Exploring the Relationship between the Eco-labels and Green Buying Behaviour with Reference to Mumbai City

Exploring the Relationship between the Eco-labels and Green Buying Behaviour with Reference to Mumbai City

Ritu Sinha (IES Management College and Research Centre, India)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6232-2.ch006
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Abstract

Today's businesses and consumers confront the challenge of protecting and preserving the earth's resources and the environment. They have become more concerned about the natural environment and are realizing that their production and consumption purchasing behavior have a direct impact on the environment. Even the consumer looks for green lifestyle and wants to make its contribution towards reducing its impact on the environment. Manufacturers and retailers are observing this trend and are trying to gain an edge in the competitive market by exploiting the potential in the green market industry. They are offering eco-friendly products that are supposed to be good for humans, nature, and companies. An eco-label is a label that certifies that a product meets overall environmental preference of a product or service based on life-cycle consideration and the important criteria to be fulfilled for achieving this label. These labels can help the companies to influence the regulatory environment, create industry standards for environmental control, and expand market share. The aim of this chapter is to identify and analyze how eco-labels can influence consumer buying behavior and awareness towards the various eco-labels in the Mumbai market.
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Background

In order to distinguish ecological products from conventional ordinary ones companies put special Eco-labels on them. An eco-label is a label that certifies that a product meets high environmental and performance standards and has less impact on the environment than non-labeled products. Along with this it also convey a message that the company is socially responsible. According to Williams (2004, 133), “eco-labelling is a communication label that specify the information regarding the company’s commitment to “green” production principles that adhere to consumer ethic, to market demands, to industry regulation, and to the regulatory environment as determined locally or internationally.” These labels include claims like recyclable, eco-friendly, low energy, and recycled content so as to catch the attention of consumers that are looking for the ways in which they could reduce adverse impacts to the environment through purchasing choices.

Ecolabels are determined on life cycle considerations; which implies that all aspects of the “life” of a product starting from design, production, operation and maintenance up to disposal are taken into consideration. This certification preferably should be done by third-party and independent from the certified company. These labels should also communicate that the awarded product has reached distinction in environmental performance in comparison to average products in the same category and this labeling is based on sound scientific evidence. These ecolabels are an answer to the growing request from consumers and committed professionals so as to provide complex information in a very straightforward way in product categories like food, appliances, housecleaning products, paper products and many more.

Eco-labelling can serve as effective forms of communication for endorsing that the product is environmentally friendly. Eco-label can address to a single dimension, two dimensions and multiple dimensions known as Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 label. These eco-labelling can help the companies to influence the regulatory environment, create industry standards for environmental control, achieve cost savings, expand market share, as well as achieve additional indirect benefits. In the past few years, there has been a surge in corporate eco-promising i.e. practice of making claims about the environmental attributes of products. These claims have an aim of attracting consumers and convincing them to buy one product over another. But sometime these environmental claims and eco-labels create confusion among consumers and create uncertainty about which claims to trust. Also, there is lack of guiding principles or standardization with respect to these labels. Unfortunately, sometime it can backfire the company as availability of increased information content bears a risk of exceeding consumer patience and/or capacity for interpretation.

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