Eco-labelling in Austria and Lithuania: a Comparative Study
At the end of the last century a number of environmental laws, technical regulations and normative documents were created. At the same time there appeared the combination of such concepts as “business“, “environment- oriented activity“, “sustainable development“, “continuous development“ and “sustainable product management“ in scientific articles. Country‘s economic and social development should be oriented according to sustainable development principle in the way that current satisfaction of consumer needs would not reduce the possibilities of satisfying the needs of generations to come. Austria and Lithuania signed the declaration containing this point together with other countries in Rio De Janeiro in 1992. Every state must have an environmental policy, which links all development strategies of economy branches and territories.
Eco-labelling of products and services is part of environment- oriented activity and sustainable product management. Eco-label is an important product quality indicator. Eco-certification and eco-labelling are considered as instrument within the European strategy of Integrated Product Policy to achieve more sustainable consumption patterns. It is possible that the increased demand for green products and services from informed consumers will induce enterprises to supply markets with more environmentally friendly products.
The main purpose of this work is to analyze and generalize the practice of products and services ecocertification and eco-labelling in the world as well as to identify their better possibilities of usage in Lithuania and in Austria. The article uses the following methods: comparative and systematic analysis of scientific literature, survey of Austrian and Lithuanian enterprises and markets, mathematical statistics, interviewing experts, managers and consumers. Special parallel investigations have been performed to assess the status in Austria and Lithuania with the purpose to define consumer and manufacturer attitudes and preferences upon ecological products. The comparative study also includes the range of awarded products and services in both countries and the structure of enterprises taking part in national ecolabelling schemes. In a next step the information of consumers in both countries on labels and awarded products will be analysed. Factors of success and failures in the spreading of eco-labelling shall be worked out as a result of the comparative study.