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.
Explore our map of #SustainableConsumer campaign activity
This year more than 145 Consumers International members across the globe are coming together to mark World Consumer Rights Day. Explore our interactive map to find out how the day is being 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.
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 email@example.com, or if you are a member please speak to your Regional Networker so you can be featured on our Interactive Map.
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.
Planning events for the day
Due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, many countries now have restrictions in place around the gatherings of people. This has affected some member activities for World Consumer Rights Day and as a result many organisations are prioritising online campaigns for the day.
One way our members are communicating about the issue is by asking consumers to pledge to act more sustainably on social media and linking it to the campaign through the hashtag #MySustainablePledge as well as #SustainableConsumer.
For anyone planning activities for the day, please follow local health advice. There is some general advice provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) which is useful for everyone. For example, washing your hands regularly and keeping one metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. You can read more here on the WHO website.
Be the first to receive campaign updates and resources in the run-up to March 15, by signing up for our email news services.
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.