Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information in E-commerce – Three Dimensions of Sustainability
This 2-pager outlines how the principle of Three Dimensions of Sustainability from the Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information (UNEP & ITC, 2017) can be applied to the e-commerce setting. It describes common obstacles, recommendations how to ensure Three Dimensions of Sustainability, Dos and Don’ts and a good practice example.
Unsustainable patterns of consumption and production are at the heart of the three planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
It is therefore of great importance to encourage more sustainable consumption and production. The Consumer Information Programme aims to support efforts towards achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 12 through the provision of more credible sustainability information to encourage behaviour changes towards more sustainable consumption and production.
Online shopping has grown significantly over the last few year and this trend has been further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It therefore becomes more and more important to provide consumers with accurate sustainability information to enable more sustainable choices. Currently, information about the sustainability performance of products and services is often lacking or not well substantiated in the e-commerce sector.
This guidance material developed by UNEP and adelphi under the umbrella of the One Planet network Consumer Information Programme, aims to help e-commerce platforms to improve the sustainability information they provide to consumers online to enable more sustainable consumption choices. Also on the production side, a demand for better consumer information can be a lever to encourage producers to provide more data on the sustainability performance of their products and services and incentizive improvements that they can then communicate to the consumer.
The guidance provides businesses with recommendations and good practice examples on how to adequately convene the sustainability information of products and services they sell and/or advertise. To help consumers make more informed choices, online retailers and e-commerce platforms must improve on how to effectively communicate the sustainable attributes of products and services traded online.