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The Development and Marketing of Sustainability Labels - Status Quo and Future Perspectives

The book chapter summarizes the rise of sustainability labels and sketches marketing perspectives of labelling. Starting with a focus on the environmental qualities of goods and services, the scope of labelling was recently expanded towards a broader understanding of sustainability, including social requirements. At present, pure social labels, such as fair trade, and labels trying to integrate both dimensions coexist. The authors describe how a more integrated approach to sustainability labelling could look – encompassing the development of informal or even formal and certified standards considering a broad range of sustainability requirements. Besides ambitious and holistic criteria the marketing of the sustainability labels will also be important for (re-) establishing a relationship of trust between the label and the customer. This will help consumers regain guidance in the often quoted ‘label jungle’. Establishing labels as sustainability brands will be an important means to this end.