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Producer’s Self-Declared Wind Energy ECO-Labeling Consequences on the Market: A Canadian Case Study

Clare D’Souza () and Emmanuel Yiridoe
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Clare D’Souza: School of Business, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Marketing, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3083, Australia

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 5, 1-15

Abstract: The demand for environmental labels is increasingly becoming important for consumers to differentiate products and to make an informed choice. This study reports the findings of a business case study in Nova Scotia (Canada) that demonstrates how renewable wind energy and wind labeling can extend the competitive advantage of a producer. By using qualitative case study techniques, the study generates evidence which suggests on the firm level that wind energy and labelling influences competitive advantage of firms, can dictate a premium price, can differentiate products, yet achieve a low-cost advantage. Wind labels also have the potential to drive the supply chain’s environmental value to the consumer as the end user by requiring the distribution chain to follow good environmental practices. On the consumer level, in terms of label information, whereby product qualities cannot be evaluated by a search prior to purchase or by experience after purchase, eco-friendliness of the product can take predominance. Not all consumers will buy eco-friendly eggs; instead, there are other factors that drive consumers, such as their opinions towards wind technology, consumer psychographics, personality, and other behavioural determinants and, hence, attract a strong niche market. Finally, for the trust in labels, though the producer does not have third party accreditation, the labels work for them, through the means-end chain analysis where egoistic and altruistic intentions persuade environmental behaviour. As such, this study highlights the probability that in principle, there appears to be an opportunity for wind labelling to be successful; in practice, wind labelling is bound to attract a particular niche market through differentiation strategies.

Keywords: environmental labelling; wind energy labels; competitive advantage; premium price; product differentiation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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