The main output of this working group is the 'Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information'. The objective of this report is to enable and encourage the providers of information to enhance the way they communicate with consumers on the sustainability aspects of products, ultimately directly addressing SDG target 12.8. In 2018, the Guidelines were tested by 28 private sector organizations (companies and standard-setters) during the 'road testing' exercise.

Implemented in

  • Africa
  • Asia / Pacific
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Latin America / Caribbean
  • Middle East
  • North America

Sector of activity
Consumer Goods

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Education & Awareness Raising, Policy Frameworks & Tools

Type of lead actor
United Nations / intergovernmental organizations

Start date
29/06/2015

End date
31/12/2017

Shared by

10YFP CI-SCP Coordination Desk

Coordination Desk

10YFP CI-SCP

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Objectives

The Guidelines aim to address the underlying causes of information overload, consumer confusion and mistrust, and ultimately create a level playing field to enhance consumer awareness, ease and uptake of sustainable choices during the purchase, use/re-use, disposal and recycling phases of products.

The Guidelines include a comprehensive set of high-level principles for users to follow, and guidance on how to apply them. They cover fundamental and aspirational approaches and aim to be useful for developed and developing countries, and implementable in companies of all sizes.

The development of the Guidelines is supported by the project “Advancing and measuring sustainable consumption and production (SCP) for a low-carbon economy in newly industrialised countries (Advance SCP)”, part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.

Activities

The Guidelines were developed through an inclusive consultation building process under a working group (WG) of the Consumer Information Programme. The Guidelines were reviewed in a global online consultation by over 80 stakeholders.

In 2018, the Guidelines were tested by 28 private sector organizations (companies and standard-setters), including both SMEs and multinational companies, representing 12 industry sectors, from all world regions. Case studies from the road testers have been developed throughout 2019.

As of March 2019, 10 Workshops around the Guidelines were organised across the world: Brazil, Germany, China, Sri Lanka, France, Chile, Peru, Hong Kong, Thailand, Switzerland; and the Guidelines were presented in 8 events and conferences: New York, France, Germany, Spain, India, Ukraine, Costa Rica.

Impact and Results

The Guidelines are building upon, and referring back to, existing initiatives and materials. An effort was made to include all relevant actors in the WG. The road testing phase allowed for a review of the Guidelines in different sectors and regions and to work towards global understanding and agreement on the provision of product sustainability information to consumers.

The results of the road testing are shared in the publication ‘Ready to Drive the Market – Experiences from Road Testing the Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information’.

Next steps and how to get involved

Moving from the testing phase, the implementation phase will focus on bringing the Guidelines forward as a practical tool that contributes to the implementation of SDG 12 in an effective way. If you have an questions please do not hesitate to contact ciscp@un.org.