3-CO – Concise Consumer Communication through Robust Labels for Bio-based Systems

3-CO is a 36-month interdisciplinary project whose consortium combines expertise from different sectors, i.e., the scientific community, certification associations, digital solution services, and technology providers for the bio-based industry. A core interest of 3-CO lies in the consumers’ decision making process that can be channeled through concise consumer communication. Consumers and their purchasing decisions play a crucial role in the successful transition to a circular bio-based economy. However, today, there is still a lot of disorientation and misunderstanding when it comes to bio-based products (BBPs).

Consumers often are not yet aware of BBP’s benefits for the environment, economy, health and society. Nevertheless, labels and certifications of BBPs can support consumers to make more informed and conscious purchasing choices. Labels and certification schemes (LCS) should therefore reflect and anticipate the information that is needed by consumers and other stakeholders.

The 3-CO project will focus on these needs in relation to bio-based products and materials through different approaches: In surveys and in focus group discussions, the project will explore consumers’ needs and motivations towards sustainable consumption. Digital solutions developed in 3-CO will actively engage consumers throughout their (online) shopping journey. Generated data will then be used to assess consumer behaviour. The results from these approaches will be analysed to conceptualise better labels and user-friendly digital tools and to publish recommendations for social measures. The 3-CO project’s aims to increase transparency of the BBP value-chains and improve LCS by creating guidelines for labelling and label-design, thereby actively supporting Europe’s green and digital transition.