The Effectiveness of Providing Pre-Purchase Factual Information in encouraging more Environmentally Sustainable Product Purchase Decisions: Expert Interviews and a Rapid Evidence Assessment

30th April 2019

This report explores the existing evidence about the effectiveness of providing factual information (including content, source and format) on the environmental sustainability of a product, and its impact in influencing consumer (individual and organisational) buying decisions.

Key findings

• Energy consumption information (particularly the EU Energy Label) can influence purchase behaviour and intentions

• For other environmentally sustainable aspects, there is some evidence that labelled products may be preferred over unlabelled products, with a higher willingness to pay for the labelled products 

• The findings suggest that the degree of influence may depend on the consumer’s understanding of what the label, and the subject of the label, means; the more the consumers understand what the label means, the more likely they are to be willing to pay more.

• Price was often indicated, or found to be, an important factor in consumers’ decisions. Price concerns may override environmental concern. However, in some instances the literature suggests that, to a point, consumers may be willing to pay a premium for environmentally labelled products.