Wednesday, April 9, 2014
As many emerging economies, Brazil has passed through major changes over the last decade. Currently the 6th world’s most important economy, the country faces the benefits and the side effects of this progressive economic growth In order to shift the present economic development model, based on unsustained levels of consumption and production, the Brazilian Government launched the SPC Action Plan in 2011.
The Brazil SPCP Action Plan was initially designed in the context of the international discussions within the Marrakech Process. Since 2012, the partnership with UNEP supports Brazil participation in the 10YFP. In the scope of the SPC Action Plan, six priority areas have been defined: Sustainable Construction; Sustainable Consumption and Retailing; Sustainable Public Procurement; Increase in the recycling of Solid Waste; Education for Sustainable Consumption; and Environmental Agenda for Public Administration.
The Brazil SPC Action Plan has already developed successful cases and several initiatives are underway. As an example, some of the campaigns developed by the plan became very popular in the country, like the operation called “Saco É Um Saco”. The campaign changed the Brazilian patterns of plastic bags consumption by engaging retailers, associations and governments and promoting a shift in the consumers’ behavior. From 2009 to 2012, the production of plastic bags was reduced by 33%, which means 5 billion bags less in the Brazilian market. The results surpassed the initial target of 30% by end of 2013.
The national survey “What do the Brazilian people think about the environment” had its 5th edition implemented through the project. The research intends to analyze the Brazilian population’s knowledge and opinions about environment, with a special focus on consumption. The publication resulted from the surveys was presented during the Rio+20 Conference.
Even if the Brazil SPC Action Plan aims to stimulate new patterns of consumption and production in all Brazilian society, it is being shown that the women role in shaping consumption family choices is increasing, especially in the new middle class. Thereby, the action plan has launched an initiative that aims to empower women and their role towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production. The Network of Brazilian Women Leaders for Sustainability represents a concrete effort of the national Ministry of Environment to integrate the gender perspective and analysis within the SCP Plan.
The SPC Action Plan also established the Environmental Agenda of the Public Administration (A3P) initiative, which refers to the socio-environmental responsibility of the public sector. Training material and several capacity building course for government employees have already been implemented. The set of actions developed by the SPC Plan in Brazil contributed also for the adoption of sustainable public policies, as the specific laws on sustainable public procurement established in 2012.
To guarantee the sustainability of the SPC Action Plan, the project respects the diversity and the contrasts of the country and is based on a multi-stakeholder approach, involving government institutions, private sector, associations and corporations, civil society, academia and the general public. The involvement of these target groups will help ensure its sustainability in the long term, providing legitimacy and support mechanisms for policies and upscale of SCP actions implementation and management practices in Brazil.