laptop computer on wood table with supermarket aisle blurred background online shopping concept

Navigate greenwash with Austrian database

On the path to sustainable eating, one can easily feel lost. The Austrian government developed a tool to help consumers in their daily choices.

Changing diet is becoming more common as we are often told by media that it would benefit our health and the environment. Advice on what we should avoid or use are numerous. But once in the supermarket aisle, colorful packaging and bright signs can be confusing.

Thankfully, some initiatives are working to make it easier for the consumer to navigate the supermarket.

In Austria, the government has created the first Austrian web portal for sustainable consumption:

The website gives information about sustainable products, labels and the values they stand for. The European Commission has welcomed the initiative as it fits with its goal to achieve a circular economy, where waste is prevented and products are recycled.

The web portal doesn’t just focus on nutritional values but also analyses the environmental footprint of the food indexed. It targets the packaging of products, the location of production and whether or not the product is organic.

The first section of the website is dedicated to the labels. More than 200 labels are detailed and graded according various criteria. Labels can be related to foods, cosmetics, appliances and more. It allows consumers to see which labels are the most complete and which match their values.

The second section offers details on specific products. Similar to the labels grading, each product is analysed according to specific criteria: organic farming, environmentally friendly packaging, location, social responsibility, environmentally friendly production and reusable containers.

The project was developed by the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT). Austrian Trade and NGOs also took part in the process.