Our current resource consumption overshoots the Earth’s natural capacity by 1.5 times, and forecasts are we would need 3 to 5 Earth’s worth of resources by 2050 to sustain our predicted level of consumption. If we don’t take rapid and drastic action we will see severe economic disruption, increasing poverty, environmental degradation and quite possibly resource wars. The concept of circular economy describes the direction we need, one where we eliminate waste and keep all resources in a closed loop. However, moving to this circular economic system will be much easier and cheaper if we first dramatically reduce the amount of resources our economy uses. This is a similar concept to how energy efficiency makes the transition to 100 per cent renewable energy easier and cheaper. Changing Markets is working with our partners to make resource efficiency very concrete and tangible by focusing on the retail sector.
Cutting the Crap – The Benefits of implementing Resource Efficiency in German Supermarkets
This report reveals the potential to cut 20 per cent of resources used in daily consumer goods, building on research by the Wuppertal Institute. Many solutions that capture this 20 per cent potential are readily available on the market today. However, investigation by Rank a Brand showed that this issue is not yet on the agenda of German supermarkets, with most of them having very few policies and measures to reduce the resource use of their product range. The report concludes with concrete recommendations for supermarkets to drop the least efficient products, set ambitious targets for resource efficiency and provide better information on their progress. This will enable the transition towards a resource efficient consumer goods sector and show other sectors the potential to act.
Cutting the crap – How to Increase Resource Efficiency in the European Personal Care Retail Sector
This report investigates the reported actions of European personal care retailers to reduce the resource impact of their products and implement the principles of a circular economy. The report looks at the ten largest personal retailers in Europe, examining their publicly available policies, strategies and measures to become more resource efficient. A recent study by the Wuppertal institute showed that fast-moving consumer goods – products such as food and cosmetics, mostly sold by supermarkets and personal care retailers – can cut their resource footprint by 20 per cent across the whole product range. This report concludes that personal care retailers need to step up their game to achieve this transition.
Cutting the crap in supermarkets and drug stores – Background paper
Germans are the packaging waste champions of the European Union. But German consumers are starting to demand action: a large majority think producers and retailers are not efficient enough when it comes to packaging. Also, more than 75 per cent of people would choose the eco-version of a product, when given information about comparative resource use. These and other findings are the outcome of a survey commissioned by the Deutsche Umwelthilfe for this background paper. In addition, the paper summarizes key findings of the ‘Cutting the Crap’ campaign. Supermarkets and drug stores are called upon with concrete actions and examples to ‘cut the crap’, and political measures are presented.