Eco Labels for the Digital Age (Jan 2012)
Updates and Sector News
Recently, Ekobai.com has reported on the rise in popularity of organizations, systems and technologies which help consumers navigate the complex world of eco and organic labels. Consumer facing such labels number more than 500 across many sectors and issues. US based Goodguide.com introduced a simple 1-10 ranking on health, environment and society for thousands of common products, thus amalgamating eco labels and other factors attributed to a product and allowing the consumer to compare products easily. Leading US consumer data provider Consumer Reports has launched an Eco-Label App for the iphone and ipad. “Consumer Reports’ Eco Labels App brings you the information you need on environmental claims like “hypoallergenic (not meaningful),” “natural (not meaningful),” and “organic (meaningful on most products but not all)” so you can know which ones will meet your expectations.” It contains details information on many organic labels that an informed consumer can easily check up on in-store. Thus a trend emerging is the use of smartphones by consumers to check the sustainability credentials of products directly in-store. Some consider that this will be accompanied by bar-codes which contain information on the sustainability credentials of a product as well as price/quality information. Consumers will, again with a smart phone, read the bar code and be presented with aggregated and simple information on what they want to know – be it organic, social issues, environmental etc. The implication for the organizations behind eco labels is that they will need to collaborate and work with the aggregators like Goodguide and Consumer Reports to ensure their standards and labels are well understood. This ultimately may turn into a world where the labels themselves lose some relevancy to the consumer, who will increasingly rely on digitally obtained and aggregated information directly fed to their smart mobile device! The concept of a graphical label alone assuring the consumer may be a thing of the past.
Ekobai.com is a supplier directory listing over 50,000 companies from around the world producing and selling products certified to sustainability and organic standards such as Fair Trade, FSC, MSC and the Soil Association mark. Our B2B directory is free for companies to list on and the information is open to all viewers at no charge. Companies listed on ekobai.com find new customers from around the world and buyers can short list and contact new suppliers based on ethical and sustainability criteria.