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Consumer Information for SCP Programme

Product Sustainability Information

Your single source for guidance around Product Sustainability Information!

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This webpage gathers initiatives, knowledge tools, and projects around the communication of product sustainability. Here, you can also have access to the results of the Road Testing of the Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information and its associated case studies - that have been published here as we finalize them.

The primary objective of the 'Product Sustainability Information Hub' is to provide the network of the Consumer Information Programme with information and news on what is being developed on the topic.

Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information

The Guidelines aim to set a common ground for effective product sustainability information to consumers. The document includes 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 can be applied in developed and developing countries, and by companies of all sizes. 

Video: Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information

In order to help them achieve more effective and reliable communication with consumers, UNEP and the Akatu Institute developed a video presenting the Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information. The video presents the 10 principles that make up the Guidelines and provides concrete examples for each of them.

Guidelines Application to E-Commerce

UNEP and adelphi also developed a supplement to the Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information that applies the ten principles to the e-commerce setting. A two-pager outlining how each principle can be applied to the e-commerce setting has been published. It describes common obstacles, recommendations how to ensure Reliability, Dos and Don’ts and a good practice example.

  1. Reliability
  2. Relevance
  3. Clarity
  4. Transparency
  5. Accessibility
  6. Three Dimensions of Sustainability
  7. Behaviour Change and Longer Term Impacts
  8. Multi-Channel and Innovative Approach
  9. Collaboration
  10. Comparability

Training Webinars and Workshops on 'Communicating Product Sustainability'

In order to raise awareness and build capacity on the Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information, the Consumer Information Programme offers tailor made trainings on how to best communicate product sustainability information. During the trainings, participants are guided through the 10 high-level principles of the Guidelines and discuss a hypothetical advertising to consider its positive and negative elements against the Guidelines. Participants are sensitized on what to look out for when providing such information (as a company), when receiving and validating it (as a consumer or civil society), or when setting institutional or policy frameworks around the issue (as a government or standard/ labelling body).

Are you interested in organising your own workshop around the Guidelines?

Download here the Train the Trainers!

Self-Assessment Tool

If you are interested in self-assessing and improving the way you are communicating with consumers about product sustainability (through marketing claims, labels, voluntary standards, product declarations, etc.), this complimentary benchmarking tool is for you! This tool serves as a checklist following the Guidelines’ 10 principles and allows you to analyse one specific product’s sustainability information (a claim) of your choice (existing or in development) at a time. 

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN ASSESSING YOUR CLAIM AGAINST THE GUIDELINES?

The Guidelines self-assessment tool can also be downloaded as a PDF document in English and Spanish

Ready to Drive the Market:

Experiences from Road Testing the Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information.

This report complements the Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information by offering insights into the practical application of the Guidelines’ ten principles, based on the outcomes of a global road testing exercise that was held from January to June 2018. This document presents results, challenges and lessons learned throughout this process, and is complemented by a number of case studies around the practical application of the Guidelines’ principles by companies and standard-setting organizations: the so-called road testers. You can read this publication here

Real-life Case Studies

The case studies are published here as they are finalised. Our objective with these case studies is to share a practical and didactic application of the Guidelines' principles by companies and standard-setters. The One Planet network does not endorse any of the products or claims presented in these case studies in any way or for any purpose. Quality and quality control are the sole responsibility of the organizations which self-assessed the way they communicate with consumers.

These case studies were developed as an activity of the project “Driving sustainable consumption in Latin America with better product information and design” (ICSAL), carried out by UNEP and funded by the European Union. The aim is to support the companies to comply with the fundamental and aspirational principles of the Guidelines, to effectively communicate their sustainability claims, and to disseminate successful communication practices.

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​An estimated half a billion chargers are shipped for portable devices in Europe each year – and many of these are duplicates...

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European consumers lack the means to improve the durability of their products. In addition to harming the environment by...

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The product lifetime work of the Consumer Information Programme is led by UN Environment and Akatu Institute and funded by...

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The product lifetime work of the Consumer Information Programme is led by UN Environment and Akatu Institute and funded by...

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The product lifetime work of the Consumer Information Programme is led by UN Environment and Akatu Institute and funded by...

Research reports applying the Guidelines

The Consumer Information Programme has developed and supported research reports that applied the principles of the Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information to product sustainability information provided to consumers. Two such studies have been published so far: one on plastic packaging and one on garments and textiles. We encourage others to follow the methodology outlined in these reports and apply it to other sectors or product categories to assess the sustainability information according to the Guidelines' principles and make recommendations how to better align provided sustainability information with our guidance.

Knowledge item

If you are working on product sustainability information, or if you are aware of a relevant initiative that should be linked up here, please reach out to us!

The Consumer Information Programme is running a working group that brings together experts and stakeholders in product sustainability information to implement the Guidelines. Find more information and how to get involved here.

Other Guidance Documents

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The product lifetime work of the Consumer Information Programme is led by UN Environment and Akatu Institute and funded by...

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The report provides three policy perspectives, two for developed and one for developing countries, for designing measures to...

The Guidelines have offered us a clear learning on how to communicate the sustainability attributes of our products to consumers and the exercise was a turning point for a deep reflection on such communication.

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