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Part 2 - Will the easy access to environmental and circular information change your buying behaviour?

Illustration by the Swedish Institute for Standardisation

”Improve the ability to make better decisions (for the environment and our future) through easy access to information.” That is the purpose of introducing digital product passports. When thinking of the initiative, we need to remember that it’s part of a the much bigger Green Deal initiative.



  • It’s not a matter of "EU bureaucrats making it complicated to do business".

  • It's part of preserving our planet for future generations.

  • Will it do that?

  • Will the easy access to such information change our habits?

  • Will you change yours?


 

This is the second article in a series of three on the topic of digital product passports and the behavioural change to improved circularity and environmental care that they are hoped to drive.

17 April, we will post the third part, about potential behavioural change in industry.


 

Who might change their behaviour?

As you're on this site, reading this article, we suspect that the chance of you being concerned about our environment is above average. That you want to make responsible buying decisions, want to reduce over-consumption and carbon emissions. If so, easy access to information to make such decisions could turn out to be of great help, lowering the threshold for you and others to make purchasing decisions to minimise environmental impact. And, by extension, shift demand to environmentally better alternatives.


But will it have effect also for those who don't care? Those who can't afford to make better choices? Or those who "don't believe in climate change"? We don't know. What do you think? If past information campaigns, scientists sounding the alarm bell, natural disasters and big headlines haven't changed their behaviour, how are digital product passports succeed to make their minds budge?


Or will available options be changed?

Or might their ability to choose to consume irresponsibly get limited? At least in the European Union, where the digital product passports will be introduced.


Thinking of digital product passports being part of much greater Green Deal initiative, we're confident that this will be adressed in other parts of the package of initiatives and regulations. Through information initiatives as well as by setting norms and standards. If digital product passports are "the carrot", there's probably "a stick" to be found somewhere else in the big Green Deal.


Just look at the "intermediate" initiatives in the illustration:

  • Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) - Sustainable products norm in EU

  • Sustainable Products Initiative (SPI)


Even without in-depth knowledge of what those initiatives might contain, it sure looks like that that there's good potential for some kind of tighter environmental norms to be part of them, don't you think?

Maybe you have such knowledge of those initiatives? Please feel free to improve this article by sharing your insights in a comment (way below on this page).


This article has focused on behavioural change among consumers. The third, and last, article in this series of three will focus on how digital product passports might change behaviours among producers and retailers. To be published on 17 April 2024. Subscribe to get notified (at the bottom of this page) or – even better – engage in our community here!


As you're on this site, reading this article, we suspect that the chance of you being concerned about our environment is above average. That you want to make responsible buying decisions, want to reduce over-consumption and carbon emissions. If so, easy access to information to make such decisions could turn out to be of great help, lowering the threshold for you and others to make purchasing decisions to minimise environmental impact. And, by extension, shift demand to environmentally better alternatives. But will it have effect also for those who don't care? Those who can't afford to make better choices? Or those who "don't believe in climate change"? We don't know. What do you think? If past information campaigns, scientists sounding the alarm bell, natural disasters and big headlines haven't changed their behaviour, how are digital product passports succeed to make their minds budge? Or will available options be changed?
What will future generations think of us and the planet we left behind?

Image by FreshSplash on iStock

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