- Latin America / Caribbean
Product lifetime extension (or circular economy), Product sustainability information, Social impact communication
Consumer goods, Food systems, Education
Sectors of activity
Consumer Goods, Education, Food & Beverage
Type of initiative
Education & Awareness Raising, Research, Analysis, Assessment
Type of lead actor
Government / public sector
The main objective of this initiative is to provide science-based, clear, comparable and complete information on the sustainability of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in order to empower consumers and enable them to make well informed, sustainable decisions.
In addition, by empowering consumers to make more sustainable decisions, we intend to incentive producers to improve their production practices in regards to sustainability, raising the sustainability standards of their products. Moreover, we intend to motivate these businesses to generate and provide information of the sustainability attributes of their products.
The specific objectives are:
● To gather and, generate information on the sustainability of the main product categories of FMCG in Chile using a life cycle approach
● To evaluate the sustainability of the main brands of FMCG within the selected categories in Chile using a life cycle approach
● To develop a platform for consumers that is informative, engaging and easy to use and understand.
● To engage and articulate as many stakeholders as possible (state, private sector, trade, universities, NGOs and consumers) in order to maximize the impact of the platform and create synergies with other initiatives.
● To accomplish a massive and engaging diffusion of the app in Chile in order to broaden the access to information on the sustainable attributes of FMCG and to spread the sustainable consumption concept and culture.
The main activities are the following:
1. Consultant committee: We formed a consultant committee with relevant stakeholders that represent the business sector and the consumers including, trade associations, consumer associations and others. The role of the committee is to assess the different activities and decisions of the project, providing the views of the sector they represent. Additionally, they support the project by helping us to engage consumers and producers through different types of diffusion.
2. Methodologies: We have developed a methodology to select the 30 products for this pilot and then we designed a methodology (adapting various existing and validated methodologies) to determine the information that we will evaluate and communicate of each product. With this second methodology, we constructed the data collection tools for each product category and built them into the platform for companies, where they upload and manage their information.
3. Business engagement: We have invited companies to participate through different mechanisms. First we used trade associations to invite their members, then we organized and participated in different events to present the platform, we also organized a linkedIn campaign and finally we approached companies individually. This last method has shown to be the most efective. Also, once we had enough products, we organized a press conference to launch the platform and invite more companies. This was also very effective in getting companies to take more interest.
4. Platform design and development: First we analysed existing similar initiatives in order to determine what aspects we should include in this platform in terms of product selection, information, formats of communication, stakeholders involved, etc. Then we did a Consumer Study, to understand what Chilean consumers understand about sustainability and what are their main interests in this area, as well as how they want to see the information and what the platform should include to engage them. With this results we designed the information and platform for consumers.
5. Pilot and diffusion: Now that we have the platform for consumers ready, we will pilot it with 3 control groups in order to identify improvementes. We are currently in a process of diffusion in Chile through social media.
6. Project evaluation: We are conducting a series of focus groups and interviews with our stakeholders in order to evaluate the project.
Impact and Results
In general terms, the expected long term results of the platform are to boost sustainable consumption and production, as well as increasing awareness and importance of these topics to different stakeholders.
The platform is expected to enhance sustainable consumption of Chilean consumers, by increasing the awareness and understanding of the concept of sustainability and supporting the ability of Chilean consumers to recognise the more sustainable products.
A first step to achieve this is to increase the availability and quality of information on the sustainability of the selected FMCG categories in Chile. By empowering consumers to make more informed decisions and raising awareness of the importance of sustainability, we are expecting them to purchase more sustainable products. With this, we intend to encourage companies to improve and communicate the sustainability of their products.
The platform and methodology used to gather the information also aim to guide companies on how to prioritise actions and advance in terms of sustainability. The evaluation will help them understand what the hotspots of their products are and diagnose which ones need more action. On the other hand, many companies today are starting to implement better practices with regards to the sustainability of their products but they are not successfully communicating this to consumers. This is mainly because many consumers in Chile don´t trust the claims of the company and therefore they need an external validation of these advances in order for consumers to recognise them. This platform aims to do so. Therefore with these incentives we expect companies to progress with regards to their sustainability, improving the standard of the Chilean industry.
Encouraging sustainable production and consumption to others different than consumers and producers is highly relevant to the project. This will be done by incorporating different stakeholders in the decision making of the creation of the platform and the other products of this project, through the consultant committee and different meetings. These different actors help provide a more receptive environment for sustainability. We collaborate with the public sector in order to incorporate this in the national agenda (it is included in the Consumer information action line of the National SCP program). We collaborate with consumer associations, which help educate and inform consumers and to trade associations, which help guide companies.
Next steps and how to get involved
We are currently looking for funding opportunities to implement all the insights and learnings we have had in the past two years. We have prooved interest of companies and consumers, but adjustments have to be made for it to scale-up.
Also we are looking to share our experience and insights with similar initiatives or organizations with similar goals in order to take advantage of all the learnings of this project.