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Accelerated action for sustainable consumption and production – Nordics share over 50 best practices

There is an urgent need to transform global consumption and production patterns (SCP). While the Nordics generally fare well in sustainability comparisons, Nordic consumption overshoots considerably the ecological thresholds for sustainable and equitable consumption. By displaying over 50 practical examples of SCP, the Nordic Council of Ministers encourages accelerated action by all key stakeholders in Nordic countries, as well as sharing of lessons learned internationally.

The examples display a wide array of opportunities and actors that can deliver required change – including public and private sector actors, research community, NGOs, city planners, champions of change, whether young and older change agents. The solutions presented are directly linked to UNEP’s 10-Year Framework Programme(1), covering: sustainable lifestyles and education, sustainable public procurement, sustainable tourism, consumer information for SCP, sustainable buildings and construction, and sustainable food systems.  

The goal is to share Nordic Best Practices and lessons learned with other stakeholders and partners in Nordic countries and internationally, among other through the UNEP Clearinghouse outreach platform.

The best practice examples have been selected from a wide variety of Nordic cases by Gaia Consulting and Nordic Council of Ministers working group on SCP. The Nordic countries have a long tradition in advancing the goals of sustainable development. They have actively and successfully worked on various national and international forums to prevent resource scarcity and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. Also, the Nordic countries have been able to identify and put into practice a number of innovative partnerships that harness the expertise and business potential of the private sector for a shift toward more sustainable consumption and production patterns.

There remains, however, considerable room for accelerated action in Nordic countries as well as internationally, and these examples should help encourage and up-scale such action urgently”, Mikko Halonen from Gaia says.

The cases have been published in two TemaNord reports(2, 3) and the third report is due in December 2017. The third batch of Nordic best practices provides success stories and lessons learned on sustainable food systems as well as sustainable buildings and construction. Among others, Danish success in advancing organic agriculture as well as introducing insects as sustainable food is highlighted. Innovative examples from Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway showcase how making use of more sustainable construction materials - such as wood -  and/or applying ecosystem based approaches in building design and city planning, can concretely advance climate compatible development.

All cases from the three Nordic studies have also been published in UNEP’s 10-Year Framework Program (10YFP) information platform, the SCP Clearinghouse(4). The SCP Clearinghouse is a web-based information sharing tool, which can be used by different actors as an inspiration for putting SCP into action worldwide.

1.  UNEP 10YFP
2. Nordic Best Practices relevant for UNEP 10YFP of sustainable consumption and production 
3. Nordic Best Practices relevant for UNEP 10YFP on Sustainable Tourism and Consumer Infromation
4. SCP Clearinghouse

More information

  • Anna Kortesoja, Senior Consultant, Gaia Consulting Oy, +358 50 504 2440, firstname.lastname@gaia.fi