Enabling Sustainable Consumption and Production Towards Achieving Green Growth

At the 13th Asia Pacific Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production (APRSCP) in Melaka, Malaysia, key challenges and possible solutions to advancing sustainable development in Asian countries were identified.

The Roundtable was held on 24 – 26 October 2017 and entitled “Enabling SCP towards Achieving Green Growth”. The CSCP and its SWITCH-Asia Network Facility contributed to the Sessions on the Circular Economy and Sustainable Lifestyles as well as Access to Green Finance.

Addressing the circular economy from the consumer perspective, Michael Kuhndt, Executive Director of the CSCP, argued that closing the loop through more sustainable production alone is not enough. Kuhndt stressed that we need to engage with consumers, favouring products and services destined for circular consumption. Additionally, government plays a central role, especially as public procurer. For example, instead of buying lighting, public procurers can buy the service for lighting government offices. By doing so, the service providers will be responsible to maintain the lighting, while the government pays for the number of units of light used. There are many ways to offer new products and services favouring the circular economy. Innovation in business models is therefore key.

Introducing the roundtable on ‘Strengthening Access to Green Finance for SCP Projects in Asia’, Dr. Weber, Team Leader of the SWITCH-Asia Network Facility, elaborated on the misconception that financing investment in cleaner and resource efficient technology is to be dealt with by increasing “supply” of credit. However, this is not the case: Each entrepreneur, in particular SMEs, has to think twice before indebting his/her company. With limited financing and credit affordability, the decision tends to favour enhancing production capacity and quality rather than improving resource efficiency and environmental impact. Therefore, the issue of green credit uptake has to be addressed by governments via effective pricing of resource consumption and environmental pollution. In this way the business case for investment in cleaner production and resource efficient infrastructure can be construed, and banks will be able to assess the economic viability of a credit request.

The three-day event and parallel exhibition were attended by around 200 participants from public and private sectors as well as international SCP experts and practitioners, contributing strategies and experiences in SCP implementation in the region. Committed to mainstreaming SCP in Asia, the EU-funded SWITCH-Asia Programme and the CSCP contributed their expertise. To read the full news release bt the SWITCH Network Facility click here.

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Please contact Raymond Slaughter for further questions.