Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Assessment of Eco-labelling Criteria Development from a Strategic Sustainability Perspective
Show others and affiliations
Responsible organisation
2011 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 19, no 14Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To turn current patterns of consumption and production in a sustainable direction, solid and understandable market information on the socio-ecological performance of products is needed. Eco-labelling programmes have an important role in this communication. The aim of this study is to investigate what gaps there may be in the current criteria development processes in relation to a strategic sustainability perspective and develop recommendations on how such presumptive gaps could be bridged. First a previously published generic framework for strategic sustainable development is described and applied for the assessment of two eco-labelling programmes. Data for the assessment is collected from literature and in semi-structured interviews and discussions with eco-labelling experts. The assessment revealed that the programmes lack both an operational definition of sustainability, and a statement of objectives to direct and drive the criteria development processes. Consequently they also lack guidelines for how product category criteria might gradually develop in any direction. The selected criteria mainly reflect the current reality based on a selection of negative impacts in ecosystems, but how this selection, or prioritization, is made is not clearly presented. Finally, there are no guidelines to ensure that the criteria developers represent a broad enough competence to embrace all essential sustainability aspects. In conclusion the results point at deficiencies in theory, process and practice of eco-labelling, which hampers cohesiveness, transparency and comprehension. And it hampers predictability, as producers get no support in foreseeing how coming revisions of criteria will develop. This represents a lost opportunity for strategic sustainable development. It is suggested that these problems could be avoided by informing the criteria development process by a framework for strategic sustainable development, based on backcasting from basic sustainability principles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2011. Vol. 19, no 14
Keyword [en]
Sustainability, Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, Sustainable Consumption and Production, Eco-labelling
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-7431DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2011.05.012ISI: 000293260400008Local ID: diva2:835044
Available from: 2012-09-18 Created: 2011-11-25 Last updated: 2016-09-26Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(276 kB)94 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 276 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Bratt, CeciliaHallstedt, SophieBroman, GöranRobèrt, Karl-Henrik
In the same journal
Journal of Cleaner Production
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 94 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 52 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link