What is Consumer Information for Sustainable Consumption?
Any tools or systems that seek to guide consumers to make more sustainable choices about goods and services (products), including in their use and end of life phase.
This takes many forms, from labels on products; to advertising, marketing, and public and third sector awareness-raising campaigns; to communications between peers via social media or family and friend networks.
This includes ecolabels, voluntary standards, product declarations, ratings, marketing claims, foot printing, life-cycle assessments, etc. and other ways of communicating with consumers on environmental and social issues connected to products. They may focus on a single issue, or follow a life cycle approach considering the impacts of every stage of the product development process, including how a product is used and how it is treated responsibly at end-of-life.
Why is there a One Planet Network (10YFP) Programme on Consumer Information?
Research indicates that the demand for sustainable goods and services is high and growing, but consumers often remain unable to make informed choices, or simply do not act according to their intentions. Key reasons for this include a lack of transparency, incomplete or unreliable information, and the proliferation of labels and standards, which complicate the comparison of information.
The importance of providing reliable information is recognised in target 12.8 of the Sustainable Development Goals: "by 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature".
For whom is this programme relevant?
We seek to engage all stakeholders in the supply chain, to encourage collective action. This includes:
- Businesses: to use evidence and consumer demand to identify and reduce negative impacts of goods and services on the environment and supply chain workers, and to provide reliable consumer information.
- Retailers: to voluntarily commit to promoting more sustainable products, providing better information to consumers and reducing negative environmental and social impacts over their supply chains.
- Governments: to stimulate the development of operating markets for sustainable products, and the use of information tools including labels and other incentives to foster sustainable consumption.
- Consumers and consumer associations: to call for and ensure that relevant, transparent and reliable information on the sustainability of goods and services is available to facilitate purchasing decisions.
“Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) has been pursuing its Vision in India, that 'Businesses integrate Sustainability into their Core Business Practices'. Being an emerging economy, dialogues and actions on Business Responsibility in India has to balance all three elements of economic, social and environmental sustainability. CRB's interest in being part of the One Planet Network was prompted by our keenness to understand from other organisations and countries, globally, on how this balance could be achieved. India has a fast growing consumer base, comprising a burgeoning middle class, hence the need to promote policy and actions on sustainable consumption and production. CRB is privileged to be part of the Consumer Information Programme of the Network, which is helping us understand, how as an organisation we could evolve and be better equipped to contribute to this need.”