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Retail, Wholesale ‘Plays A Key Role’ In Sustainability Transition: EuroCommerce

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Retail, Wholesale ‘Plays A Key Role’ In Sustainability Transition: EuroCommerce

The retail and wholesale sectors play a ‘key role’ in the transition to more environmentally sustainable production and consumption, EuroCommerce has noted, enabling consumers to make more informed decisions.

EuroCommerce’s director for sustainability and product policy, Els Bedert, was commenting following the adoption of a draft report on the Substantiating Green Claims Directive proposal, by the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

‘Highly Important’

“Reliable environmental claims are highly important for our sector to communicate its sustainability efforts and maintain consumer trust,” Bedert said.

“We welcome a simplified verification procedure for certain environmental claims, to avoid unnecessary regulatory burdens that pre-approval might bring for retailers and wholesalers, including millions of SMEs.”

According to EuroCommerce, the Substantiating Green Claims Directive fits within the framework of the Circular Economy Package and is intended to develop further details on the Empowering Consumers for the Green Transition (ECGT) proposal. It also links with other policies as part of the EU’s Green Deal.

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It noted, ‘Striking a balance between the objectives of substantiating and communicating green claims with rules that are fit for purpose is essential for retailers and wholesalers.’

Legislative Process

EuroCommerce has asked legislators to take into account the following three points during the upcoming steps of the legislative process.

  • Explore alternatives to a pre-approval verification procedure for specific environmental claims, applicable to all traders. This could involve considering a presumption of conformity. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should be granted a grace period and benefit from a simplified verification process.
  • Ensure coherence, clarity, and legal certainty across interconnected policies and legislative files. Priority should be given to future [European] Union sector legislation over the Green Claims Directive, for instance, in the context of sustainable food systems.
  • Establish a stakeholder platform aimed at supporting the development of delegated acts.
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