The European Commission has launched its new Green Consumption Pledge, to inspire people, communities, and organisations to participate in climate action.
The Green Consumption Pledge is part of the European Climate Pact and signifies the promise that companies will make to accelerate their contribution to climate action and a green transition. The Commission’s 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.
Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, 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.”
Colruyt Group, Decathlon, LEGO Group, L’Oréal, and Renewd are the first enterprises 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.
What are these companies pledging to do?
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.
Each participant must calculate the carbon footprint of their 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.
As part of this pact, companies must also calculate the carbon footprint of selected flagship products of the company, to achieve certain footprint reductions for the selected products and disclose the progress to the general public.
Participants also pledge to increase the sale of sustainable products or services and to commit part of the corporate public relations expenditure to the promotion of sustainable practices.
The European Commission also requires all information provided to consumers in relation to the company and product carbon footprints is easy to access, accurate and clear, and that this information is maintained and updated following any reductions or increases of the footprints.