Conscious Consumers goes international

2 December 2014

The Conscious Consumers programme is spreading its wings, with a recent launch in Barcelona.

The programme, developed in New Zealand in 2010, is a consumer movement and ‘ethical business accreditation programme’ which helps businesses and consumers to find ethical and environmentally responsible products and services, like free range eggs and eco-cleaning products.

The programme ‘joins the dots’ between suppliers and hospitality businesses, and hospitality businesses and consumers.

Since beginning in 2010, Conscious Consumers has grown to be a nationwide network of more than 400 suppliers and hospitality businesses ranging from cafes and caterers, to consumers.

“Conscious Consumers gives our members a chance to measure their impact and tell stories about the social and environmental impact a business is having,” says Ben Gleisner, Conscious Consumers director.

The programme has made headway in New Zealand as a growing network of suppliers and retailers has come on board. Barcelona will be used as a test to see what changes need to be made when creating the programme in a different language, with different standards and IT systems.

Other cities in the pipeline include Melbourne, San Francisco, London and Copenhagen. 

“We need to manage taking the scheme overseas really carefully, because the networks are really key in getting the programme off the ground,” says Ben 

The programme has 12 badges, which include Community (businesses source local food and donate leftovers to charity), Smart Waste (businesses recycle, compost and use eco-packaging) and Ethical Products (including organic, fair trade and sustainable seafood).

Hospitality retailers apply for the badges via a stringent accreditation process. Regional coordinators help businesses to make any necessary changes and provide ongoing auditing services.

The programme also operates as a marketing platform for hospitality businesses to promote their ethical business practices, while helping consumers to find businesses who are genuine about their social and environmental claims.

Conscious Consumers has developed a smartphone app which consumers can use to search and locate member businesses, and to learn more about the badges each business has. The app allows consumers to ‘check in’ to each business to show their support and win prizes.

“By allowing customers to show their support, the programme helps to show retailers that there is a demand for ethical and environmentally responsible business practices,” says Ben. 

Keen to find out more? Click here to see the Conscious Consumers website.

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