ConPolicy Newsletter 2022 – 10

Dear Reader,


In today's issue ConPolicy informs you about: 

We wish you an exciting read!

Kind regards!

Your ConPolicy team

  News about ConPolicy

Policy Paper on behalf of the German Federal Environment Agency
ConPolicy co-author of publication 'Policy for sustainable consumption in the digital world'

The policy paper 'Policy for sustainable consumption in the digital world' forms the conclusion of the project 'Digitalization of markets and lifestyles: New challenges for sustainable consumption' and is part of the BMUV's lighthouse initiative 'Pathways and building blocks of a digital agenda for sustainable consumption'. The policy paper was written by IÖW (Maike Gossen and Vivian Frick), ConPolicy (Dr. Otmar Lell) and Dr. Gerd Scholl and was published by the Federal Environment Agency in September 2022.

This paper illustrates the levels of interplay between digitalization and consumption. As the digital transformation deepens, digitization is changing products and services, the way we consume, and the way politics, business, and society function. At all levels, the resulting changes can work for sustainable development, but they can also be fire accelerators of unsustainable developments. Based on this diagnosis, the policy paper formulates key recommendations for strengthening sustainable consumption in the digital world. In each case, the aim is to strengthen the environmentally friendly effects of digital technologies and to counter unsustainable developments.

The policy recommendations initially focus on the consumption of digital devices and services: These include the application of the EU Ecodesign Directive, a Right to Repair, and the establishment of transparency based on a digital product passport. Potential for sustainability-oriented consumer policy is seen in particular in synergy with consumer policy objectives. If the exploration and manipulation of consumers through personalized advertising strategies is ended, the consumption-increasing effect of the corresponding business models will be ended at the same time.  Finally, in order to steer the effects of digital business models on politics, the economy and society in a sustainable direction, large digital corporations should be obliged to safeguard public welfare concerns. At the same time, public good and sustainability-oriented business models should be promoted in the digital market.

You can find the study results here.

More information about the project can be found here.

Consumer protection in the digital age
ConPolicy input as part of an expert workshop of the Munich Circle

On September 14, 2022, the Münchner Kreis organized an event on consumer protection in the digital age. The focus was on the question of what modern consumer protection should look like in an age in which digitization permeates all areas of life. The role of business and government regulation was also examined in this context.

In addition to representatives from business, consumer protection and academia, ConPolicy CEO Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun contributed to the discussion. He explained that in a discussion about modern consumer protection in the digital age, a distinction must be made between at least three levels of consideration – a strategic level, a single-topic level and an instrument-related level.

  Consumer policy news

Streaming very common among consumers

The digital association Bitkom today published new survey results on the streaming behavior of German consumers. According to the results, 87 percent... Read more

Consumer protection
Commission proposes new rules for greater cybersecurity with more secure hardware and software products

Today, the European Commission (EC) presented a proposal for a new Cyber Resilience Act to protect against consumer products with inadequate security... Read more

Wide range of applications for smart home technologies among German consumers

Today, the digital association Bitkom published new survey results on smart home technologies in German households. According to the survey, 43... Read more

  Recommended reading

Liedtke, C. et al.
Right to repair

A so-called right to repair is intended to make European consumer law more sustainable. Such a right must simultaneously take into account consumer... Read more

Gossen, M. et al.
Policy for sustainable consumption in the digital world

This policy paper concludes the project 'Digitization of markets and lifestyles: New challenges for sustainable consumption' and is part of the BMUV's... Read more

Keller, O. et al.
How sustainable are German supermarkets?

The global food system is responsible for 26–34 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, it has substantial negative impacts on... Read more

Prinzing, M.
Media and digital ethics

Ethical literacy is everyone's concern. A digital and media ethical compass keeps us on track in a more responsible, enlightened digital... Read more

Schweikert, V.
The Supply Chain Obligations Act – Opportunities and challenges

We consume fruit from South Africa, chocolate from the Ivory Coast, coffee from Brazil and wear clothes made in Asia. The conditions, under which... Read more

Mayasilci, S.
Content and significance of the update obligation newly introduced into civil law

As part of the 'Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe', the EU launched two fully harmonizing directives as a uniform package in May 2019: the... Read more

Bär, H. et al.
Ecological financial reform: Product-related incentives as a driver of environmentally friendly production and consumption patterns

In this project, options for the taxation of products were elaborated, looking at an environmentally oriented value-added tax both within the existing... Read more

Nohlen, H. et al.
Front-of-pack nutrition labelling schemes: an update of the evidence

This addendum of the JRC Science for Policy report 'Front-of-pack nutrition labelling schemes: a comprehensive review' provides an update of the... Read more

Werle, C., H. Nohlen & M. Pantazi
Literature review on means of food information provision other than packaging labels

This report presents the results of a literature review investigating alternative sources of food information available in the marketplace apart from... Read more

Thøgersen, J. & H. Nohlen
Consumer understanding of origin labelling on food packaging and its impact on consumer product evaluation and choices: A systematic literature review

The purpose of this project is to systematically review and synthesize empirical research regarding why consumers consider the origin of the food... Read more

Müller, S.
The limits of consumption – A responsibility theory of the consumer role

In view of the massive negative ecological, economic and social consequences of consumption, many people are trying to take responsibility. But what... Read more