This comment was made by the Forest Stewardship Council’s Chief Advocacy Officer, John Hontelez at a session on Sustainable Production and Consumption Patterns (SCP) at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. In his address, Hontelez urged participants to include sustainable public procurement as one of the tools to promote SCP.
“Sustainable Production and Consumption Patterns are the outcome of many different decisions and actions by public authorities, business and civil society. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, with their targets and indicators, can trigger specific activities that can make a real difference,” said Hontelez.
Hontelez pointed at the role of public authorities as major consumers, representing between 18 percent of GDP in the European Union to over 30 percent in some developing countries. Sustainable public procurement, if practiced across the planet, would create reliable markets for environmentally and socially sound products, services and works, thereby increasing efficiency, promoting sustainable resource management and reducing pollution.
“Well designed sustainable public procurement policies, with a strong social dimension, can also considerably contribute to poverty alleviation and social justice,” added Hontelez.
SCP is broadly defined by the United Nations as “a holistic approach to minimizing negative environmental impacts from production and consumption in society and it can be considered as a practical implementation strategy to achieve sustainable development.”
The Sustainable Development Goals initiative began at the Rio+20 Summit in June 2012. The Development Goals aim to sharpen the focus of actions of governments worldwide for sustainable development, and also to follow up the UN Millennium Goals that expire in 2015.
After a round of consultations, ending next month (February), a draft for the Sustainable Development Goals will be published in March. Negotiations are expected to continue for 18 months.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent non-governmental organization that promotes environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests. FSC was created in 1993 to help consumers and businesses identify products from well-managed forests. FSC sets standards by which forests are certified, offering credible verification to people who are buying wood and wood products. Currently more than 183 million hectares and 27,000 companies are certified to FSC standards worldwide. For more information visit www.fsc.org.