European Green Deal and Digital Commerce

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The European Union has already for several years been  at the forefront of the transition towards a climate-neutral, circular economy, and this is a role that the continent will continue to embrace in the coming years. Commitments from the newly elected European Commission are setting a clear trend in favor of considerably stepping up the efforts in the EU to ensure the transition of our economy towards a greener one.

Yesterday, the European Commission published its highly expected Communication on the European Green Deal, accompanied by a timeline with key legislative and non-legislative initiatives.

The Communication presents the ambition of the European Commission for a new growth strategy for the European Union, that will lead to a “modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use”.

The European Commission strongly believes that the involvement of stakeholders will be crucial to achieve the objectives laid down in the Communication, and that this transition should leave no one behind. A climate-neutral and circular economy must be driven not only through legislation, but also through a real cultural and economical shift, to which companies and individuals must contribute. This represents decisive new opportunities for businesses in the EU, and particularly in the digital commerce sector. European players are already seizing this opportunity to rethink their practices, define and propose new alternatives, and embrace and accompany the clear consumer demand for a sustainable and ethical shopping experience.

The European Green Deal lays down an ambitious, complementary lists of measures, some of which that should be of direct interest for retailers:

  • Mobilizing industry for a clean and circular economy
  • Accelerating the shift to sustainable and smart mobility
  • But also mobilizing research and fostering innovation

In March 2020, the European Commission will publish the EU industrial strategy to address the twin challenge of the green and digital transformation as well as a new Circular Action Plan. These initiatives will include “sustainable product” policies, sector-specific measures, as well as increased effort on packaging and waste.

There will also be a lot of emphasis on consumers – focusing on offering more options to consumers sustainably, but also having access to the right information to do so.

New technologies – and the interplay between digitalization and sustainability – are also tackled in the Communication, both as opportunities and new challenges.

Finally, the Communication insists on the importance of sustainable transport, reducing emission and pollution, mentioning notably the need for transport systems and infrastructure made fit to support new sustainable mobility services that can reduce congestion and pollution, especially in urban areas.

Considering the urgency of this issue, now more than ever, we need to get it right, maintaining crucial policy principles like channel neutrality, principled-based approach and open dialogue with stakeholders.

If you want to know more about the European Green Deal, please contact  juliettebeaulaton@ecommerce-europe.eu

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