Transparency & Visibility
Every action has a direct impact on the environment. Be it daily consumption, the production of goods, travel habits, agriculture or political decisions: everything has a direct or indirect impact on our planet's climate.
We need to understand our influence at all levels. Only then will we really be able to achieve change and effectively stop climate change.
Through our daily actions, each of us has the power and the duty to push for change. What is needed is transparency and a common language that makes our actions visible and comparable.
We presently achieve communication through data. A common language therefore promotes a general understanding about how we can use this data to better understand our behaviour and our individual influence on the environment.
What is currently missing is a standard and a register to manage and share this type of data.
To gain transparency and visibility against the backdrop of our environmental impact, we need a publicly accessible and central register for all sustainability data.
The Open Sustainable Registry for Europe
The European Open Sustainability Register (EU-OSR) is a central database that stores sustainability data and references in an open form and invites joint cooperation. The platform's goal is to make sustainability information such as studies, company and product data available in a central register and accessible to all.
The register's initiator, non-profit Organisation for Sustainable Consumption (OfnK), has already defined a standard in the financial industry with its first Open Standard for consumer carbon calculations on the basis of standard payment transactions. OfnK recognised the urgency of an open data source and quickly implemented it on the basis of tried and tested open source technologies. Together with industry partners, further information is now to be collected and further common standards are going to be developed.
OfnK takes a novel approach: In the EU-OSR, all products are mapped via the product groups of the WTO's Combined Nomenclature (CN) and its subgroups. For each tradable good, an average value for sustainability information (CO2, water consumption, land use, etc...) is set.
This standard creates more transparency in terms of carbon footprint measurements for all stakeholders: Consumers can use the standard to guide their consumption behaviour and compare it against the standard; industries can make their sustainability initiatives publicly visible and gain a competitive advantage, while government institutions can monitor their sustainability targets and adapt the adopted measures accordingly.
The Open Sustainability Registry enables all stakeholders in the EU to monitor the targets set by businesses and policymakers, and to measure their progress in this area. At the same time, it serves as a helpful and reliable tool that enables consumers to make more sustainable purchasing decisions.
European Open Sustainability Registry
We are convinced that with the right technology and especially with the provisioning of open data and a collaborative approach, we can better and more effectively solve the major challenges for a sustainable world.
To this end, we have started to combine technology concepts such as Open Data, Wikipedia, crowd sourcing, Big Data, machine learning and the application of algorithms.
This results in an open approach in which anyone can expand and revise the data and sources as they wish, but at the same time ensures that the information remains readable by machines.
Only together can we stop climate change, and in our case we start with the data. Therefore, we invite all actors from science, business, politics and even consumers to join us.
"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, working together is success". - Henry Ford