A 10-year framework programme for sustainable consumption and production (SCP) is included in the Rio+20 outcome. Numerous activities on SCP have taken place during the conference and the Nordic Council of Ministers took part in several events highlighting Nordic achievements and contributing to the global dialogue within this field.
- We need to have more effective dialogue with policy makers, business, and civil society and we need a global research program to add impetus to the movement towards more sustainable societies, says professor Philip J Vergragt at NCM seminar.
The Global Research Forum on Sustainable Consumption and Production held a workshop June 13-15 bringing together SCP researchers and practitioners from around the globe.
- The environmental, social, and economically unsustainable situations are driven by our consumption habits and our production structures. Neither government policies nor activism have thus far had any meaningful effects , said professor Philip J Vergragt, the co-founder of the Global Research Forum.
- We need to have more effective dialogue with policy makers, business, and civil society and we need a global research program to add impetus to the movement towards more sustainable societies, he added.
- Consumption is political and should be analyzed through political-economic lenses. Addressing individual consumption and influencing consumers are important research goals, but this is not enough: the root causes, such as consumerist culture, economic system and growth paradigm should also be more thoroughly analyzed, Vergragt concluded.
The NCM also co-financed a workshop on scaling up business models for sustainable living, organized by the European Environment Agency and the Center on Sustainable Consumption and Production in conjunction with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
The workshop held on June 18 tackled a number of policy messages and the aim was to start a global initiative on sustainable business models at Rio+20.
- Reporting by companies and corporate social responsibility are part of the Rio+20 negotiations. We can help show how crucial it is to pair up government and business to increase awareness of the issues at stake, said Lars Fogh Mortensen from the EEA in his conclusions.
Other participants wanted to move even further.
- This is about more than corporate reporting. It is about getting financial institutions to care for and value sustainable policies and actions by companies. And reward that with investments, said Robert ter Kuile, Senior Director for Environmental Sustainability, Global Public Policy at PepsiCo Corporate.
At the Nordic Council of Ministers side event on ecolabelling and sustainable public procurement on June 20, Finnish Environment Minister Ville Niinistö expressed his joy at the inclusion of SCP in the Rio+20 outcome:
- A new framework programme for sustainable consumption and production is one of the very concrete outcomes of Rio+20. It is something we have worked on for very long and we are pleased to see the process move forward, said Niinistö.