European EcoScore – Empowering the Consumers!

Written by Maja Bartczak

Posted on 30/10/21

European EcoScore is a European Citizen’s Initiative who wants to introduce an EcoScore – a score representing the level of sustainability of products sold in the European Union Market. The European Citizens’ Initiative allows EU citizens to enter into a dialogue with the Commission about a potential legislative act or about an area in which there is room for action. The initiative aims for a uniform, clear and transparent label that will reflect the environmental impact of products that we buy in the European Union. This would have multiple benefits, the most important one being empowering consumers and increasing their awareness on sustainable products.

I had the pleasure to talk to one of the Delegates and National Coordinators of the European EcoScore – Elsa Kraemer.

How was this initiative born?

The initiative was born quite recently, as preparation started at the beginning of this year. Few of my friends, and the leading voice belonging to Antoine Thill, came together and put their energy and effort into creating this initiative. The initiative was officially launched in July 2021. I joined soon after as they thought I would be a great asset to the Team.

Why did you choose Ecoscores as the main area of focus?

Environmental problems are usually systematic issues. EcoScores are one way to address the problems existing in our systems that contribute to further degradation of the environment. We want to introduce EcoScores as they will empower the consumers to choose the most sustainable products, by increasing their awareness through the clearly displayed scores.

How does the scoring scheme work?

The scoring system is similar to a Nutri-Score system which is a nutritional scheme that is put on foodstuffs. NutriScore is a voluntary scheme and we would like to use something similar. However, instead of the letter A-E, we would like to propose A-F. “A” being the best one, naturally, meaning that “A” products would be the least environmentally harmful. Whereas, “F” would be the worst, being the most environmentally harmful. The scoring system would include scoring all stages throughout the whole supply chain.

Which shops or products will be aimed at as the result of the Initiative?

We aim to implement the EcoScores on all products that are being traded in the EU market. Our main priority is, naturally, food and clothes and from there we would like to work our way up. This would also include technology and furniture.

How many countries do you operate in? And who can sign your initiative?

All EU countries and all EU citizens can sign the initiative. Currently, we are a team of around 60 people, mainly coming from Belgium, but also the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Austria and Italy. We need 1 million signatures and we have quotas per country which are proportional to population. So now we have a couple of thousands, so we definitely need more!

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

So far, it has been smooth sailing. I believe that, since it is a long-term commitment and we just started, more challenges may lay ahead. But we are extremely optimistic!

How can our readers help?

Naturally by signing! But, there is more that we can all do. The most important is if people can spread the word and spread awareness through social media, for instance. We also welcome anyone who is ambitious and determined to join our national divisions!

If you would like to join the Dutch national team, please contact: nl.ecoscore@gmail.com.

If you want to help this amazing initiative – sign here through this link or simply scan the code below!

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