PUBLISHED 2013-11-04

Large companies behind record development of eco labelling

The number of goods produced and sold under some form of environmental labelling has increased sharply in recent years, this according to a coming report from Entwined researchers. Behind the rapid development are some of the world's largest private consumer goods companies.

On November 4th Entwined will present results from the State of Sustainability Initiatives Report, results that show that the number of products and the sale of goods, under some form of environmental labelling, has developed very rapidly in recent years.

For example, Rainforest Alliance bananas have shown a growth of 195 percent between 2009 and 2012. The corresponding development of tea is 188 percent in the past two years. The greatest growth for an individual environmental labelling standard is shown by RSPO (The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) with 1,200 percent over the past four years.

This extremely rapid development within the market for eco-labelled products can be explained by the fact that some of the world’s largest private consumer goods companies are investing heavily into their own eco-labelling standards.

- The widespread efforts we see could be interpreted as part of big companies' strategy to enhance the immunity in their respective brands against the risk of adverse effects,  particularly in sensitive areas like environmental and labour issues for cocoa, palm oil, cotton and sugar production, says Mark Sanctuary, Entwined's program director.

Ikea is one corporate giant who is aiming for 100 percent environmentally certified cotton in sales in 2015, within their own eco-labelling Better Cotton. This compared to 24 percent last year.

An important issue that will be discussed on November 4 is to which extent eco-labelling standards are really effective in the production fields.

- When eco-labelled products quickly take large market shares among consumers the challenge for researchers will be to discern what parts that are branding strategies and what parts that really gives an effect on the environment and the working conditions in the field, Mark Sanctuary continues.

Several results from the State of Sustainability Initiatives Report will be presented at a seminar organized by Entwined on November 4th in Stockholm. Besides researchers from the Entwined program, Annika Markovic, Swedish Environmental Ambassador, and Anna-Karin Lindberg, Ica Environment and Social Responsibility manager, will participate.

For questions please contact Program Director Mark Sanctuary, +46-8 598 563 77 or Communications Manager Maria Kardborn, +46-31 725 62 50

Updated: 2014-02-18