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Customer response to carbon labelling of groceries
Journal of Consumer Policy: Special issue on Putting Sustainable Consumption into Practice
  • Jerome K Vanclay, Southern Cross University
  • John Shortiss, East Ballina Foodworks
  • Scott Aulsebrook, Southern Cross University
  • Angus M Gillespie, Southern Cross University
  • Ben C Howell, Southern Cross University
  • Rhoda Johanni, Southern Cross University
  • Michael J Maher, Southern Cross University
  • Kelly M Mitchell, Southern Cross University
  • Mark D Stewart, Southern Cross University
  • Jim Yates, Southern Cross University
Document Type
Publication Date
Peer Reviewed
Thirty-seven products were labelled to indicate embodied carbon emissions, and sales were recorded over a 3-month period. Green (below average), yellow (near average), and black (above average) footprints indicated carbon emissions embodied in groceries. The overall change in purchasing pattern was small, with black-labelled sales decreasing 6% and green-labelled sales increasing 4% after labelling. However, when green-labelled products were also the cheapest, the shift was more substantial, with a 20% switch from black- to green-label sales. These findings illustrate the potential for labelling to stimulate reductions in carbon emissions.
Citation Information

Post-print of: Vanclay, JK, Shortiss, J, Aulsebrook, S, Gillespie, AM, Howell, BC, Johanni, R, Maher, MJ, Mitchell, KM, Stewart, MD & Yates, J 2011, 'Customer response to carbon labelling of groceries', Journal of Consumer Policy: Special issue on Putting Sustainable Consumption into Practice.

The original online publication is available at,