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Eco-Labeling and Consumers’ Education Framework

Domenii publicaţii > Economie + Tipuri publicaţii > Articol în volumul unei conferinţe

Autori: Dinu, Vasile; Savoiu, Gheorghe; Tachiciu, Laurentiu

Editorial: 18th IGWT Symposium , „Technology and Innovation for a Sustainable Future: a Commodity Science Perspective”, September 24-28th, 2012, Rome, Italy , 2012.


As part of a strategic approach to answer the raising concern about environment degradation and waste of resources, a number of initiatives were deployed, aiming to provide more effective incentives required to improve the ecological performance of production and consumption, including ISO 14000 standards, systems of environment impact assessment, regional and national systems of ecological labeling.
In the European Union, eco-labeling and the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme – EMAS are considered an important instrument in promoting sustainable consumption and production. Romania has adopted a fully aligned regulatory framework, concerning the granting procedure and terms of use of the ecological label.
Consumer preferences and their purchase choices play an important role in the protection of the environment. The eco-labels are instruments that facilitate consumer’s access to relevant information and reduce transaction cost, provided that there is an established preference for goods and services that are environment friendly expressed by a significant part of the population. Eco-labeling systems cannot replace the fundamental determinants of the consumers’ behavior: knowledge, affective position toward nature, cultural values and trust.
Our article points out the lack of effectiveness of eco-labeling in a society with severe inconsistencies in education and supports the idea that ecological consciousness by education can only be achieved through a more comprehensive and coherent approach addressing all the components of the social responsibility concept.
First, we present several theoretical-methodological and conceptual delimitations related to eco-labeling, emphasizing evolutions at international and European levels, as well as in Romania. Then, based on a secondary analysis of the results of a survey regarding the attitude of European consumers towards the ecological labeling of products, we discuss the specific features of Romanian consumers’ attitudes. Last, but not least, we go through the determinants of consumers’ ecological consciousness and propose a model of interaction between business incentives and consumers’ choices build on education, where the environmental impact should become an intrinsic constituent of utility and value, rather than a demagogical concern.

Cuvinte cheie: eco-labeling, ecological consciousness, consumers’ attitude, consumers’ education