European Commission launches Green Consumption Pledge, first companies commit to concrete actions towards greater sustainability
The European Commission yesterday launched its new Green Consumption Pledge, the first initiative delivered under the New Consumer Agenda. The Green Consumption Pledge is part of the European Climate Pact which is an EU-wide initiative inviting people, communities and organisations to participate in climate action and build a greener Europe. With their signatures, companies promise to accelerate their contribution to a green transition. The pledges have been developed in a joint effort between the Commission and companies. Their aim is to accelerate the contribution of businesses to a sustainable economic recovery and to build consumer trust in the environmental performance of companies and products. Colruyt Group, Decathlon, LEGO Group, L'Oréal and Renewd are the first pioneering enterprises that are participating in this pilot project. The functioning of the Green Consumption Pledges will be assessed in a year from now, before next steps are taken.
Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, yesterday said:
“Empowering consumers to make green choices – that is what we set out to do last autumn, when we published the New Consumer Agenda. For informed choices, consumers need more transparency on the carbon footprint and sustainability of products. This is what today's initiative is about. I therefore warmly welcome the five companies to the Green Pledge and I applaud them on their commitment to go beyond what is required by law. I look forward to working with many more companies, so we can boost further sustainable consumption in the EU.”
The Green Consumption Pledge is based on a set of five core pledges. To join it, companies commit to ambitious actions to improve their environmental impact and to help consumers make more sustainable purchases. They have to take concrete measures in at least three of the five pledge areas and they need to prove their progress with data that they then make public. Each pledging company will work with the Commission in complete transparency to ensure that the progress is reliable and verifiable. The five core pledge areas are the following:
- Calculate the carbon footprint of the company, including its supply chain, using the calculation methodology or environmental management scheme developed by the Commission, and establish proper due diligence processes towards achieving footprint reductions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Calculate the carbon footprint of selected flagship products of the company, using the methodology developed by the Commission, and to achieve certain footprint reductions for the selected products and disclose the progress to the general public.
- Increase the sale of sustainable products or services within the total sales of the company or its selected business part.
- Commit part of the corporate public relations expenditure to the promotion of sustainable practices in line the Commission's implementation of the European Green Deal policies and actions.
- Ensure information provided to consumers in relation to the company and product carbon footprints is easy to access, accurate and clear, and maintain this information up-to-date following any reductions or increases of the footprints.
The Green Consumption Pledge initiative focuses on non-food products and it is complementary to the Code of Conduct that is launched tomorrow, 26 January, as part of the Farm to Fork strategy. The Code of Conduct will bring together stakeholders from the food system to make commitments for responsible business and marketing practices.
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