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On resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production – which is a standalone goal in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but also impacts on other goals such as climate change, poverty, zero hunger, and sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth – UNEP focuses on three areas:

Supporting countries in creating an enabling policy environment that promotes resource efficiency, sustaintable consumption and production and the transition to green economy pathways

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Enhancing the ability of governments, businesses and other parties to adopt sustainable consumption and production practices in key sectors across global supply chains.

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Enhancing the ability of countries, businesses, civil society and individual consumers to make informed choices for sustainable consumption and lifestyles.

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IN PICTURES

Enabling environment

UNEP supports countries and regions to integrate green economy and sustainable consumption and production approaches into policies. Green economies are low carbon, resource efficient and inclusive, and create employment and enhance human well-being – all essential to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement.

29 countries

and nine cities have adopted or started the implementation of sustainable consumption and production and green economy pathways since 2011.

Enabling environment

UNEP supports countries and regions to integrate green economy and sustainable consumption and production approaches into policies. Green economies are low carbon, resource efficient and inclusive, and create employment and enhance human well-being – all essential to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement.

Over the last two years, with UNEP’s support, eight countries and nine cities developed and/or started implementing sustainable consumption and production and green economy policies, meeting UNEP’s target for the end of 2015. This brings the total to 29 countries and nine cities that have adopted or started the implementation of sustainable consumption and production and green economy pathways since 2011 – including those engaged through the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE).

The International Resource Panel, which provides policymakers with scientific assessments and reports on how to decouple economic growth from environmental impact, is another important way to improve the enabling policy environment. Over the last two years the UNEP-hosted body has released influential reports on metal recycling, climate change and city-level resource decoupling approaches.

29 countries

and nine cities have adopted or started the implementation of sustainable consumption and production and green economy pathways since 2011.

Enabling environment

UNEP supports countries and regions to integrate green economy and sustainable consumption and production approaches into policies. Green economies are low carbon, resource efficient and inclusive, and create employment and enhance human well-being – all essential to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement.

Over the last two years, with UNEP’s support, eight countries and nine cities developed and/or started implementing sustainable consumption and production and green economy policies, meeting UNEP’s target for the end of 2015. This brings the total to 29 countries and nine cities that have adopted or started the implementation of sustainable consumption and production and green economy pathways since 2011 – including those engaged through the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE).

The International Resource Panel, which provides policymakers with scientific assessments and reports on how to decouple economic growth from environmental impact, is another important way to improve the enabling policy environment. Over the last two years the UNEP-hosted body has released influential reports on metal recycling, climate change and city-level resource decoupling approaches.

29 countries

and nine cities have adopted or started the implementation of sustainable consumption and production and green economy pathways since 2011.

Green Economy in Europe

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UNEP supported six Eastern European countries through the EU-financed Greening Economies in the Eastern Neighbourhood (EaP-GREEN) programme. Using scoping studies and training, this programme shows how economic growth can be decoupled from environmental degradation and resource depletion in Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Republic of Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine.

UNEP supported six Eastern European countries through the EU-financed Greening Economies in the Eastern Neighbourhood (EaP-GREEN) programme. Using scoping studies and training, this programme shows how economic growth can be decoupled from environmental degradation and resource depletion in Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Republic of Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine.

Moldova can expect to earn back investments in renewable energy within ten years, for example. Investments in energy efficiency in the country can offer savings in energy consumption worth over €100 million by 2020.

The foundations were also laid for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine to adopt their first sustainable public procurement plans thanks to UNEP guidance. This work will boost the domestic market for sustainable products.

Moldova can save $100 million by 2020 by investing in energy efficiency

Illustrative policy changes in countries and cities

Mongolia

Adopted a Green Development Strategy with UNEP’s assistance.

Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Mainstreamed sustainable consumption and production and green economy approaches into urban policy instruments.

Rwanda and Brazil

Began implementing sustainable consumption and production plans.

Da Nang, Viet Nam

Defined its resource footprint and established targets to become more resource efficient.

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Enabling environment

At the core of UNEP’s work is enhancing the capacity of governments, businesses and other parties to adopt sustainable production...

Sectors and supply

At the core of UNEP’s work is enhancing the capacity of governments, businesses and other parties to adopt sustainable production and consumption practices in global supply chains in building and construction, food and agriculture see In Focus, finance and tourism sectors. Over the last two years, with UNEP support, 140 countries, institutions and businesses improved management practices or strategies in these sectors, bringing the total number reporting improved practices and the use of more resource-efficient tools to 222.

The financial sector is an increasingly vital target for UNEP engagement, which the organization carries out through both the UNEP Finance Initiative and the UNEP Inquiry, which in 2015 launched its report: The Financial System We Need: Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development. The report, which shows how to harness the assets of the world’s financial system for sustainability, found that financial policymakers and regulators were increasingly taking steps to integrate sustainable development considerations into financial systems to make them fit for the 21st century. In Peru, for example, new due diligence requirements have been introduced for banks to help reduce social and environmental externalities.

Changes in practices resulting from UNEP support

Country

France Open/Close

Sector/Area of support
Tourism

Result
34 professionals and eight businesses achieved environmental certification labels and standards. Certified businesses decreased their energy and water consumption. The city of Nantes became the first European city to have co-certified hotel rooms.

Tourism

India Open/Close

Sector/Area of support
Buildings and Construction

Result
A social housing developer involved in slum re-development adopted sustainable design standards, increasing energy efficiency.

Construction

Global Open/Close

Sector/Area of support
Eco-Innovation and Supply Chains

Result
175 stakeholders exposed to UNEP’s operational approach to eco-innovation to boost profitability and sustainability in three supply chains (agri-food, metals and chemicals). 11 countries selected for implementation.

Eco-Innovation and Supply Chains

Sweden Open/Close

Sector/Area of support
Buildings and Construction

Result
A construction company changed its sourcing and selection of construction materials of its 50,000 suppliers. As a result overall sustainability of its products has increased.

Construction

“The UNEP Inquiry report delivers a vision of embedding sustainable development into the core of financial and capital markets.”
Yi Gang, Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China

Lifestyles and consumption

UNEP aims to provide enabling conditions for promoting more sustainable consumption choices and lifestyles. Progress here is demonstrated by the number of public and private sector institutions that put in place policies and measures conducive to sustainable consumption patterns...

Lifestyles and consumption

UNEP aims to provide enabling conditions for promoting more sustainable consumption choices and lifestyles. Progress here is demonstrated by the number of public and private sector institutions that put in place policies and measures conducive to sustainable consumption patterns. Supporting sustainable public procurement is one way to stimulate demand for, and supply of, sustainable products. Over the last two years, UNEP supported 20 countries on sustainable public procurement. Six of these countries are developing or implementing action plans in close coordination with the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP), which is running programmes on Consumer Information, Sustainable Lifestyles and Education, Sustainable Public Procurement, Sustainable Buildings and Construction, Sustainable Food Systems, and Sustainable Tourism. Additionally, with UNEP’s support, 27 companies –based in Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, India, Peru and Uganda – have increasingly used life cycle-based approaches and tools.

Education and awareness-raising are also important enabling conditions for more sustainable lifestyles. Over the last two years, UNEP supported activities that catalyzed the engagement of 18 stakeholders into the promotion of sustainable lifestyles – including through the joint UNEP/Food and Agriculture Organization initiative on reducing food waste, Think.Eat.Save – bringing the total to 28 stakeholders. This brings the cumulative total to 82.

Lifestyles and consumption

UNEP aims to provide enabling conditions for promoting more sustainable consumption choices and lifestyles. Progress here is demonstrated by the number of public and private sector institutions that put in place policies and measures conducive to sustainable consumption patterns. Supporting sustainable public procurement is one way to stimulate demand for, and supply of, sustainable products. Over the last two years, UNEP supported 20 countries on sustainable public procurement. Six of these countries are developing or implementing action plans in close coordination with the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP), which is running programmes on Consumer Information, Sustainable Lifestyles and Education, Sustainable Public Procurement, Sustainable Buildings and Construction, Sustainable Food Systems, and Sustainable Tourism. Additionally, with UNEP’s support, 27 companies –based in Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, India, Peru and Uganda – have increasingly used life cycle-based approaches and tools.

Education and awareness-raising are also important enabling conditions for more sustainable lifestyles. Over the last two years, UNEP supported activities that catalyzed the engagement of 18 stakeholders into the promotion of sustainable lifestyles – including through the joint UNEP/Food and Agriculture Organization initiative on reducing food waste, Think.Eat.Save – bringing the total to 28 stakeholders. This brings the cumulative total to 82.

Bogotá, Colombia Open/Close

In Bogotá, Colombia, 22 companies organized in a Life Cycle Management network and completed training in compliance. They are now implementing environmental management systems using life-cycle approaches.

Kashipur, India Open/Close

In Kashipur, India, a company in the chemicals sector integrated life-cycle approaches into management practices.

For more information on UNEP's work on resource effeciency, please visit our Resource Effeciency page or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

For more details on performance indicators and finances, please download UNEP's Programme Performance Report for 2014-2015