The Sustainable Consumer
This World Consumer Rights Day (15 March 2020), consumer organisations around the world joined together to call for global changes to avert environmental breakdown. The #SustainableConsumer campaign rallied over 160 members in more than 100 countries across the globe, alongside Consumers International partners such the United Nations, to mark the day.
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.
From debates, environmental clean-ups and social media campaigns, to radio and television shows, mobile apps and creative activities with Gen-Z participants, our members raised awareness of 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.
Scroll below to explore our #SustainableConsumer blog series featuring perspectives from consumer advocacy, civil society and industry leaders. For insight on the specific activities and impact of the campaign in each country and region, see our Interactive Map and Live blog from the day.
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 used this World Consumer Rights Day as a platform for talking to young people about sustainable consumption and ask them what they want to see from governments and businesses.
Explore our map of #SustainableConsumer campaign activity
This year 160 Consumers International members across the globe came together to mark World Consumer Rights Day. Explore our interactive map to find out how the day was celebrated in your region.
To view our live map in Spanish, click here.
For World Consumer Rights Day 2020, we ran a live blog, sharing images, event updates, blogs and articles from our membership to show how World Consumer Rights Day was celebrated by the global consumer movement.
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.
Helena Leurent, Consumers International: 'For sustainability, there is hope in action'
To mark World Consumer Rights Day 2020, Consumers International Director General, Helena Leurent, outlines the importance of collective action to create a more sustainable world and how 150 of our members are bringing the campaign theme of the #SustainableConsumer to life.