Promoting sustainability best practices in Duty Free and Travel Retail

Sustainability has long been a key consideration in Travel Retail, from operations and supply chain management to product development and customer engagement. 

In cooperation with our members, ETRC identified common values based on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and adopted its mission statement: “With collaboration and respect, we contribute to developing a Responsible Travel Retail”. 

Taking into account the three pillars of sustainability policies; environmental, social and governance; ETRC is fully committed to supporting its members and the wider industry in their efforts towards a more sustainable Travel Retail industry. 

This includes identifying areas for action in the field of sustainability where ETRC can play a part and enhance members’ contributions: 

  • Since 2018, ETRC has been promoting the ‘Duty Free Label’ project to its members dedicated to digital labelling in Travel Retail aimed at better informing the international consumer in Travel Retail as well as long-term environmental benefits by reducing packaging. 
  • In 2020, ETRC commissioned a study on ‘The Impact of Sustainability on the Travel Retail Shoppers’ Decision Making Process’ to provide members with actionable tools towards more sustainable operations.
  • In February 2022, ETRC endorsed the ‘Toulouse Declaration on future sustainability and decarbonisation of aviation’ supporting the decarbonisation of aviation by 2050. 
  • In 2022, ETRC joined the Duty Free industry campaign ‘Trusted, Transparent, Secure’ to raise awareness of the issue of illicit trade, counterfeiting and intellectual property theft.
  • Finally, ETRC regularly monitors the development of EU legislation and initiatives which have the potential to impact Duty Free and Travel Retail industry to support its members understanding and implementation of regulatory changes.

Promoting Responsible Retailing in Duty Free and Travel Retail

The duty- and tax-free channel is one of the most trusted, transparent, secure and legitimate supply chains in the world. Travel Retail operators have long track records of dealing with specific product segments which are heavily regulated products and perform an important role as a major footfall driver to bring customers into our shops.

Countries around the world enact various forms of control legislation which affects how duty-free retailers sell them from region to region. Policies that fail to take into account the specificities of the Duty Free and Travel Retail channel could have a damaging effect on sales such as the introduction of restricted sales hours, minimum pricing, display areas and labelling schemes.

ETRC believes that through proactive and constructive engagement with policymakers, it is possible to identify practical solutions that meet policy requirements while supporting the Duty Free sector. 

DFWC Codes of Conduct and Responsible Training Programmes

Our industry is one of the primary vehicles for showcasing Europe’s rich heritage to an international customer base, with an extraordinary range of premium brands available. A channel characterized by quality, rather than quantity, its profile is consistent with responsible consumption and purchasing by adults.

ETRC encourages its members to adopt and implement responsible retailing practices across Europe via the implementation of Codes of Conduct and responsible training programmes developed specifically for Duty Free and Travel Retail, and made available free of charge by our global trade association, the Duty Free World Council (DFWC).

Available in English, French and Spanish, these interactive module-based training programmes are designed to reinforce regulations and best sale practices. ETRC recommends representatives of all relevant stakeholders; brands, retailers, commercial teams, communications and promotional agencies, to ensure their associates participate in these training programmes. 

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