2012 covering
197 countries. General trends drawn from this dataset and an examination of relevant
trademarks support a rapid but slowing increase in the number of ELIS. The analysis also
shows both the diversity and unequal growth of ELIS according to different characteristics,
such as communication means, channels, scope, and the standards on which they are based.
The analysis further outlines the dual nature of the evolution of ELIS over time, driven by the
combination of an increase in the number of traditional ELIS, such as single-issue environ-
mental seals, and the emergence of more recently introduced types of ELIS, including
environmental footprints. This combination highlights the tension between increased compe-
tition among similar ELIS and the emergence of new schemes potentially less exposed to
direct competition but facing larger entry challenges.
Keywords Environmental labels - Information policy approaches - Product environmental
Environmental labels and information schemes (ELIS)-defined as policies and initiatives that
aim to provide information to external users about one or more aspects of the environmental
performance of a product or service have been used for over 40 years. The first public eco-
labelling schemes were developed in the 1970s, with a view to providing seals on products with
the best environmental characteristics. Single-issue certification schemes and individual private
standards followed in the 1980s and 1990s. The last 15 years have seen a multiplication of ELIS
of varying scope, size, nature, and effectiveness (Cohen and Vandenbergh 2012; Crespi and
Marette 2005). As a result, the market has been characterized by the co-existence of a large
number of ecolabels, claims, declarations, and other modes of transmitting information on the
environmental characteristics of products.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10603-014-9275-z)
contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
G. P. Gruere (E)
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 2 rue Andre Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex
16, France
e-mail: guillaume.gruere@oecd.org

4Z Springer

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