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Report - Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information in E-commerce

  • Published on November 15, 2022

This report presents five fundamental and five aspirational principles in e-commerce regarding how to promote and support sustainable consumption. It also gives an overview of the status quo and an outlook with explicit practical tips included.

The spread of e-commerce companies and the convenient online shopping does not only make life easier and quicker but the value chain of the product has significantly changed, in terms of packaging and delivering, that puts increased pressure on the environment. Beside transforming production, packaging and shipping practices, web-shops can present/display an enlarged amount of product information that enhance a mindful decision of consumers. Yet, too much information can easily become overwhelming if not provided carefully. In addition, sustainability is often a confusing issue for the supply as well as the demand side, and the communication of it requires specific attributes and knowledge to avoid “greenwashing” and misuse of green claims. A tool that can be used to resolve these issues is the ten principles developed by UNEP and adelphi for e-commerce companies on how to communicate product sustainability information and encourage conscious decisions based on reliable claims. 

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