The European Sting at the Retail Forum for Sustainability live from Barcelona

Mr Antii Ilmari Peltomaki, Deputy Director-General of the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Directorate General of the European Commission opening the Retail Forum for Sustainability on 21 May in Barcelona (European Sting)

Mr Antii Ilmari Peltomaki, Deputy Director-General of the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Directorate General of the European Commission opening the Retail Forum for Sustainability on 21 May in Barcelona (European Sting)

As part of the 18th European Eco-Innovation Forum on 20-22 May, the Retail Forum for Sustainability took place on 21 May in Barcelona and had a prominent place in the dialogue for a Greener European environment. The Forum came as a necessary module of the Eco-Innovation dialogue organised by the European Commission, DG Environment. The role of the European retailer in Eco-Innovation and Eco-Labeling is certainly crucial and the voice of the market was necessary to be heard.

The European Sting was the only Brussels Based EU Media that travelled to Barcelona to cover the Retail Forum for Sustainability and shed light on the European retailers’ active work for a better environment.

The comprehensive agenda of the Forum allowed for a stimulating discussion based on perhaps the most important asset, facts and truths from the market. The sector was represented by several prominent players like IKEA and Metro Group, together with the Spanish retailers of Mercadona and Consum. The Spanish presence excessively prevailed in this debate, where more balanced representation from pan-European retailers would be awaited. In any case, the quality of the input from the retailers’ side, although often given in Spanish language, was high enough.

The first session of the Retail Forum for Sustainability was titled: “Closing the Loop, How Retailers engage with suppliers and employees seeking to make circular economy a business case”. Some important points were raised during this first session of the Forum. Retailers stressed during their speeches the progress that has been made first in limiting the waste. It is true that the Spanish retailers have succeeded a major reduction of plastic bags in Spain. Further, we were informed about the way some retailers have incorporated circular economy principles inside their value chain, using parts of its existing packaging to recycle.

A stimulating thought was then brought to the table by Fabio Iraldo, Professor of Bocconi University in Italy. “Retailers should go beyond business as usual”, Mr Iraldo provoked the retailers attending the panel. The Professor said pointing towards the retailers “You have to involve/inform the consumer”. By that he basically meant that apart from internal corporate recycling patterns and sustainable practices that the retailers are adopting, they should also not omit to play the crucial role to educate consumers about Green sustainable products, practices and eco-labelling.

This inevitably created a fruitful debate, where some retailers argued that it is not their role to educate the consumer. However they all agreed that they look forward to the new “EU Package on circular economy”. It is very important in the EU that recycling mentality further expands, making all kinds of waste a resource and not just rubbish. It is a pure necessity in the EU to abandon land fills once and for all. What is more, the panel would aspire a reduced VAT for recycled products. The Professor said: “we paid VAT once it was a product, why do we have to pay again?”.

What was very interesting to listen to during the Retail Forum for Sustainability at the end of May in Barcelona was the voice of BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC). The Brussels-based organisation was represented in the Forum by Angeliki Malizou. Mrs Malizou interestingly pointed that not in all EU Member states the information on Eco-Labelling of products is well received by the European consumers.

Moreover, she argued that the point is not only to draw the attention via marketing campaigns towards the “Green sensitive” consumers. Instead, for Mrs Malizou there is a lot to be done to sensitise the European consumers who are not today “Green” enough. Further, she claimed that the product labels don’t educate the consumer; the consumer needs to come educated before she goes to the Point of Sale.

Finally BEUC, the ambassador of the interests of the European consumer, questioned by the panelist whether eco-labelling should be mandatory in the EU, she answered negatively. Currently, she argued, there is no targeted legislation available but a practices directive in the EU. She admitted that there is a lot to be done in this direction from the EU.

All in all, the Retail Forum produced some positive takeaways to the visitor regarding the current Green practices of the European retailers on Eco-Labeling and also the urgent need for the European consumers to be further educated as regards the eco-labelling of the products found on the shelves and circular economy as well.

The Forum was so well thought of that it would be really great to have more sessions and more retailers on stage from all over Europe together with some bigger representation of the European consumer. The Retail Forum for Sustainability is certainly an excellent platform to invest on the interchange of insights between the markets and the consumer.

At the end of the day some very concise and effective ideas and plans should be put forward regarding the EU consumer’s Green education accompanied by retailers’ best practices.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

The increasing drug prices in Europe

Draghi: printing a full extra trillion non negotiable to help all borrow cheaply

Time to be welcome: Youth work and integration of young refugees

The 28 EU leaders unable to start a relevant debate on migration and Brexit

Scotland and First Minister Salmond enter the most challenging battlefield for independence: Europe

EU legislation protecting home buyers approved in Parliament

Half of Eurozone in deflation expecting salvation from monetary measures

“None of our member states has the dimension to compete with China and the US, not even Germany!”, Head of EUREKA Pedro Nunes on another Sting Exclusive

ECB steadily continues monetary easing policy as EU economy gains momentum

18th European Forum on Eco-innovation live from Barcelona: What’s next for eco-labelling?

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “Chinese economy has great potential, resilience and ample space for policy adjustment”, China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao reassures from Davos

EU budget agreement rejected by the European Parliament

Diana in Vietnam

EU Parliament raises burning issues over the FTA with the US

Progress in medical research: leading or lagging behind?

IMF’s Lagarde to Peoples of the world: You have to work more for the banks!

Politics still matter in the US but not in Europe

Will the three major parties retain control of the new EU Parliament?

Will Europe be able to deal with the migration crisis alone if Turkey quits the pact?

On Human Rights Day European Youth Forum calls for end to discrimination of young people

Changing for the change: Medicine in Industry 4.0

Mental Health Policy, a significant driver for growth

Cameron’s Conservatives and UKIP are exploiting and cultivating anti-EU immigration sentiment but Labour party isn’t?

The financial future of Eurozone on the agenda of Friday’s ECOFIN council

EU sets ambitious targets for the Warsaw climate conference

ECB’s new money bonanza handed out to help the real economy or create new bubbles?

Eurozone business activity again on upwards path

The three sins the EU committed in 2015

Bankruptcy or referendum: which one is going to be first?

Trump’s Russian affair spills over and upsets Europe

COP21 Breaking News: Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation Announced

EU: Centralised economic governance and bank supervision may lead to new crisis

London to say hello or goodbye to Brussels this week

EU makes key TTIP document public as protests get louder

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

Eurozone: New data show recession and debt closer to explosion

Climate change and health: public health awareness in an international framework

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

Greece lost a month that cannot be found neither in “mini Summits” nor in Berlin

ECB’s billions fortify south Eurozone except Greece; everybody rushes to invest in euro area bonds zeroing their yields

Does Draghi have another ace up his sleeve given his Quantitative Easing failure?

45th Anniversary of the French Confederation (Confédération Nationale des Junior Entreprises)

A Year in China

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: There is a new draft agreement on the negotiating table

EU unveils plan to accelerate Capital Markets Union ahead of London’s departure from the bloc

Why the ECB had to clarify it caters for the entire Eurozone not just Germany?

VW emissions scandal: While U.S. car owners are vindicated, Europe still unable to change its laws and protect its consumers

What the future holds for the EU – China relations?

What has changed in the French politico-economic horizon

Europe must regain its place as world leader in digital technology

TTIP update: postponed vote and INTA meeting shuffle cards again

Mobile World Congress 2015 first to debate EU’s new stance on Net Neutrality and Roaming Charges

Tools of asset development: Renewable Energy Projects case

French election: Will France vote for a reformed or no EU?

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate Change needs to be demystified”, Anneli Jättenmäki Vice President of European Parliament underscores from Brussels

An all-out fight for the EU budget

European markets itchy with short-term disturbances

Will ECB win against low inflation by not following Quantitave Easing?

MEP Cristiana Muscardini @ European Business Summit 2014: International Trade in Europe

FIAT Chrysler: from Geneva Motor show to the World, and back

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s