IGPN - International Green Purchasing Network



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News Archives

May 30, 2023

Project Launch: Greening supply and demand: Advancing Eco-Labels and Sustainable Public Procurement for climate and biodiversity protection (Eco-Advance)

The project Eco Advance, funded by the German International Climate Initiative (IKI), aims to increase the use of sustainable public procurement (SPP) and Type-1 Ecolabels as tools to improve climate mitigation, biodiversity, and resource protection, through ambitious ecolabels, improved policy and legal frameworks, increased engagement of the private sector, as well as regional and global exchange. The duration of this project is 4 years from 2022 to 2026 and the project is implemented in 5 Latin American countries (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico). This project will have a global exchange component including support to the Consumer Information Programme of the One Planet network. By supporting Type-1 ecolabels, the project helps to create incentives for cleaner production focusing on high impact sectors (building and construction, electronics, textiles) by addressing a major barrier to changing consumption and production patterns: the complexity of conveying the environmental impacts of products and services to consumers and public authorities.
Learn more at one planet network knowledge center.

UNEP joined forces with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Öko Institut.
-GIZ will be the consortium lead for this project and responsible for programme management, and activities related to sustainable public procurement, strengthening of policy framework and engagement with companies.
-UNEP will have a leading role in activities supporting ecolabelling schemes at the regional level. UNEP will also lead on activities to increase the outreach of the knowledge products created through the project by facilitating exchange with other regions, where work on SPP and ecolabeling is taking place.
-Öko Institut will provide strategic, technical, and methodological advice to GIZ, UNEP and national partners.

Unsustainable consumption and production patterns are at the heart of the triple planetary crisis: climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. In recent years, rising incomes and urbanisation in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, as well as in other regions of the world, have led to an increased demand for goods and services, which is linked to consumption-driven increases in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, resource depletion and biodiversity loss.

With an average purchasing power equivalent to 15-20% of national budgets (OECD 2020), public procurement can incentivise a shift away from unsustainable production and consumption patterns, when coupled with robust eco-labelling schemes for products and services that comply with stringent sustainability criteria.

This project will offer partners a well-established platform for sharing results and achievements while also ensuring local partners access to a strong global network of support for the future. It will also contribute to raise the visibility of ecolabels in national and regional development agendas.

Learn at one planet network website.

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category : Topics

May 22, 2023

Can regenerative wool make fashion more sustainable?

While building their fledgling fashion brand, environmentally minded Edzard van der Wyck and Michael Wessely confronted a deluge of sustainability claims about different textiles.

"We looked at all types of fibres from cashmere to pineapple skin," says Wessely. But they often found barriers in the way materials were produced. Bamboo, for example, while biodegradable, often goes through intensive chemical manufacturing processes. Pineapple production typically uses large amounts of agrochemicals and is usually grown in monoculture.

They were looking for a fabric with sustainability credentials that stood up to scrutiny, not just in carbon emissions but also in its impact on biodiversity, pollution, recyclability and the communities producing it. They initially suspected the ideal fabric might be found on the more innovative end of the spectrum, exploring materials that were relatively new to fashion.

But in 2018, Van der Wyck and Wessely turned their attention to a much, much older material. They met regenerative sheep farmers who "wanted to bring about radical change" to their industry, Wessely says. Impressed with farmers' convictions and the technical and environmental benefits they claimed their produce offered, they landed on their raw material of choice: regenerative wool. "The real answer came in the form of an ancient material, albeit sourced and treated in a pioneering way," says Wessely.

The regenerative approach seeks to replicate what happens in the wild, where animals roam as they graze to find new sources of food and avoid predators, allowing grasslands to heal

A year later, they established Sheep Inc, which claims to be the world's first "carbon negative" fashion brand. The London-based brand factors farming (including methane, sheep farming's main source of emissions), manufacturing, packaging and transport into its analysis, according to a report from independent certifiers, Carbon Footprint. However, this figure doesn't include home energy emissions from the team's remote working nor other digital emissions, although these would likely be low compared to emissions from farming wool.

Sheep Inc's methods to keep its environmental impact low include using solar-powered knitting machines, sorting clothes in a solar-powered warehouse and a plastic-free supply chain. Customers can also return items to Sheep Inc for mending and repair.

Experts in sustainable fashion have praised the company's efforts. "This is a brand after my own heart: championing regenerative natural fibres, renewable energy, responsible production with a fully traceable supply chain," says independent sustainable fashion consultant Lucianne Tonti. "They are proof of the concept that it is possible to make beautiful clothes with a positive environmental impact."

The fashion industry is responsible for between 8 and 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than aviation and shipping combined.

Some 70% of fashion's emissions come from its supply chains, concentrated in raw material production, processing and preparation. This was why carefully selecting raw material suppliers was so crucial to Sheep Inc's process, says Wessely.

Wool is viewed as somewhat of a wonder-fabric in the fashion industry because it is hardier than most fibres, requires less washing, and is recyclable, Tonti says. "It's strong, elastic and has a waxy coating so it doesn't stain easily, and it's odour resistant." It is also flame-retardant, has anti-bacterial properties, and can absorb up to 30% of its weight in water, she says. When wool returns to soil or water, it biodegrades, unlike petroleum-based fabrics such as polyester. (Read more about fashion's colossal waste problem).

This makes it a strong contender for sustainable clothing that lasts consumers decades. But conventional wool production remains far from climate-friendly; sheep emit methane, which is 28-36 times more potent than CO2 over a 100-year period. Conventional wool farming often uses set stock grazing, where animals sit in the same paddocks for long periods which can lead to desertification, biodiversity loss and soil erosion.

In places like South America, New Zealand and Australia, it is more common for sheep to roam but chemical fertilisers are commonplace and without adaptive management practices, conventional sheep farming can lead to the same overgrazing issues as set stock grazing including water pollution, soil erosion and desertification.

Learn more at BBC Future Planet, 14 April 2023, By: Parisa Hashempour.

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category : Topics

May 15, 2023

Report-Changing Behaviour to Help More People Waste Less Food

Many organisations and others who interact with householders have a role to play in helping people reduce the amount of food they waste – by helping to raise awareness and then helping address the barriers to reducing food waste, whether they are related to the product offering or a result of behaviours, skills and knowledge.

Champions 12.3 has collated this guide to help key actors in the food system to focus on how they can help consumers reduce food waste through behaviour change. In June 2021, the World Resources Institute (WRI) hosted a behaviour change webinar, followed by a workshop that convened leading experts behind some of the most prominent efforts to reduce consumer food waste to share their knowledge and best practices. The output from the workshop has informed the content of this guide (as indicated by “What the experts say” sections throughout), which also incorporates illustrative examples of consumer food waste interventions from around the world.

This document aims to guide actors towards actions they can take to help consumers change behaviours that may lead to food waste arising in households. In doing so, the guide takes into account the fact that multiple actors can influence how consumers deal with food waste. It also deliberately allows the reader to refer to the section that is most relevant to them and the actions they can take to help people reduce food waste. It is designed to allow the reader to dip into relevant sections as well as provide a comprehensive overview of the approaches and interventions that have been shown to reduce food waste.

Learn more at one planet network knowledge center.

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category : Topics

May 8, 2023

ASEAN Launches the ASEAN Toolkit on Sustainable Consumption

The ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP) has launched the ASEAN Toolkit on Sustainable Consumption which comprises of tools and teaching materials aiming to enhance the understanding of government officials, consumer associations, and businesses, on the concept and policy implications of sustainable consumption.

Promoting Sustainable Consumption is in line with the ASEAN Economic Blueprint (AEC) 2025, which recognizes the need to build higher consumer confidence including through the promotion of sustainable consumption. This strategic measure has been further elaborated under Goal 3 of the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for Consumer Protection (ASAPCP) 2025 which aims at ensuring higher consumer confidence in the ASEAN Economic Community and cross-border commercial transactions.

The materials are divided into four modules with the following topics:

Ÿ Concepts and Principles and Principles of Sustainable Consumption;
Ÿ Best regional and international practices and approaches to policies that promote sustainable consumption;
Ÿ Tools and instruments used in influencing consumer behavior; and
Ÿ Use of appropriate instruments and tools in selected sectors
Ÿ The materials are also supplemented with advocacy materials such as PowerPoint slides, infographics, and an Audio-Visual Presentation.

Prior to the development of the Toolkit, the ACCP conducted Capacity Building Workshops and Observational Site Visits to Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan on March 2019. The Workshop discussed the gaps and challenges in promoting sustainable consumption and provided the opportunity for AMS to discuss the development of their respective national initiatives to promote sustainable consumption.

In addition, a Regional Forum took place on August 2019 in Manila, the Philippines to discuss ways forward to formulate and implement sustainable consumption policy in ASEAN. In addition to ACCP members, the participants include international experts from countries with advanced sustainable consumption initiatives such as Japan and South Africa. It also includes NGOs, and academicians who are prominent advocates of the sustainable consumption movement. The recommendations and deliberations at the Forum provided the foundation for the development of the Sustainable Consumption Toolkit.

The development of the Toolkit was led by the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines and funded by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) through the project ‘Promotion of Sustainable Consumption in ASEAN’.

Please visit the aseanconsumer.org website to download the Toolkit and the set of advocacy materials.

For more information on ASEAN’s work on consumer protection, please visit the ACCP website: www.aseanconsumer.org.

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