Knowledge hub



Labelling schemes (commonly referred to as eco-labels) impart clear information regarding the overall life-cycle performance of materials and products, enabling consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions. Taking a life-cycle perspective, the instrument delineates criteria based on environmental impacts, rewarding those products and services that fulfil defined criteria. Thus, eco-labels encourage manufacturers and/or service providers to improve the environmental performance of their goods and services to meet the criteria established in the scheme.[1] Labelling schemes are often voluntary and seek to harness market forces to improve the overall environmental performance of products and services.[2]

[1] Tojo, N.; Neubauer, A. & Bräuer, I. 2008. Waste management policies and policy instruments in Europe. International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economies (IIIEE) Reports. Available online via:

[2] Jordan, A,; Wurzel, R.K.W. & Zito, A. 2005. The Rise of ‘New’ Policy Instruments in Comparative Perspective: Has Governance Eclipsed Government? Political Studies. Vol.53 pp.477-496.

Relevant case studies and articles