EuroCommerce joins the Circular Plastics Alliance as retailers & wholesalers contribute to a more sustainable future
EuroCommerce today joined the Circular Plastics Alliance. Retailers and wholesalers have been playing an active role in increasing the sustainability of the products they sell. They work to influence and support sustainable consumption by reducing unnecessary use of virgin materials, optimising its logistics, and offering alternatives to plastic in products and their packaging. They also work to inform consumers about sustainable choices, and use the long-term partnerships with suppliers to encourage all parts of the supply chain to think and act sustainably.
The retail and wholesale sector is the largest private employer, giving worthwhile jobs to 29 million Europeans, delivering vital services to business, and daily essentials to 500 million Europeans. Retailers and wholesalers are already embracing digital technology in all its different forms to provide services and goods that people want in the way - and when - they need them.
But this revolution brings with it major challenges: to prosper, companies need not only to react to, but anticipate, accelerating changes in technology and consumer demand. In the second of EuroCommerce’s digital lectures, Nabeela Ixtabalan, Digital Transformation Manager at Ingka Group, a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system operating IKEA Retail in 30 countries. Ms Ixtabalan will present her company’s values-driven approach to the digitalisation of their business model, and its wider relevance for the future of retail and wholesale.
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European employers are concerned about the growing skills mismatches and labour force shortages in a majority of Member States. If left unaddressed, this worrying trend will have a negative impact on innovation and productivity, both in highly innovative industry sectors and other services sectors, some of which are already confronted with the challenge of attracting motivated and competent workers.
To address this pressing issue, cross-industry and sectoral employers are issuing this statement to call on policy-makers and social partners at all appropriate levels to prioritise measures designed with the purpose to reduce labour shortages by improving skills matching across European Member States.
Labour force shortages and skills mismatches are caused by both cyclical and structural factors, both of which need to be addressed. Positively, the cycle of economic recovery over recent years has resulted in strong employment creation.
An easier consumer journey when buying online - Business presents new tool to improve consumer informationRead more
Today the European business community is presenting its voluntary tool to better inform consumers when they’re shopping online. The aim is to help companies find good ways to present their information to consumers including standard terms and conditions.
EuroCommerce Narrative on Retail and Wholesale in a changing world…
The world is changing rapidly. Retailers and wholesalers have repeatedly shown how resilient and adaptive they are, and are moving ahead with embracing this change, providing value to customers, suppliers, and society at large. This great story is worth telling – both to the sector and to the wider world. And the story needs to say clearly what we want from the EU and from national governments to make our sector sustainably competitive.
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Speaking today after the signature over the weekend in Hanoi of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade and Investment Protection Agreements, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren commented:
“We have been pressing for a free trade agreement with Vietnam for many years. We are therefore very pleased that Commissioner Malmström and her Vietnamese counterpart were able to sign these two agreements yesterday in Hanoi. This is the most ambitious EU agreement ever signed with a developing country, and after more than three years since the initial deal was struck, we hope to see the agreements ratified and in force as soon as possible.”
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Speaking today after the conclusion of EU-Mercosur Trade agreement EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren said:
“After twenty years of negotiation, we are very happy to see the free trade agreement with Mercosur finally concluded. It is a sign to those who are seeking to return to the law of the jungle in trade, or to write off the liberal economic and social order globally, that 780 million people on both sides of the Atlantic are committed to free trade and the prosperity it brings. I am also very pleased to see Mercosur governments commit to effective implementation of the Paris climate agreement and to a detailed chapter on sustainable development, including on deforestation”.
Mercosur is the world’s 7th largest economy and 5th largest market outside the EU with an annual GDP of €2.2 trillion. The EU exported goods to the four Mercosur countries totaling €45 billion, and imported goods from Mercosur worth €42.6 billion in 2018. The EU exported €23 billion worth of services to Mercosur while Mercosur exported services worth €11 billion to the EU.