Green Buyers, Taxes based on Environmental Friendliness, and Carbon Footprint Labels on Products in the EU

In the results of a “Eurobarometer” survey recently released by the EU, we can see some progression in the evolution of green consumerism. EU citizens are taking the environment into account when purchasing products, according to the survey. They are also interested in putting carbon footprint labels on products. And what about green taxes?

In the survey, a large majority of EU citizens (83%) said that “the impact of a product on the environment plays an important aspect in their purchasing decisions.” At the high end, 92% of Greeks said this, and at the “low” end, 62% of Czechs said this.

For some reason, however, only a little less than half (46%) of the population believed that the best way to promote environmentally friendly products would be to put a higher tax on environmentally unfriendly products and a lower tax on environmentally friendly products. Perhaps this is because they think it is unfair, or perhaps it is just because they don’t think it would be the most effective method for influencing people and companies to go green. Nonetheless, 46% is still a pretty high percentage and shows a possibility for future changes in the tax structure of various products in the EU.


Another 31% of the population believed that the best way for retailers to promote green products was just to give consumers more information on the products. This seems to show a faith in the environmental concern and action of people in the EU and a belief that if people have more information they will make the right choices.

Carbon Footprint Labels Wanted

A large proportion (72%) of the people surveyed said that they thought a “label indicating a product’s carbon footprint should be mandatory in the future.” This would be a good, overall indicator of a product’s green-friendliness that consumers could easily look at to compare products. This was favored much more so than putting the greenhouse gas emissions of a product on the environmental label, something which received only 10% of support. Again, the Greeks were the most supportive (90%) and the Czechs were the least supportive (47%) of the carbon footprint label.

For more information on eco-labeling, green consumerism, and sustainable production in the EU, read the EU’s recent press release on these topics.

Image credit: thegreenpages via flickr under a Creative Commons license

  • russ

    It would be necessary to see how the questions were phrased and sequenced to know if it is real or a typical euro study.

    You can easily get most any reply you want with a little thought.