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Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020351

How Eco-Labelling Influences Environmentally Conscious Consumption of Construction Products

International Management of Resources and Environment, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, 09599 Freiberg, Germany
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Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract

Interior wall paints and coatings may evaporate hazardous emissions such as volatile organic compound and formaldehyde. Hence, for these products, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) with information about toxicological and environmental properties and on safe handling practices must be handed out to professional users. However, this obligation does not include end-users which places them at risk. In order to provide a service to the end-users, some German manufacturers issue an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). An EPD is a certificate for a construction product that is based on its Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). This paper investigates potential solutions to direct end-users’ awareness of environmental and health effects of the products they purchase. Therefore, two questionnaire surveys are held on several trade fairs for construction products in Germany. On the one hand, the first survey targets visitors of these trade fairs, i.e., average consumers, or end-users of construction products. On the other hand, the second survey targets participants of these trade fairs that include manufacturers of indoor paints and varnishes as well as companies who use painting pigments in their manufacturing process, e.g., carpet floors and ceramics. The objectives of these surveys were to learn experts’ opinions on the transfer of relevant data, i.e., about health and environmental effects their products might cause, to end-users and compare them to those of the end-users. One of the outcomes of the survey shows that, according to the experts’ survey participants, Environmental Product Declarations are of main interest to make LCAs transparent. Moreover, the paper investigates the perception of one of the most broadly known eco-labels in Germany, the Blue Angel eco-label, by the average consumers. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; Material Safety Data Sheets; Life Cycle Assessment; Environmental Product Declaration; qualitative study; interior paints; Blue Angel eco-label; end-users; expert users sustainability; Material Safety Data Sheets; Life Cycle Assessment; Environmental Product Declaration; qualitative study; interior paints; Blue Angel eco-label; end-users; expert users
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Rochikashvili, M.; Bongaerts, J.C. How Eco-Labelling Influences Environmentally Conscious Consumption of Construction Products. Sustainability 2018, 10, 351.

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