Cleaner and Safer Production
UNEP focuses on enhancing business’ ability to apply resource efficiency (including cleaner production) and environmental innovation along value chains and to measure and disclose performance through corporate sustainability reporting. UNEP works with public and private partners to increase awareness and develop the ability of business (with a focus on SMEs in developing countries and emerging economies) to better understand and apply emerging science which applies life cycle thinking and embeds sustainability in strategic decision-making and management.
Encouraging Sustainable Building Practices in Social Housing Programmes
The UNEP Sustainable Social Housing Initiative (SUSHI) brings sustainable building practices to social housing programmes in countries in Asia Pacific. SUSHI is developing and verifying an approach to ensure that social housing programmes include design criteria and construction practices that support sustainable building principles.
Promoting Sustainable Tourism
Tourism has the potential to contribute to environmental protection and poverty reduction by capitalizing on biodiversity assets; to increase public appreciation of the environment and to spread awareness of environmental problems by bringing people into closer contact with nature and the environment. Because of their tourism potential, many natural areas are now legally protected. Finally, sustainable tourism businesses can be promoted as sustainable alternative livelihood opportunities in areas where current economic activities have detrimental effects on the host environment but where biodiversity and cultural assets could be a source of income.
Like all industries, the tourism industry can have adverse environmental, economic and social effects. These impacts are mostly linked with the construction and management of infrastructures such as roads and airports, and of tourism facilities, including resorts, hotels, restaurants, shops, golf courses, and marinas. Ill-managed tourism can put enormous pressure on an area and lead to soil erosion, increased air, soil and marine pollution, natural habitat loss, increased pressure on endangered species and heightened vulnerability to forest fires. It often puts a strain on fresh water resources, leading also to users’ conflicts between tourist-related and local consumption. Finally, CO2 emissions related to air transport in particular, with its growth forecast, poses a major problem in terms of sustainability.
Sustainable Rice Platform
The Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) is a multi-stakeholder partnership to promote resource efficiency and sustainability both on-farm and throughout the rice value chain. The SRP was co-convened by UNEP and the International Rice Research Institute in December 2011, and works in collaboration with partners in the public and private sector as well as the NGO community.