On behalf of the Federal Environment Agency, ConPolicy investigated to what degree consumers can find information about the sustainability of products on the internet and which measures should be taken to close existing information gaps.
The methodological basis of the report were expert interviews, a market check and an analysis of the relevant literature. Based on this, an inventory of the availability of environmental information on the internet was drawn up. From this, recommendations were derived, covering both practical issues of data collection and provision of environmental information as well as political measures for better consumer information.
The study shows that environment-related product information is generally insufficiently available in digital media. Particular deficits concerning the availability of information on the service life and repairability of products are detected. Also, consumers have difficulties in orienting themselves in face of the large number of eco-labels and environment-related advertising claims.
In the interest of better digital consumer information, it is proposed to improve the availability of environmental information, especially in digital media, through machine readability, standardization and data interfaces. Labeling requirements should be introduced for the service life and repairability of products, analogous to the EU energy label. A framework for standardized collection and evaluation of environmental information should be created through an electronic product passport.
You can find the study results here.
More information about the project can be found here.