Product Main Impacts Sustainability through Eco-co.. (PROMISE)
Product Main Impacts Sustainability through Eco-communication
Start date: Jan 1, 2010,
End date: Nov 30, 2012
Information and communication tools are required to help ensure that societyâs consumption patterns become more environmentally sustainable. Altering the behaviour patterns of the market and the general public is particularly important when it comes to raw material use, greenhouse gas emissions, waste minimisation, energy efficiency and biodiversity protection. Efforts in these areas are promoted by the EUâs Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy (SCP/SIP) Action Plan, which notes the importance of adopting lifecycle analysis (LCA) approaches to addressing sustainable consumption and production concerns.
The main objective of the PROMISE project was to reduce the negative environmental impact of products in Italy, particularly household products and agri-food products. A communication strategy would be designed and implemented covering information campaigns that target producers, retailers, consumers and public authorities. Communication actions would be tested to assess their effectiveness in achieving lifestyle or behaviour changes that help create environmental benefits. Different approaches to disseminating information would be piloted and evaluated in terms of the reduction of environmental impact throughout product lifecycles. Results from local level actions would help develop a communication model at national level that supports the EUâs SCP/SIP Action Plan. The communication strategy represents a âmeansâ to achieve a variety of tangible results, including green public procurement in public authorities and wider uptake of initiatives such as eco-branding and EMAS.
The PROMISE project targeted the environmental impacts of products (EIPRO) that represent a problem across all EU member states and are strictly related to the lifestyles of EU citizens. The project implemented four communication campaigns to increase the awareness of the different actors that can reduce the environmental impacts associated with the products, their production, distribution, use and end of life.
The objective of increasing awareness on sustainability was met by disseminating good practice in sustainable production and consumption. The project involved all those who have a strategic role to play in this process: consumers, retailers, companies and the public sector.
In line with the European and national policies, PROMISE carried out measure to
improve the understanding of all policy makers on consumer choices and sustainability.
Specifically, it increased awareness of green choices among:
Producers that can use clean technologies and introduce certification of process and products;
Local authorities, which have a didactic role to play, and are themselves final consumers;
Citizens, particularly those multipliers of information and knowledge, such as young people, educators and representatives cultural and environmental associations;
Retailers, which are able to influences consumers choices through the provision of products and the distribution of information.
The project also helped locate information gaps on green products by producers, distributors, consumers and local authorities, as well as identify and recognise a âgreen productâ without ambiguity, through the dissemination of knowledge of the EU labels.
Through the use of different media it promoted the professional growth of manufacturers, retailers and local authorities. Moreover, it applied plans of communication aimed at promoting changes of behaviours of all actors of the lifecycle of the product manufacturers, distributors, consumers and local authorities. This foresaw the overcoming of information barriers, the need to incentivise dialogue and understanding among the various actors in the market and the promotion of clear and easy to understand information for all the subjects involved.
At a low estimate, the project involved:
600 000 consumers through the dedicate awareness campaign (conferences, forum, website, brochures, boards, media news/reportage, video). The beneficiary estimates that some 2 500 000 of consumers have been reached;
300 local bodies through the awareness campaign (seminars, brochures, conferences and website). At the end of the project all the local bodies (provinces, municipalities, national and regional parks) of the three regions had been involved;
200 companies through the awareness campaign; and
300 dealers through the awareness campaign. Some 8 000 Coop retailers nationwide have been reached by the campaign.
A report on the efficiency of the communication showed that:
GPP increased by 15.8 % in those public authorities involved in the awareness campaign;
Green products increased by 19.5% in Coop stores;
Sales figures of green products increased by 21.1% in the Coop stores;
Four eco-design initiatives were adopted by producers; and
Three the companies adopted cleaner techniques, including the installation of photovoltaic panels in their production sites.Finally, the project provided the Commission's consultation âStakeholders Consultation on Delivering more Sustainable Consumption and Productionâ of March 2012 with a position paper. It was presented by the Liguria region and included the guiding principles on how communication on SCP should be implemented in an effective way. It featured the requisites and rules based on ISO 14020 standards, to be provided to the national authority for the drawing up of the Italian National Communication Plan on SCP.
Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).
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