World Consumer Rights Day
Consumers International has announced that the theme for World Consumer Rights Day 2020, 15 March 2020, will be ‘The Sustainable Consumer’. About the theme If everyone lived the lifestyle of the average person in Western Europe, we would need three planets to support us. Meanwhile, about one billion people live in extreme poverty, unable to access the minimum needed for a decent quality of life. In order to protect the planet and provide fair social conditions for current and future generations, we need to think about the way we produce and consume goods and services. The aim of sustainable consumption is to increase resource efficiency and fair trade while helping to alleviate poverty and enable everyone to enjoy a good quality of life with access to food, water, energy, medicine and more. Demand for sustainable products is increasing – particularly amongst younger consumers. A global study found that 81% of respondents felt strongly that companies should help improve the environment. But some studies find the actual purchases of sustainable products to be in the 20-30% range (here and here). Generally, sustainability is not the easy choice for consumers and requires effort on their part to research or identify the right purchase, changing behaviour or requires paying more. However, there are early signals of a narrowing of this intention-action gap and it is vital that we push forward towards a tipping point. We need to make sustainable consumption the easy option for consumers.