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Inter-regional meeting for Responsible Trader certification: 10 years on, its influence is spreading

Les participants des 9 territoires engagés, présents à la Rencontre 2022©Direction de la Communication – Stéphane Danna

The annual inter-regional meeting for the Responsible Trader certification was held on Tuesday 29 March at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco, a highly symbolic location, since the Museum was the first organisation in the Principality to earn the certification.

The day of discussion and reflection was particularly special since it marked the tenth anniversary of the Responsible Trader certification. Ms Caron Dagioni, Minister of Public Works, the Environment and Urban Development, congratulated the representatives of the regions attending the event for their commitment and energy. In her opening speech, she reaffirmed the Prince’s Government’s proactive policy, emphasising: “The Government’s policy on waste includes work on regulations, support and awareness. An ambitious policy can only succeed if it has the buy-in of businesses and local people. You can count on the Principality to continue to promote this approach within our country.”

Within Monaco, the Prince’s Government Department of the Environment has been working to roll out the Responsible Trader certification for more than five years, and introduced a specially adapted version for restaurateurs, the Responsible Restaurant certification, in 2020.

Céline Caron-Dagioni - Discours d'ouverture de la Rencontre Inter-territoires 2022©Direction de la Communication – Stéphane Danna

Today, nearly 100 traders and restaurants have earned their certification, with the first Michelin-starred restaurants joining the initiative in 2021.

These certifications are helping traders and restaurateurs to implement new regulations seeking to reduce plastic use and enable Monaco to achieve its zero single-use plastic goal by 2030.

To help change behaviour, the support also includes an educational component, enabling certification holders to understand why and how to take action. Personalised tips and solutions are offered to traders and restaurateurs to help them make progress at their own pace, raise awareness among some of their customers and respond to growing demand from consumers who are already highly motivated. And all this is done in good humour and with kindness, in keeping with the spirit of the certification!

Ecoscience Provence created the Responsible Trader certification 10 years ago with its partner, SIVED NG, in the Centre Var region. It gradually spread to other regions, each time being introduced as a result of surveys conducted among traders and following consultation with elected representatives and technical experts in the region. Consequently, each region has its own tailored Responsible Trader certification. Ecoscience Provence ensures consistency and promotes dialogue among the regions.

Today, from Var to Guyana, from Carcassonne to Aix-Marseille, not to mention Ile d’Yeu and Monte-Carlo, more than 600 traders, producers and restaurateurs are taking action to help the planet: reducing the amount of waste they produce, choosing local products, saving water and energy, and raising their customers’ awareness.

Following two years of remote meetings, this gathering of nine pilot regions in Monaco was a great occasion.

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