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Integration of social aspects in the German Blue Angel scheme – Views from manufacturers and consumers

The main focus of eco-labels such as the German Blue Angel has been so far on the environmental and health-related aspects of products and services. However, there is ongoing uncertainty about what consumers expect from established eco-labels such as the Blue Angel and how manufacturers and licensees would react to the inclusion of social criteria. Therefore, the German Federal Environmental Agency commissioned the project “Extended integration of social aspects in the Blue Angel eco-label”. It analyzed the expectations and interests of consumers and companies to integrate social standards of global supply chains into the Blue Angel eco-label. 

The article summarizes some of the results of the project: Two surveys were conducted to collect the opinions and preferences of manufacturers and consumers regarding the integration of social criteria into the Blue Angel requirements. The researchers collected information on the product groups that are considered particularly relevant, as well as on expectations with regard to certain social aspects. Main conclusion: Consumers and manufacturers have a strong interest in the inclusion of social criteria in the Blue Angel system. This reflects the social consensus that social and human rights issues should be part of sustainability certification and supply chain management of companies.

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