• Kasper Sørensen
4. Term, Sustainable Design (M.SC) (Master Programme)
This thesis has explored how to express climate friendliness of food through a food label and the challenges which are associated with trying to do so. First a general investigation of food labels and similar solutions were conducted, which revealed that although there were plenty of different market devices and heuristics, which could guide the consumer’s choice, however these can be misleading due to a discrepancy between what is inscribed in the label and how the consumers describe the very same label. The potential for a different market device, which could express climate intensity of a specific product, was identified.
This thesis relies on the theories of actor network-theories, valuation frames and semi-structured interviews, which in turn was used to employ a translation approach, an analysis of the journey from public issue towards market opportunities and a coding and analysis of the conducted interviews.
The translation strategy was partially successful through its problematization, which showed that the actors in the proposed network each had their own specific problems and that an obligatory passage point could possibly be designed to mitigate these through the usage of a CO2e food label.
The valuation frame perspective gave an insight into the constellation of valuation frame, value architecture and the business model. It revealed, that the revenue stream of this concept would be carried by consumers, and therefore those very consumers were crucial for the success of such a label.
Through the interviews, it was learned that consumers orient themselves using heuristics, such as a label, gathered knowledge, packaging and that these consumers already tried to select climate friendly food using their available knowledge as best as possible. All the interviewed consumers responded positively towards the design concept, however it was also noted that climate friendliness was a supplementary quality and not the determining factor in selection, which rather was price and taste.
Based the findings, a design solution for expressing climate friendliness through CO2 equivalence was developed, which aims to affords consumers with an easily understood relative green-red scale based on product grouping in addition to the absolute CO2 equivalence. The quality of CO2e is intended to act as a boundary object between business, so that the can both communicate and compete on this new parameter of climate friendliness. A network is proposed to handle and implement the CO2e label.
Finally, the major barriers for implementing such as food label were found to be
• Stabilizing the quality of CO2e
• Cost of producing numbers
• Assembling and maintaining the network
There must be consensus of the framing of this new quality, i.e. what is inscribed in the CO2e, which is best achieved by agreeing on a framework for calculating the CO2e, which is fair, transparent and comparable between different products. The cost of producing the numbers will be carried by the consumers and thus must be justifiable, and it may be reasonable to lower the degree of accuracy to achieve this. Finally, it is essentially that a network is established and maintained to collaborate around this concept to build trustworthiness for the label and share the workload amongst themselves.
Publication date30 Mar 2017
Number of pages70
ID: 254681133