Super Team

Projects > Sustainable Consumption
Evaluation of Opportunities to Enable and Influence Canadians to Make Informed Consumer Choices

My Sustainable Canada was contracted by Environment Canada to undertake research into consumer-based environmental awareness/outreach strategies that aim to reduce chemical substances in products and services.  Specific products of interest include: personal care products, soaps and cleaners, paints and coatings, textiles, and some plastics.

Consumers and non-governmental organizations have shown that they are capable of influencing business policies pertaining to toxic substances in products. These influences have been felt at both the retailer level, resulting in decisions to not stock products with toxic substances, and at the manufacturing level, where toxic substances have been removed from product ingredients following some form of public pressure. Public pressure can take the form of marketing and public awareness campaigns, shareholder resolutions and investment restrictions, and green procurement programs at the individual and company level. While the Canadian marketplace is relatively small and a substantial amount of consumer products are imported, there may be opportunities to stimulate Canadian green manufacturing through consumer-based programs for selected product types. 

A proposed strategy is provided for consideration which identifies a specific targeted product approach as well as recommendations for a comprehensive consumer-based media campaign which includes a combination of market drivers (green procurement), research and support for an awareness campaign and elements for the implementation and delivery of the campaign itself.