Euroconsumers fully supports the European Commission’s Green Consumption Pledges. The collaborative approach promoted by the Green Pledges between consumers and companies to achieve sustainability is anchored within the DNA of Euroconsumers. Last month, Euroconsumers had the opportunity to set out its consumer-driven and Approved by Tomorrow approach during a Green Pledges event hosted by the European Commission.
What are the Green Pledges?
The Green Consumption Pledges are an initiative by the European Commission. They are envisioned as additional ways to achieve sustainability goals. Launched in January 2021 under the New Consumer Agenda, the initiative’s objective is to encourage companies to become more sustainable, both in their operations as in the goods and services they sell. Wilful companies that chose to comply with the Green Pledges do so by setting themselves a number of concrete targets which can be divided into two categories:
The reduction of their environmental footprint
The first commitment of such companies is to calculate their carbon footprints as well as that of their flagship products. This in order to consequently reduce the company’s environmental footprint.
Provide consumers with key information
The other commitment deals with the need to strengthen consumer awareness and information, so that consumers have the necessary data to take enlightened decisions. Companies do so by engaging in sustainable practices and clearly informing consumers about the environmental footprint of the company and its products. Companies are also free to add additional pledges as they see fit.
The philosophy of the Green Pledges
With these Green Consumption Pledges, the European Commission acknowledges the key role of businesses to ensure the green transition actually happens. Particularly when it comes to facilitating greener consumption. The Green Pledges are an innovative tool that adds another dimension to the sustainability landscape. However, in order for the Pledges to gain trust and reach their maximum potential, Euroconsumers calls for a stronger involvement of consumers and consumer organisations.
The green transition cannot happen without consumers
The vision of the European Commission coincides with Euroconsumers’ observation that consumers need correct information to achieve the green transition. We know that consumers are aching to engage in the green transition and take an active part in it. They want to tackle climate change, and they want to make sustainable choices. The problem is that they very often do not know how. And this is where the Green Pledges can help.
Consumers are frequently lost when making their decisions. They are bombarded with true and false claims about products and have no way to determine what is actually sustainable and what is just greenwashing. They have no way to know which products are durable and repairable. And still too often they don’t have access to convenient, affordable and sustainable alternatives. These are all crucial domains in which collaboration with responsible business players would be invaluable.
A necessary cooperation with businesses
Nevertheless, well informed and empowered consumers are key to the green transition. Well informed and empowered consumers are also happy and returning customers. We need companies to make strong commitments to give consumers the tools they need to make the right decisions and offer them valuable alternatives. In a collaborative and positive relationship with each other, the success of companies can only benefit from involving consumers' perspectives. By joining forces as true partners, challenging each other and learning from each other, businesses and consumers can co-create solutions and develop innovative sustainable products in a way that works for consumers, businesses and the planet. It’s about finding the win-win.
Euroconsumers stands ready to support the Green Pledges initiative
Euroconsumers stands ready to help the European Commission include consumer needs in reaching its sustainability goals. Consumers and businesses are in it together. That is why we also want to invite current and future pledging companies to involve consumers in their pledges. Euroconsumers is perfectly placed to represent its 1.5 million consumer-members, and translate its expertise and the consumer’s viewpoints to companies who want to make informed, consumer-empowering and consumer-approved Green Consumption Pledges.
All initiatives that help achieve a trustworthy framework for consumers are welcome
Euroconsumers believes that there isn’t one silver bullet to reach the goal of a more sustainable economy and society. Challenges are huge. We need all legislation, enforcement, and voluntary agreements that will contribute to ensure consumers get the trustworthy framework they need. All sorts of initiatives should be taken as far as they contribute to creating a well-functioning market of sustainable products and services.
Euroconsumers presented consumers’ view during the event of the Commission on Green Pledges
Last month, Euroconsumers was present to share its expertise and views at the Commission’s Green Pledges event. We took this opportunity to advocate for a green transition which places consumers at its heart. Euroconsumers said that whatever well-crafted initiatives are taken, they cannot reach the intended results without having consumers on board. Consumers have the power and the critical mass to steer the market towards a greener path, and make the green transition happen. That’s why consumers need to be empowered. Policy and business stakeholders just have to let them become a driving force towards a more sustainable future that is Approved By Tomorrow.