UBA (Ed.)Environmental product information in e-commerce

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German Federal Environmental Agency UBA (Ed.) & Helmut Hagemann

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German Federal Environmental Agency UBA, brochure

If consumers want to be informed about products, they often search the Internet today, regardless of whether they conclude a purchase online or stationary. On the Internet, they are looking for information on product properties, prices, product alternatives, ecological characteristics, testimonials, supplier evaluations, manufacturing conditions, delivery methods and availability.

Product information can be found online in a variety of locations, starting with the websites of the manufacturers through search engines, internet communities and marketplaces to online shops, test aggregators or non-commercial consumers. Information is continually being searched for and product-related statements are constantly being amended, supplemented, updated, evaluated, illustrated, summarized or deleted.

The product information is given high priority in the sustainability strategy of the Federal Government, the National Program for Sustainable Consumption and also in the United Nations' goals on sustainable development. They play an important role in the shared responsibility of all stakeholders as they enable and promote environmental purchasing decisions and thus the responsible participation of consumers.

Accordingly, it is important that the content and design of environmental product information at a high quality level meet the requirements of sustainability as well as good consumer information while promoting transparency. It is the responsibility of companies to provide appropriate product information, while it is for civil society and state actors to formulate and monitor quality requirements.

This brochure is intended to contribute to these objectives by:

  • Principles and quality criteria for credible environmental product information, with a particular focus on digital media,
  • Trade, industry and service providers for the importance of environmental product information in e-commerce;
  • An overview of possibilities, instruments and the good practice of their application.

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