Any product before reaching to the end user goes through various stages of production and at each stage there is extensive use of resources like water, energy, fuel, etc. So, it becomes very important to optimize the use of these resources at every stage in order to mitigate the potential environmental impacts during the production phase. Not only during the production, but also during the use and after the disposal/end of life of the product, it can lead to major environmental hazards. In order to address these issues, a product is to be assessed based on its impacts on the environment at every stage of its life cycle from raw material extraction/procurement to its disposal/ end of life. Any product which has lesser environmental impacts as compared to any other product with similar function or application is considered as a ‘green product’.
The Indian Scenario
While environmental protection in India has been a governmental priority with a well-established regulatory regime, the focus has been more on emissions and waste management. But, there has been very less emphasis on product oriented standards till date. The development and implementation of such standards for green products will bring about a change in the market availability of green products and boost Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in India.
Effective communication of green products to consumers in India is also one of the major challenges taking into consideration the limited knowledge on green products and minimal information disclosure on the same. The lack of understanding of ecolabel usage for products make it difficult for the consumers to differentiate between the nationally/internationally accepted ecolabels and the spurious self-declared claims made by the manufacturers.
What We Do?
The GPNI offers advisory to various industry stakeholders,government and academic institutions on the implementation of SCP in their core activities by facilitating the following :
- Policy Advocacy and Regulatory Framework on Green Procurement
- Defining criteria and indicators for the identification of green products
- Product Peering – A rigorous activity for evaluation of a product based on its environmental and social performance and recommendations for performance improvement
- Capacity building of employees on green purchasing and green products through special workshops and training programmes
- Designing and conducting courses on Green Purchasing and Green Products for students and professionals
The GPNI conducted a study called ‘Consumer Perception Survey on Green Products’, which mainly targeted the urban Indian consumers. The survey collected data from over 2000 urban consumers to get insights of consumer attitudes towards green products. Read More…