Sustainability Based Product Labeling and Procurement

Executive Summary: This study recognizes the influence of product labelling and procurement on the progress towards a sustainable society. With an increasing number of eco-labelling schemes appearing on markets internationally, it is important to develop criteria that are developed with both short- and long-termed sustainability perspectives,  Renault Romania use full-systems thinking and at the same time increase the cooperation and harmonization of existing parties. This project uses the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) as the guiding tool for the creation of criteria development processes that are sensitive to economic and socio-ecological factors.

Background:

  • The market for “green products” currently represents one third of world trade with increases of 200% between 2003 and 2005 in eco-labelled products in Europe.
  • There is increasing pressure for public and private organisations to demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
  • Labelling of products provides a critical quality assurance role in communicating product information to consumers.
  • Most ecolabels focus on ecological issues with a life-cycle Cisco 640-792 perspective but do not consider the products overall sustainable impact.
  • There are a growing number of eco-labelling schemes on the market, emphasizing the need for cooperation and harmonization as well as for the inclusion of all sustainability factors, social, economic, and environmental.

Purpose of Study: Supporting the production and consumption of sustainable products by developing sustainability-based criteria and procedures for product labeling.

FSSD Integration: The FSSD is being used to assess and improve the criteria used for the eco-labelling of products. This supports the measure of progress towards sustainability as full-systems thinking is integrated and as a principle-based definition of sustainability is being used as the end goal..

Implications for Managers: Stronger guidelines for sustainable eco-labelling will allow for product developers to have a more comprehensive definition and understanding of sustainable products and allow for products’ producers to make transparent and comparable claims about their products. This will also allow consumers needs and preferences to be recognized to producers,leading to increased market efficiency and increased market share for companies with strong sustainability aspects to their products. This will also lead to better understanding throughout value and supply chains as various partners use a common language to discuss and label their products.

Implication for Consumers: This will allow for the possibility to provide the consumers with the full information of how a need can be satisfied in the most sustainable way.

Implications for Researchers: This project is designing criteria developing processes that cover full socio-ecological sustainability,prioritizing methods and tools that aid in decision-making for sustainable criteria development and product development. This will generate a more comprehensive method for assessment and understanding of how function/needs can be satisfied with a full-systems sustainability thinking.

Methods: The research team will complete a literature review which will inform a new set of criteria for the eco-labelling of products and policies for procurement. The main issues with eco-labelling criteria and policies will be identified and the new criteria will be implemented into a practical setting. Strong collaboration and harmonization of these eco-labelling criteria will be achieved through frequent meetings of collaborators, continual information sharing, and public seminars.

Project Contact:
– Dr. Sophie Hallstedt, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Project Supervisor, sophie.hallstedt(at)bth.se
– Cecilia Bratt, PhD student. Blekinge Institute of Technology,Project Co-ordinator, cecilia.bratt(at)bth.se

Project Team:
Göran Broman, Professor, Blekinge Institute of Technology
Jonas Oldmark, Secretary General Sweden, The Natural Step
Karl-Henrik Robèrt, Professor, Blekinge Institute of Technology
Thomas Lindhqvist, Professor, IIIEE, Lund University

Partners:
AB Svenska Miljöstyrningsrådet, Swedish Environmental Management Council, SEMCo, Sven_olof Ryding, Managing Director
Aura Light International AB; Mikael Severinsson, R&D Manager
Cascades Djupafors AB; Eva Berg, Procurement Director
Hammarplast AB, Olle Mattson, Product Developer Manager
Scandic Hotels, Inger Mattsson, Sustainability Controller
SIS Miljömärkning AB, Ragnar Unge CEO
Tetra Pak International, Tetra Pak Technical Service AB, David Cockburn, Director Environmental Technologies
The Natural Step International, Jonas Oldmark, Secretary General
WSP Environmental, Agneta Persson, Associate