Over recent decades, the growing movement of goods and services across international borders has led to an increase in trade in a range of environmentally sensitive commodities, such as minerals, forest products, fish, and agricultural produce. At the same time, the world demand for manufactured goods has been growing rapidly, and the environmental and health impacts associated with the production, consumption of goods and the disposal of waste have taken on a new dimension and scale never seen before.
International pressure is mounting to decouple economic growth from environmental impacts, which will require improving the environmental performance of products throughout their life-cycles and more environmentally friendly methods of producing, processing and consuming natural resources.
Towards this end, UNEP focuses on enhancing resource efficiency, reducing the environmental impacts of producing, processing and using goods and services, while also meeting human needs and improving wellbeing.
UNEP’s activities on resource efficiency in Europe include:
- Organic Agriculture for a Green Economy
- Green Sochi Olympic Winter Games in 2014
- Promoting Environmentally Sustainable Transport in Central & Eastern Europe