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Global Outlook on Sustainable Consumption and Production Policies: Taking action together - Executive Summary

Global Outlook on Sustainable Consumption and Production Policies: Taking action together - Executive Summary

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Published by: United Nations Environment Programme on May 31, 2012
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09/11/2012

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executive summary
 
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Copyright © United Nations Environment Programme, 2012
 This publication may be reproduced in whole or in part and in anyorm or educational or non-proft purposes without special permissionrom the copyright holder, provided acknowledgement o the source ismade. UNEP would appreciate receiving a copy o any publication thatuses this publication as a source.No use o this publication may be made or resale or or any othercommercial purpose whatsoever without prior permission in writingrom the United Nations Environment Programme.
Disclaimer
 The designations employed and the presentation o the material in thispublication do not imply the expression o any opinion whatsoever onthe part o the United Nations Environment Programme concerning thelegal status o any country, territory, city or area or o its authorities,or concerning delimitation o its rontiers or boundaries. Moreover, theviews expressed do not necessarily represent the decision or the statedpolicy o the United Nations Environment Programme, nor does citing o trade names or commercial processes constitute endorsement.
UNEP promotesenvironmentally soundpractices globally and in its ownactivities. This publication is printedon 50% recycled/50% virgin pulp FSC paper,using eco-friendly inks and other practices.Our distribution policy aims to reduceUNEP’s carbon footprint.
Acknowledgements
Supervision:
 Charles Arden-Clarke, Head, Goods and Services Unit, UNEP.Adriana Zacarias Farah, Programme Officer, UNEP.
Project coordination:
Nicole Polsterer, Consultant, UNEP.
Authors and Contributors:
SCP at the Global level and Introduction to Regional Chapters:Authors: Chris Beaton and Oshani Perera (International Institutefor Sustainable Development – IISD). Contributors: Charles Arden-Clarke, Adriana Zacarias Farah, Nicole Polsterer, (UNEP).
Regional Chapters:Africa:
Authors: Andrew Kitenge, Cleophas Migiro and Binelias Mndewa(Secretariat, African Roundtable on SCP-ARSCP). Contributors: UteSonntag (AEM-GIZ) and ARSCP Members: Cheikh Fofana (Senegal),Geofrey Bakanga (Tanzania), Moussa Barry (Mali), Hanan El Hadary(Egypt), Lambert Faabeluon (Ghana), Leonardo Guiruta (Mozambique),Hanan Hanzaz (Morocco), Ibimina Kakulu (Nigeria), Edga Mugisha(Uganda), Constantine Mwembela (Zambia), Yeo Napari (Côted’Ivoire), Ndivhuho Raphulu (South Africa), Sacheedanand Tahalo(Mauritius) and Louis Blanc Traore (Burkina Faso).
Asia-Pacific:
Author: Lewis Akenji (Institute for Global Environmental Strategies– IGES). Contributors: Magnus Bengtsson, Simon Olsen (IGES).
Latin America and the Caribbean:
Authors: Elisa Tonda and Silvia Ozuna Briggs (UNEP). Contributors:Maite Cortez, Jorge Alberto Alatorre Flores, David Lopez, (CentroEcologico Jalisco- CEJ) and Tanya Holmes (UNEP).
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Region:
Author: Jimena Fernandez. Contributors: Mikkel Hansen Stenbaek,David Mc Kinnon and David Watson (Copenhagen ResourceInstitute), Hilary French, Jordan Menzel, Céline Ramstein, RieTsutsumi, Emily Werner (UNEP) and Chris Beaton (IISD).
West Asia:
Authors: Hossam Allam, Ahmed El-Dorghamy and Suzy Imam(Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region andEurope – CEDARE). Contributors: Khaled Abuzeid and MohamedElrawady (CEDARE), Emad Adly (Arab Network for Environment andDevelopment) and Nawal AL-Hosany (Masdar City Project), andRaouf Dabbas (Ministry of Environment, Jordan).
Research Framework:
Copenhagen Resource Institute and UNEP.
Editorial Board:
Ibrahim Abdel-Gelil (Arabian Gulf University),Luigi Cabrini (World Tourism Organization), Bernard Combes(UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), LaksmiDhewanthi (Ministry of Environment of Republic of Indonesia),Hanan El Hadary (Egypt National Cleaner Production Centre),Alexandre Meybeck (Food and Agriculture Organization),Ramjeawon Toolseeram (University of Mauritius), Olivier Vilaca(World Business Council on Sustainable Development).
Special thanks to our partners:
Dorothee Convens-Billerbeck,Györgyi Gurbán and Hugo-Maria Schally (European Commission).
Thanks to our SCP Branch colleagues, in particular to:
KhairoonAbbas, Nis Christensen, Patrick Clairzier, Jim Curlin, CarlosEnmanuel, Stefanos Fotiou, Curt Garrigan, Arab Hoballah, TanyaHolmes, Cornis Lugt, Desta Mebratu, Patrick Mwesigye, MoiraO’Brian, Fabienne Pierre, Liazzat Rabbiosi, Lowri Rees, Luc Reuter,Guido Sonnemann and Farid Yaker.
Creation of survey and database:
Alfred Dipa Iskandar, withcontributions from, Ester del Monte, Julien Hortoneda and SaifulRidwan (UNEP).
Translation and communications for survey and website
: MaiteAldaya, Samira de Gobert, Nicole de Santis, Solange Montillaud-Joyel, Nick Nuttall, Moira O’Brian, Elodie Perrat, Liazzat Rabbiosiand Olga Sedinkina (UNEP).
Technical Support:
Shabani Ely Katembo, Consultant, UNEP.
Copy editors:
Lisa Muirrhead. Contributing editors: Debora Holmesand Roger East.
Photos:
Unless otherwise stated pictures have been sourced fromiStockphoto® and Shutterstock®.
Design/Layout:
Steve Paveley Design.The report should be referenced as follows: UNEP (2012), GlobalOutlook on SCP Policies: taking action together.
 
executive summary
3
on ecosystems, which can irreversibly collapse afteroverexploitation.One thing in common for all of these challengesis the need for a concerted, cooperative effort toovercome them. In our interconnected world, supplychains are truly global. Resource extraction, theproduction of intermediate inputs, distribution,marketing, waste disposal and re-use of mostproducts take place across and linking the world’snational economies. The consumption patterns inone country can have negative impacts on the bio-physical and social environment in neighbouring oreven distant ones.Chapter one explores the evolution of the SCPconcept and its approach, with the life-cycleperspective at its core. SCP focuses on thesustainable and efficient management of resourcesat all stages of value chains of goods and services.It encourages the development of processes thatuse fewer resources and generate less waste,including hazardous substances, while yieldingenvironmental benefits and frequently productivityand economic gains. Such improvements can alsoincrease the competitiveness of enterprises, turningsolutions for sustainability challenges into business,employment and export opportunities.The fundamental objective of SCP is to decoupleeconomic growth from environmental degradation.Achieving SCP patterns will sustain improvementsin economic development and human welfare thatwe depend on, including improvements in healthand education. In other words, SCP aims at
doingmore and better with less
– across the entire lifecycle of products, while increasing quality of lifefor all. ‘More’ delivered in terms of goods andservices, with ‘less’ impact in terms of resource use,environmental degradation, waste and pollution.
SCP at the Global Level
The Global Outlook on SCP Policies
reviewsinternational efforts to promote SCP that are beingdriven by intergovernmental organizations, businessand civil society (Chapter 2). It highlights that atthe
intergovernmental level
, the adoption of a SCPapproach as an international commitment andgoal is an important milestone in tackling thesechallenges. The 1992 United Nations Conferenceon Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro(the Earth Summit), and the 2002 World Summit onSustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburglaid the global foundation for many efforts to
The Global Outlook on Sustainable Consumption andProduction (SCP) Policies
, developed by the UnitedNations Environment Programme (UNEP) with thefinancial support of the European Commission,provides a non-exhaustive review of policies andinitiatives that are promoting the shift towards SCPpatterns. It is illustrated by 56 case studies rangingfrom global multilateral agreements and regionalstrategies to specific policies and initiatives beingimplemented by governments, businesses and civilsociety organizations.
The Global Outlook on SCP Policies’
main objectivesare to provide information about existing activitiespromoting SCP, to identify best practices, and toprovide recommendations to adapt, replicate andscale up SCP policies and initiatives contributingto the overarching goal of achieving sustainabledevelopment.
The Imperative of SustainableConsumption and Production
Although economic development over the past 30years has managed to lift millions out of poverty andexpand the number of countries reaching middle-income status, it has also been accompanied bya wide array of negative environmental and socialimpacts. These impacts threaten to undermine, oreven reverse, the economic development that hasbeen achieved to date. Globally, resource consumptioncontinues to rise, waste and pollution grows, and thegap between rich and poor stretches wider. As we gaingreater scientific understanding about our planet’sbio-physical constraints, so too do we appreciate thegrowing scale of the challenges before us.At the time of writing this report, the global economicsystem is still plagued by recent multiple crises withsignificant consequences for the world’s poor. Highlyvolatile and rising oil prices put further pressure onthe gains that have been achieved through economicdevelopment. Rapidly increasing food and commodityprices, in part driven by increased fuel prices,reflect further the inter-linkages of economic andenvironmental challenges. Considering a projectedpopulation of 9 billion in 2050, feeding the worldwill be a major challenge, given current consumptiontrends. Putting in place a more sustainable foodsupply systems is clearly an urgent need.Consumption of natural resources is increasing andwill accelerate further if projected growth rates of theworld economy are realized. This is alarming for bothnon-renewable and renewable resources that depend
Executive Summary

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