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To display environmental mandatory consumer products? (Policy Brief 319 - February 2013)

To display environmental mandatory consumer products? (Policy Brief 319 - February 2013)


This note contributes to the debate on whether to generalize the display of the environmental impact of consumer products , experienced in the context of the law "national commitment to the environment," July 12, 2010, in formulating proposals for be effective.

  • To display environmental mandatory consumer products?

If the French are more sensitive to environmental concerns and seeking more information on the environmental impact of products (wish expressed by 66% of them in 2011), only a small part chooses systematically friendly products environment and many have difficulty in identifying among multiple labels in radius. Environmental labeling has been tested in the framework of the law on the national commitment to the environment, 12 July 2010. It aims to encourage producers and distributors to provide the information necessary for consumers to move towards products with a lower environmental footprint, with the hope to eventually expand the market for "green" products .

It will reach its goal in the dual condition of being easily identifiable and interpretable - including facilitating comparisons within the same range - and credibility through certification by a public authority. All players must however ensure that products rated ecologically not be automatically assimilated by consumers to more expensive products as they may then be confined to a niche market to the detriment of mass consumption.

In the light of the first elements published on the results of the experiment and the lessons and experiences of foreign studies, it is possible to identify three strategic directions for
environmental labeling is effective.


  • The environmental impact of consumption
  • The display environmental inform and convince the consumer
  • The display environmental benefit to be thinking marketing
  • Authors: Blandine Barreau and François Vielliard, Sustainable Development Department in collaboration with Martin Duhamel, Anna Larsson, Samer Zakharia, students at HEC in Major Marketing under the direction of Jean-Noël Kapferer, a professor in the Department of Marketing HEC.

Keywords: environmental labeling, label, envrionnemental impact, carbon footprint, carbon footprint, green product, consumption.


Centre d’analyse stratégique