Edge joins UN’s global push for reliable sustainability information

UN_food_Sustainability_10yfp_logoIt’s ambitious, achievable and a sustainability priority – to make production and consumption information readily accessible worldwide.

Edge Environment is now a partner of the 10-year framework of programs on sustainable consumption and production patterns (10YFP) a UN-wide program led by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). It’s a global action-plan to shift individual human behaviours towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in both developed and developing countries.

The 6 initial 10YFP are:

  1. Consumer information – Edge is supporting this program; scroll down for more info.
  2. Sustainable lifestyles and education
  3. Sustainable public procurement
  4. Sustainable buildings and construction
  5. Sustainable tourism
  6. Sustainable food systems

FAST FACT: To date, more than 500 stakeholders, including governments and implementing partners
(such as Edge) are engaged in the 10YFP.

Sustainable Consumption and Production – the foundation of sustainable development.

UNEP defines SCP as “the use of services and related products, which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life, while minimising the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle of the service or product so as not to jeopardise the needs of further generations”. In a nutshell, it’s about doing more, better, using fewer resources.

  • 10YFP aims to develop, duplicate and continually scale up SCP and resource efficiency initiatives, at national and regional levels.
  • The framework is designed to encourage innovation and cooperation among stakeholders.
  • Its programs build capacity to implement policies, voluntary instruments, management practices, information and awareness-raising activities to promote the shift to SCP behavioural patterns.

The Consumer Information Programme

The demand for sustainable goods and services is high and growing, but consumers are often unable to make informed choices. The main reasons for this include:

  •  A lack of transparency or unreliable and incomplete information, and/or,
  • The proliferation of labels and standards, which may be unclear, unmonitored or simply complicate the comparison of information.

The Consumer Information Programme will work to provide reliable information on goods and services, and identify and implement the best strategies to make consumer consumption behaviours more sustainable.

It will consult with:

Consumers: to ensure that relevant, transparent and reliable information on the sustainability of goods and services is being provided and is informing purchasing decisions, product use and disposal.

Businesses: to identify and reduce the negative impacts of their goods and services on the environment and workers over their supply chain, and communicate this appropriately to customers.

Retailers: to voluntarily commit to promoting more sustainable products, providing better information to consumers and reducing environmental and social impacts over their supply chains.

Governments: to stimulate the development of operating markets for sustainable products, and governing the use of information tools including labels and other incentives for sustainable consumption.

For more information on the 10YFP Consumer Information Programme, please refer to its official newsletter. You can sign up for the newsletter by sending an email to CI-SCP@unep.org

What will Edge contribute?

Edge has much knowledge and experience to contribute to UNEP’s sustainable consumption initiative on both B2B and B2C levels and we are honoured to be in a position to influence positive change on a global scale. Some of our relevant past projects include:

Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) and Ecolabel Certification: Edge conducted product LCAs on the Woven Image EchoPanel range and delivered a successful Gold Certification under the ecospecifier GreenTag certification scheme.

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs): EPDs provide environmental impact of a product across its complete life cycle (similar to a nutritional value label on food products). Edge is a leader in this field, having delivered more than 10 EPDs in the Australian construction sector. EPDs are essential to accurately compare, benchmark and select products based on true sustainability factors. EPDs also serve to obtain credits for Green Star ratings.

Walmart Chile and The Sustainability Consortium: Fundación Chile and Edge Environment have been working with Walmart Chile and the Sustainability Consortium since October 2010 in preparation for a world-leading product sustainability program. Edge has provided ground-breaking research into the environmental performance of Chilean consumer goods.

Ecobase food and construction in Chile: EcoBase provides two environmental sustainability performance platforms that assess the life cycles of the main materials used in construction and food products. The project provides users with tools and calculators such that enterprises can independently measure their sustainability performance and communicate it on a same basis.

KFC Farm to Fork: In an industry-leading move, KFC Australia partnered with some of its largest suppliers to undertake a Farm to Fork study, identifying, with Edge’s support, the environmental and social aspects of its business and uncovering opportunities for improvement and partnership. Results from the study will provide insight into which aspects of the business are operating sustainably, where there is room for improvement and where there are new sustainability opportunities to explore. These benchmarks will provide the group with an understanding of its strengths and weaknesses when compared with home-cooked meals and other types of fast food.

We are very excited to share these experiences with the world and also learn from other leaders in environmental sustainability. We strongly believe in the outcomes that the 10YFP initiative and the Consumer Information Programme will have in the future and it is exciting to be able to bridge the gap between producers and consumers worldwide.

We’re all for collaborations. Contact one of our team members at Edge to discuss solutions and opportunities.

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