POLICY AND ECONOMY
Track 8.3. Lifetime Labelling
Kirsi Laitala, Consumption Research Norway (SIFO), Oslo Metropolitan University
Product lifetime labelling can contribute to increasing the service life of products through multiple pathways. It can steer the producers’ focus to the use phase of the items during design and manufacturing, thus supporting design selections that enable longer lifetimes through the choice of materials, manufacturing techniques and supporting services beyond the point of sales. Both voluntary and obligatory policies can be used to regulate the market, such as which criteria are set for products that are allowed to be sold, and the type of information that must be available. Further, labelling helps consumers in the decision-making process to choose products based on their expected service life, but also later if the expectations are not fulfilled and there is a need to file a complaint.
Criteria for lifetime labelling can include aspects beyond the physical durability, such as the potential for upgradability, reparability and reuse. Product lifetime is determined both by the consumer’s willingness to keep the product in use and by the physical and functional durability of the product. Research indicates that consumers’ perceptions of these types of labels are usually positive, but they may also have unintended negative associations. For example, labelling information about repairability can be connected with an assumption that the product is more likely to break down than products without such label.
This session welcomes papers on all aspects related to lifetime labelling including policy development, lifetime measurement and control, as well as consumer perceptions and the decision-making process.