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Le consommateur responsable (document en anglais)

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Responsible consumer

“Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.”

/George Carlin/

Recently the media announced that the world's population is due to hit 7bn this October: “On October 31st the UN will dub a newborn the world’s 7 billionth living person” , the most impressing is the fact that it has been reached in such little time from reaching six billion people. It is a growing concern around the world about what there is to be done about the fast growing population and the resources available to the population. An increasing population automatically requires more goods, more energy, and more resources used. In our society, consumption has become a habit that is completely normal but at the same time it seems more and more uncontrollable and overwhelming. The possibilities are endless and producers are obliged to come up with new ideas and innovations in order to motivate customers to buy their products. The circle of consumption seems endless.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a good business practice and an organized movement has developed since the mid-1980’s and is gaining more support not only among businesses but also among consumers when choosing products and services from companies with high reputation in terms of their policies towards sustainable development and who have implemented the principles of business ethics in their activities. Nowadays, consumers are increasingly concerned about environmental, social and economic issues, and increasingly willing to act on those concerns, therefore more often we speak about responsible consumers. Responsible consumer is a consumer who is committed and reflects his attitude in his consumption habits, by choosing products which are more environmentally friendly or representing ethical values, it is the question on how to make a difference by the purchases we make? Too many of us increasingly feel that we do not have a lot of control over the world around us. However, we have an unbelievable power as consumers: we can vote with our money, because we can choose which companies to support through the power of our purchases. For example, consumers should not choose goods from the industrialized agricultural system; instead, they should prefer local, organic and sustainably-grown food products. The products available in today’s supermarkets carry a wide range of labels, moreover several brands, including grocery retailers, such as Carrefour, Monoprix et Eclerc in France have developed their own labels. Although there is a variety of information and public awareness campaigns that are held, many consumers still do not understand the importance of eco labels on the product packaging and often do not notice them in the wide range of goods. “An “eco-label” identifies a product that meets specified environmental performance criteria or standards, and is awarded by a third-party organization to products or services that are determined to meet the criteria or standards.” The use of such labels ensures the communication of the ecological aspects to the consumer, moreover it helps to improve company’s brand image. Among the best known eco and fair trade labels we can find: EU Ecolabel, Energy Star label- for the energy efficiency of the


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