Encouraging sustainable behaviour in the wine market : the effect of carbon labeling on the choice of wine contained in climate-smart packaging
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- Master Thesis 
The purpose of this study is to investigate if carbon labels can be used to encourage consumers to act more sustainably in the wine market. As most of the CO2-emissions of a bottle of wine are linked to the packaging, encouraging consumers to choose products contained in climate-smart packaging can have a big impact on the total CO2 emissions related to the wine market. The study was conducted through an experiment where the behaviour of one control group and two treatment groups were compared. The sample was asked to choose from a selection of 12 wines in a web shop, where half of the wines were contained in climate-smart packaging. The two treatment groups were exposed to a web shop that either used binary carbon labeling or graded carbon labeling. Our aim was to map the effect carbon labeling has on consumer behaviour, being whether the consumer would choose wine contained in climate-smart packaging or not. We also tested which carbon labeling had the greater effect, by comparing binary carbon labeling to graded carbon labeling. The results of the study show that carbon labeling overall has a positive effect on the respondents’ intention of purchasing products contained in climate-smart packaging. We found that compared to the control group, graded carbon labeling had a statistically significant positive effect on the respondents' intention of purchasing products contained in climate-smart packaging. This was not the case for binary carbon labeling. Additionally, we did not find a statistically significant difference between the effect of the graded and the binary carbon labeling. When testing for the moderating effects of habit, environmental concern, and socio-demographics, we only found age to have a significant moderating effect when looking at the overall effect of the carbon labels. Lastly, when looking into the carbon labels’ moderating effect on subjective norms’ effect on intention of choosing climate-smart packaging, we did not find any statistically significant relationships between the variables. The study has implications for actors in the wine market that wish to communicate the carbon footprint of their products to their consumers. The type of carbon labeling that should be employed depends on which kind of carbon labeling the actor currently has in place. Graded carbon labeling will have the most effect for an actor that does not already have carbon labeling in place. If an actor has binary carbon labeling in place, we do not have the basis to claim that they should make the switch to graded carbon labeling.