The European Union has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. To support all actors to reach this goal, the European Commission is building on its legislative efforts by launching a call for companies across Europe to join the Sustainable Consumption Pledge.
This initiative calls on non-food businesses (including retailers) of various sizes and in different sectors to make specific, public and verifiable commitments to reduce their overall environmental footprint, produce more sustainable products and redouble their efforts to raise consumer awareness on the impact of their consumption choices. The pledge is a voluntary commitment that businesses can take that goes beyond what is required by EU law.
A total of 11 companies – established manufacturers and retailers in various countries across the EU – have already come on board in the initiative’s pilot phase. The Commission is now calling on more companies to join the initiative and pave the way for their industries.
Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said: “I look forward to welcoming many more companies of various sizes and industries into this initiative, so we can boost further sustainable consumption in the EU. We are aiming to have all companies on board in the green transition. By joining the pledge, companies are sending a strong message to consumers that they are deeply committed to supporting the sustainable transition and are leading the way in their sector.”
An event will be held with Commissioner Reynders by the end of this year to celebrate and showcase the new pledges made by companies across the EU in 2022.
Sustainable production is not just an issue for companies: it is what consumers expect companies to do. And consumers’ environmental awareness is on the increase. In 2020, 56% of consumers in the EU considered the environmental impact of their purchase at least once, and 23% of consumers considered the environmental impact of most or all of their purchases1.
This initiative, delivered under the New Consumer Agenda, will empower consumers to make informed decisions by making environmental claims transparent, comparable and verifiable across the EU – avoiding greenwashing, and building confidence in ecolabels and sustainability information.
Companies that want to lead the way in this area and join the initiative can find more information on how to apply here.
Background information on the Sustainable Consumption Pledge
The Sustainable Consumption Pledge is the first initiative delivered under the New Consumer Agenda. It is aligned with the mission of the European Climate Pact, which is an EU-wide initiative inviting people, communities and organisations to participate in climate action and build a greener Europe. By signing up to the pledge, companies promise to accelerate their contribution to a sustainable transition. The pledge has been developed in a joint effort between the Commission and companies, with the aim of accelerating businesses’ contribution to a sustainable economic recovery and to help build consumer trust in the environmental performance of companies and products.
The Sustainable Consumption Pledge has evolved from the concept of the Green Consumption Pledge, launched in January 2021, which focused on identifying and reducing carbon emissions. The Sustainable Consumption Pledge broadens the requirements, asking companies to include other aspects of sustainability – notably social sustainability, circularity and environmental-footprint calculation. In addition to identifying their carbon footprint and reducing it by setting targets that can be measured and checked, the Sustainable Consumption Pledge commits companies to either calculate and improve their overall environmental performance, increase circularity in their activities, and/or respect social sustainability across their supply chain.
About the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers is responsible for EU policy on justice, consumer rights and gender equality.