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Eco-labelling. A Socio-economic Analysis.

Williams, Wendy (2004) Eco-labelling. A Socio-economic Analysis. Doctoral thesis, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.

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Abstract

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of eco-labelling, the sense of the phenomenon itself is lost when studied in isolation. With this consideration, a balance of research between practical and theoretical approaches, between environmental sociology, environmental economics, international trade relations, consumer society, sustainability and marketing theory was explored. Eco-labelling has far-reaching ramifications in society, not just in the commercial relationship between producer and consumer, but in socio-cultural norms and values. It combines economic and social forces via the marketplace. The research of this paper focuses on 1) the socio-cultural aspects of eco-labelling, 2) the economic incentive which drives eco-labelling and 3) the global institutional structures which influence the eco-labelling dimension. Chapter 1 provides an overview of eco-labelling and introduces ecological modernization, the theoretical foundation of this paper. Chapter 2 is a summary of interviews which were conducted with eco-labelling managers around the world. Chapter 3 analyses the economic impact of eco-labelling, the effects on international trade and the environment, and how eco-labelling affects consumers and producers. Chapter 4 deals with the social context of eco-labelling, and the social paradigms of consumer society and sustainability, merging in the case of ecological modernization. Chapter 5 looks at opportunities and challenges to eco-labelling, and concrete recommendations with respect to the design of eco-labelling programmes are made. Eco-labelling is the only tool which functions within the conflicting social forces of consumer society and sustainability. As a market-based instrument for environmental management that functions within the producer - consumer relationship, eco-labelling can be seen as the ecological marketisation of consumer society. Best practices in eco-labelling rely on accepting the fundamental market principles combined with social trends. (author´s abstract)

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: ecolabel / tradeable permit / cost benefit analysis / consumer society / sustainability /
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Soziologie u Empirische Sozialforschung
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2004 08:55
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2015 19:22
URI: http://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/1888

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