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Towards a more sustainable planet: Consumers International renews its co-leadership under the One Planet Network

21 December 2018

Consumers International is delighted to announce its renewal as a co-lead of the Consumer Information Programme under the One Planet Network. The One Planet Network is the network of the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, working together to achieve Goal 12 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

What is the Consumer Information Programme?

Consumers International co-leads the Consumer Information for Sustainable Consumption & Production (CI-SCP) Programme, one of six programmes under the One Planet Network. The other co-leads are the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

The CI-SCP Programme aims to support the provision of quality information on goods and services to enable consumers to make choices that to lead to more sustainable consumption and production. Consumer information includes ecolabels, claims made in advertising and marketing, voluntary standards, product declarations, and many more examples.

Why is sustainable consumption important?

The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development set out 17 goals for the world to meet by 2030. Sustainable consumption and production are enshrined in Goal 12 and their inclusion in the Agenda shows the significant role that consumption has on the planet. Indeed, the concerning effects of our consumption of natural resources is revealed by Earth Overshoot Day: the day of the year when humanity has consumed more of the Earth's resources than can naturally renew in a year. The date is getting earlier each year and if everyone in the world lived a similar lifestyle to an average US citizen we would need 4 Earth’s to allow this.

Achieving sustainable consumption and production will also help to achieve many of the other Sustainable Development Goals and mean a more equitable world.

What is the role of Consumers International?

As a co-lead of the CI-SCP Programme, Consumers International helps to lead and manage the programme, driving its agenda, coordinating workstreams in line with the One Planet Secretariat’s strategy One Plan for One Planet. Consumers International provides one full-time staff member, Naomi Scott-Mearns our Sustainable Consumption Manager, to undertake the daily tasks needed to support programme operation and management and to represent Consumers International in international forums, including the High-Level Political Forum.

Our role as co-lead has been renewed for four years. Since 2014, we have helped to shape the agenda around consumer information for sustainable consumption and production and key publications have included the Guidelines for Communicating Product Sustainability and The Long View – Exploring Product Lifetime Extension. The Guidelines were acknowledged at the UN Environment Assembly, linking to the topic of pollution. We want to continue our work on sustainable consumption and also bring the other work of our membership in closer collaboration with the programme.

The digital agenda and sustainability have many close links and there is huge potential for digital technologies to encourage more sustainable consumption. The CI-SCP Programme has supported work on developing smartphone apps for informing consumers of the sustainability of household goods in Chile, as well as some research into consumers in new economies and their views on sustainability – this was led by our member, OCU.

We are looking forward to the next four years! If you have any questions about the programme or would like to know how you can get involved, please contact Naomi Scott-Mearns.