Information
  • Lead-organizer: Nordic Council of Ministers
  • 19:00 - 20:30
  • Date: 20 Jun 2012
  • Room: T-8

Videos
Interviews with three Nordic ministers after the Nordic Council of Ministers' seminar 'Ecolabelling and Sustainable Public Procurement are major tools in furthering a green economy' at Rio+20.
Photos
Seizing ecolabelling and sustainable public procurement opportunities

Organizing partners

Nordic Council of Ministers
Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Brazil
UNEP DTIE SCP Branch

Introduction

Ministerial dialogue with Nordic and Southern Cone countries sets the focus on ecolabelling and sustainable public procurement (SPP) and highlights the potential and advantages of the regional co-operation.



Ecolabelling and SPP are important instruments in striving for more sustainable consumption and production patterns and green economy. A green economy needs pragmatic approaches with feasible instruments for countries striving for a path towards low-carbon, small-footprint societies. Enhanced use of ecolabelling and SPP improves performance of products throughout their life-cycle, stimulates the demand of more sustainable products and technologies and helps consumers to make more sustainable choices.



One inspiring example on the ongoing efforts is a joint venture initiated by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the United Nations Environment Programme. The project evaluates and advances the strategies towards the development of a regional ecolabelling programme and promotes the role of sustainable public procurement in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Detailed programme

MINISTERIAL DIALOGUE
Ministerial dialogue with Nordic and Southern Cone countries sets the focus on ecolabelling and sustainable public procurement and highlights the potential and advantages of the regional co-operation.

A green economy needs pragmatic approaches with feasible instruments for countries striving for a path towards low-carbon, small-footprint societies. Sustainable consumption and production patterns, models, programmes and strategies can contribute a great deal in these aspirations, both in developed and developing world. Ecolabelling and sustainable public procurement are examples of concrete tools, which can enhance the transition to a green economy.

The side event discusses the inter-linkages between sustainable consumption and production and green economy policy instruments and practices within the framework of sustainable development and poverty eradication and thus contributes strongly to the conference theme ?green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication?.

ORGANISER
Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) is an intergovernmental organization. Nordic Council of Ministers is the forum for governmental co-operation between Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the autonomous territories Greenland, Faroe Islands and Aland.

PROGRAMME
The programme consists of national and regional experiences on the use of ecolabelling and sustainable public procurement and focuses on the ministerial dialogue with participants from the Nordic and Southern Cone regions. The side event will also present the joint venture initiated by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the United Nations Environment Programme, which evaluates and advances the strategies towards the development of a regional ecolabelling programme and promotes the role of SPP in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Seizing ecolabelling and sustainable public procurement opportunities: Ministerial dialogue with Nordic and Southern Cone countries

- Key note presentation on the potential of ecolabelling and SPP to achieve green economy

- Intervention from a consumer organization

- Intervention from the business sector

- Ministerial dialogue including national and regional experiences (tbc, the final constellation of the panel will be confirmed in April 2012)
Minister of Environment , Finland
Minister of Business and Industry, Nordic countries,
Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Brazil
Minister of Environment, Chile


THEMATIC FOCUS
Resource-productivity has been increasing in many countries. Several countries, Nordic countries amongst them, have achieved relative decoupling of economic growth from environmental degradation. Nevertheless, resource use continues to grow over the sustainable limits and environmental degradation threatens the development and welfare of many newly developed countries. In order to meet the basic needs of a growing population within the Earth?s limited resources there is a need to rethink the concept of growth and to come up with more sustainable approaches both for production and consumption and for the economy as a whole.

To create a dynamic framework for promotion of sustainable production and consumption patterns, it is important to connect and enhance synergistic potential of different instruments. Voluntary labelling and public procurement together with other complementary measures constitute a dynamic SCP policy framework. In the transition to green economy, these tools are part of enabling conditions each playing an important role in the overall market transformation towards an economic model which enhances natural capital, reduces resource scarcity and environmental and social risks.

The public sector has the chance to be a pioneer in the work of making intelligent purchasing decisions that promote the development of sustainable innovations within the manufacturing sector. Buying green products is an important way of expanding green markets, and the public sector is an important consumer. A fundamental precondition for developing new solutions is that dialogue takes place between different players, e.g. decision-makers, purchasers, marketers and innovative companies.

Boosting green demand by promoting environmental information is a crucial tool towards more sustainable consumption and production. Type I ecolabels based on multiple criteria, lifecycle perspective and third-party certification are practical tools for manufacturers to improve resource efficiency of products and for consumers to make environmentally sound choices.

A regional ecolabelling approach is a cost-effective way of addressing the well documented needs of making production and consumption patterns more sustainable. It does not only save time and resources to work on a regional basis, but it also enhances regional integration and cooperation within environmental, industrial and consumer policies. Linking ecolabelling closely with sustainable public procurement furthermore creates a stronger demand for ecolabelled products.

COOPERATION EXAMPLE
The NCM has initiated a joint venture with the UNEP, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. The project has the objective of evaluating and advancing the strategies in the Southern Cone region towards the development of a regional eco-labelling programme and promoting the role of public procurement, allowing the creation of a dynamic policy framework for promotion of SCP. Focus will be on exchange of information, capacity building and training, as well as development of educational tools for awareness raising. The results will have an impact on increased demand and supply of sustainable products at the national and regional level.
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