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

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

EU takes again positive action on migration crisis while Turkey asks for dear favors in exchange for cooperation

Medschool 4.0: how to succeed in the smart revolution of healthcare

Italian voters put again the European Peoples in the Brussels picture

From diamonds to recycling: how blockchain can drive responsible and ethical businesses

Why Eurozone can afford spending for growth

Eurozone’s north-south growth gap to become structural

The Oslo model: how to prepare your city for the electric-vehicle surge

Ukraine turns again to the EU for more money

‘We face a global emergency’ over oceans: UN chief sounds the alarm at G7 Summit event

The European Sting live from the World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Following the World Cup? Then you’re watching high-performing migrants at work

What we take for granted: The EU is not perfect

The historic accomplishment of a seamless EU patent and intellectual property space

MARKUP initiative to boost market access to Europe for East African SMEs

Fostering global citizenship in medical students through exchanges

Ben Stiller’s new role, more about hope than humour, as he’s named Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Young? You should work out the entrepreneurial heart before the mind

For how long will terror and economic stagnation be clouding the European skies?

Eurogroup president swallows statement on savings confiscation

PM May fosters chauvinism, declares trade war on Europe

The battle for the 2016 EU Budget to shake the Union; Commission and Parliament vs. Germany

Imported and EU fisheries products should be treated equally

Jakarta is one of the world’s fastest disappearing cities

The refugee crisis as a young Nigerian doctor sees it

Trump’s Russophiles under investigation, Europe remains ‘en garde’

Senior UN children’s advocate says they ‘should never be targeted by violence’

Jeroen Dijsselbloem new Eurogroup president

Politics still matter in the US but not in Europe

Mental health in medical students: the deciphered quandary

Parliament sets up plan to fight the 3,600 criminal rings of EU

Cyber defence: MEPs call for better European cooperation

Vĕra Jourová, European Commissioner in charge of Justice

The New EU-US “Shield” for data privacy is full of holes

Macron’s Presidency: what the young generation’s expectations are

G20 LIVE: Fact Sheet from the G20 Leaders Summit and key outcomes (G20 Antalya 2015 Summary)

European Youth Forum welcomes steps towards raising awareness of youth rights by EU ministers

Ethiopia is Africa’s fastest-growing economy

Mali: Presidential elections critical to consolidate democracy, says UN peacekeeping chief

VW emissions scandal: EU unable to protect its consumers against large multinationals

The third bailout agreement for Greece is a done deal amid European economies full of problems

EU budget: Regional Development and Cohesion Policy beyond 2020

1 million citizens try to create a new EU institution

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “There is a communication issue (about China) which markets don’t like” Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF stresses from Davos

Spirit unlimited

Tackling Youth Unemployment

Who threatens the lives and livelihoods of Ukrainians?

G20 LIVE: “This was not an attack against France, this was an attack against the universal human values!”, EU President Juncker cries out from G20 in Antalya Turkey

EC v Samsung: A whole year to compile a case

Junior Enterprises as a solution for Youth Entrepreneurship

Spanish vote – bad luck for Greece: Does Iphigenia need to be sacrificed for favourable winds to blow in Eurozone?

‘Immense’ needs of migrants making perilous journey between Yemen and Horn of Africa prompts $45 million UN migration agency appeal

Global health challenges require global medical students

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

De Gucht: More gaffes with the talks on the EU-US free trade agreement

COP21 Breaking News_07 December: “The world is expecting more from you than half-measures”, UN Secretary General Bank Ki-moon cries out from Paris

Eurozone has practically entered a deflation trap

Here are six bold ideas to accelerate sustainable energy innovation

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )

Connecting to %s