Could mandatory environmental labelling force us to buy better?: transparency roundup

consumers transparency organic field

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TISC publishes a live transparency map showing modern slavery standards in UK local authorities

(Source: TISC)

With 77 countries endorsing the Modern Slavery act at the last UN General Assembly there is now a global resolve to tackle the issue. However translating political will into action on the ground can be difficult. This transparency map published last week from the TISC shows the number of suppliers in each local authority complying to modern slavery act standards works to break through opaque supply chains. It is connected to the TISCReport platform which “enables ethical buyers across all sectors to quickly check their supply chains for available corporate transparency data.”

Why we find this interesting:

Transparency tools connected to real data are going to become increasingly important in addressing issues like modern slavery. The ability to quickly access data sets and hold businesses and government accountable will allow for a shift in public expectations over levels of accessible, trustworthy information.

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Science-based emissions targets are limiting the ambition for business leadership

(Source: Forum for the Future)

Iain Watt from Forum for the Future argues that businesses using science-based emissions targets (tied to limiting global temperature rises below two degrees) spend too much time calculating their own contributions. These also propagate the idea that targets are shared evenly regardless of industry. Instead he believes that businesses should look to take a broader advocacy role within society for full decarbonisation, encouraging businesses to become more prominent voices in tackling climate change.

Why we find this interesting:

While pursuing science-based targets are valid, businesses do have an opportunity to become leaders beyond their industry. Those that transition from a targets-based to a purpose-driven philosophy will be able to not only improve their environmental impact but also establish a stronger connection with their customers.

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Mandatory environmental labelling as the way to universal sustainable consumption

(Source: The Guardian)

Joseph Poore, a researcher at the University of Oxford, considers the effects that mandatory energy efficiency ratings on fridges had on industry standards and whether this could be translated to the food industry. With fridges, the energy efficiency of labelled appliances has increased three times faster than appliances without labels. Could we see a similar rate of change in food?

Why we find this interesting:

“It’s always great to look at previous successes to model future practices, and how government should be playing a role in bringing about behavioural change. However it doesn’t address the issue around what labelling can be trusted, and if so how does that trust mechanism work.”

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About Provenance’s transparency roundup

From the UK’s Modern Slavery Act to the rise of startup brands with open price breakdowns, transparency is an important movement affecting marketing, branding, supply chain and core business strategy for consumer goods brands all over the world. As the market leaders in tech-powered transparency, each week the Provenance team selects our picks of the most impactful and insightful news stories.