Labelling programs seek first to encourage a move towards more environmentally friendly consumption patterns, and second to induce productive structures, governments and other agents to increase the environmental standards of the products and services in the economy. This paper is devoted to revising the relevant literature on the issue. We divide the topic into three areas: (i) the study of demand, where most of the information available on the demand for labelled goods is presented; (ii) the study of supply, devoted to the analysis and summary of the information available in the literature and finally (iii) the market and trade impacts of labelling programmes, where the research carried out so far is carefully presented. The paper reveals the lack of proper and conclusive research to date, as well as the complexity of the topic of research. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and ERP Environment.