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Published - 2023/09/28

Opticom, Forest Industry, Industry & services, Healthcare Industry

Labels: When is enough more than enough?

Product labels and certificates proclaiming environmental friendliness are everywhere. Indeed, they are now so ubiquitous that they have become the norm, not the differentiator. Moreover, their overuse has prompted criticism that some are simply environmental marketing and in the worst cases, greenwashing. However, used correctly, labels remain an important tool in the fight for the consumer’s attention as well as an effective means to help educate. The key is authenticity and transparency.

Labels: When is enough more than enough?

How to know when enough is enough 

Opticom’s Project Manager, David Weller, offers a few quick tips to think about before you print:  

  • Is the label/certificate relevant to your product category, as well as being from credible organisations? 

  • Is it clear what the stamp means? If not, educate (both consumers and stakeholders). 

  • Is it too general? "Environmentally sustainable" doesn’t stand out. 

  • Incorporate your sustainability-related goals into product design and product cost from the ground up. 

  • Think about placement – make it prominent. 

  • Ensure the product genuinely meets the standards and is not greenwashing. 

  • Review labels regularly to ensure they meet the latest criteria. 

  • Engage stakeholders (including consumers) to stay informed of best practices and trends. 

  • Labelling should be part of a holistic approach which might include reducing waste, sourcing sustainable materials, and minimizing carbon footprint, to complement the certifications. 

  • Follow up: Track impact on sales, brand perception, and consumer engagement. Share the results and findings with stakeholders, including customers, to build trust and credibility.  

As always, preparation is key. We’re here to help, from analysing consumer perceptions and benchmarking brands to follow up and tracking.

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