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The Sustainable Consumer

This World Consumer Rights Day (15 March 2020), consumer organisations around the world are joining together to call for global changes to avert environmental breakdown.  

We urgently need drastic action to address the global crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. The decade of the 2020s is our last chance to limit global warming to 1.5c since pre-industrial times, in line with the Paris Agreement and to reverse the current trend of wide-scale biodiversity loss. 

The consumer movement will highlight the lifestyle changes consumers can make to play their part, and what governments and businesses need to do to make sustainability the easy choice for consumers.

If you would like to learn more about this year's topic and campaign you can download our public campaign outline, or read our blog; Five Trends Driving Progress Towards Sustainable Consumption. 

About the theme

Millions are already feeling the effects of climate change. Consumers have a vital role to play. Firstly, through their purchasing power  a global study found that 66% of consumers say they’re willing to pay more for sustainable brands (a figure that rises to 73% for Millennials). But also, through their ability to push for system change in supply chains or changes in regulation. Consumers are already making changes to their lifestyle to be more sustainable – recycling, reducing food waste and avoiding unsustainable products, and they can make a bigger impact with further support from businesses and governments. A recent survey found 37% don’t know how they can help tackle climate change and 59% feel they do not get enough support from governments, and 51% from business.

Governments and businesses must also act to give consumers the information, choice and the infrastructure they need to live more sustainable lives. Consumers are critical to the success of any transition to more sustainable consumption but they cannot do it alone.

Gen Z - a vital generation

Young people are a key focus for World Consumer Rights Day. They are the face of climate activism – Greta Thunberg is 17-years-old, school children are striking against climate, Extinction Rebellion Youth protestors are in their teens and twenties.

A survey of 10,000 people aged 18-25 in 22 countries around the world, found that climate change was their most pressing concern.

Our members will be going into schools, colleges and universities to talk to young people about sustainable consumption and ask them what they want to see from governments and businesses. 

Be part of our campaign

This World Consumer Rights Day is our chance to make the biggest impact possible. Climate change is a global challenge that requires coordinated and global solutions. Working together, our voices calling for change are far more powerful than they would be alone.

See below ways to be part of the #SustainableConsumer campaign: 

Plan activities for March 15

Across the globe, 15 March will be marked in different ways, from awareness events in schools to stakeholder events and press briefings to advocacy campaigns targeting specific system changes. Whatever your planning we want to know! Email our dedicated team at wcrd@consint.org, or if you are a member please speak to your Regional Networker so you can be featured on our Interactive Map. 

Stay informed

Be the first to receive campaign updates and resources in the run-up to March 15, by signing up for our email news services

Campaign on social media

Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest announcements about the day. Be part of the conversation on the day, and share your campaign updates or messages for change using #SustainableConsumer. You can also download our free social media pack, and share ready-made tweets using our Click To Tweet wall below. 

Blog series

We have asked experts from around the world to give us their views on key issues driving sustainable consumption. We will launch the blogs in the run-up to 15 March, starting at the beginning of February. See below for the blogs released so far. 

#1: What's your action to tackle climate change?

In a world stretched thin for resources and under the threat of global climate change, how can we enact change?

As part of our blog series for World Consumer Rights Day, we asked thought leaders across the world to provide insight into the campaign theme 'The Sustainable Consumer'. 

Garrette E. Clark from the UN Environment (UNEP) writes about how important consumers are in the transition to a more sustainable world. 

Read blog

#2: What motivates consumers to act sustainably?

What percentage of people deny that climate change is happening, or deny that human actions cause climate change? To what extent do people across the world care about nature and the environment?

Linda Steg, Professor of Environmental Psychology at the University of Groningen, studies factors influencing sustainable behaviour, the effects and acceptability of strategies aimed at promoting sustainable behaviour, and public perceptions of technology and system changes. She writes about what motivates people to consumer sustainably.

Read blog

Click to Tweet Wall

Click on the images below to share a ready-made message on Twitter. To download the high resolution image files, click here

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