Eco-Items Gain Popularity
The Ecological Union reports that 74 percent of customers look for eco-labels while shopping.
Published: April 23, 2014 (Issue # 1807)
When it comes to sustaining the environment, it seems businesses and consumers in St. Petersburg do not share the same values. According to data from the St. Petersburg Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, only 15 percent of industrial enterprises in the city are interested in pursuing ecologically safe production, while customers are increasingly ready to pay up to 30 percent more for environmentally friendly products.
Related: Eco-Consciousness on the Rise in Russia
To further discuss the data and current trends, local entrepreneurs are today meeting with Russian and European environmental experts at the Corinthia St. Petersburg Hotel.
With the key focus on eco-production and eco-consumption, the Environmental Standards in Business: New Opportunities for Companies and Consumers conference has been organized by Russia’s Ecological Union in partnership with the Nordic Council of Ministers, with support from the local chapter of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. As well as presenting recent findings and data, specialists in eco-labeling programs from Norway will also share their experience in the Nordic business sector during the event.
Related: Russian Companies Go Green!
“Eco-labeling is a tool to help customers identify the real ecological products from the fake ones”, said Yulia Gracheva, director of the Ecological Union St. Petersburg, speaking to The St. Petersburg Times. “It is widely-used in international practice and is granted to a product or service only when it successfully passes all tests, including the extraction of raw materials, structure analyses and production processes.”
According to data from the Ecological Union, 74 percent of customers look for the presence of eco-labeling when buying a product. As a result, many companies aim to participate in the eco-labeling programs such as Vitality Leaf. Many local enterprises have already passed the strict certification process to gain the right to use this recognized symbol on their products, which includes document checks, laboratory testing and on-site audits of the production process.
Environmental certification also includes a provision for annual follow-up inspections. Among the local companies that have successfully attained the certification are the Corinthia St. Petersburg Hotel, Splat (pharmaceutical and cosmetic production), Tarkett (flooring and sports surfaces), Saint-Gobain (construction and innovative materials), Profine Rus (plastic window frames), TechnoNICOL (the largest mineral wool manufacturer in Russia) and the Ingosstrakh insurance company.
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