The regional project “Scaling Sustainable Consumption and Production: Ecolabelling and Green Public Procurement for a Low-Carbon Pathway in Southeast Asia” (Scaling SCP) financed by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) column III was commissioned on 17th March 2022. Scaling SCP is under the responsibility of Department GII2 Sustainable Consumer Protection Policy, Product-Related Environmental Protection.
Scaling SCP is a regional project working in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines with the objective of reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by scaling sustainable product policies. In all partner countries, eco-labelling schemes are functioning consumption-side tools, but often the criteria ambition level lags behind the best available technology. Also, material or circularity criteria for products are still missing, such as durability, reliability, reparability or amount of recycled content. Furthermore, their penetration in the markets is still niche and perceived as premium-price luxury eco-products.
The Green Public Procurement (GPP) mechanism is established in all countries, allowing governments to “walk the talk” and boost the demand for labelled products. However, the complex governance structures required to include ambitious environmental criteria in public tenders and to verify these via Life-Cycle Costing (LCC) or by using the eco-label requires substantial capacity development. This includes training individuals, developing the processes within organisations, developing cooperation and steering structures across ministries and institutions, and developing the policy framework.
Scaling SCP will focus on developing these tools: ambitious eco-label criteria for more impactful products and scaling the impact of GPP. Our approaches are:
In Thailand, the focus is on developing the GPP Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) System and upgrading the Thai Green Label (TGL), as well as linking the GPP system to the new Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economic development agenda of the country. The project will likely pilot the roll-out of GPP with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), particularly by pioneering Green Cooling Air Conditioner procurement.
Similarly, in Malaysia the national type 1 ecolabel SIRIM will be upgraded by introducing circularity criteria and possibly mandatory minimum eco-design criteria. SIRIM is one label of the “consolidated label” MyHijau mark, which also serves GPP. Here the focus is on benchmarking the EL of MyHijau to curb green washing and increase the level of ambition for GPP. Moreover, the automatization of the GPP M&E is foreseen. The country has set ambitious Circular Economy (CE) policies in its recently announced 5-year development plan to scale GPP to the sub-national level and to boost GPP in public building. Scaling SCP will run a pilot project and develop blueprints for objectives.
In Indonesia, environmental standards including eco-labelling now have a new institutional home. The Environmental and Forestry Instrument Standardization Agency (BSILHK) has a dedicated team to regulate product claims and develop the country’s type 1 ecolabel Ramah Lingkungan. However, there are only few green products and services criteria available. Scaling SCP will support the institutional development of BSILHK and boost the eco-label. The project will further support the capacity development and institutional stabilisation of GPP, which is now strongly supported by the central planning ministry (Bappenas) and the procurement agency (LKPP). This might include the development of a green product directory to support GPP.
In the Philippines, the type 1 label Green Choice Philippines wishes to be certified by the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) and linked to the GPP system. Scaling SCP will likely support this as well as developing more and ambitious product criteria, especially for so-called Common Supply and Equipment (CSE) which are centrally procured for the country. This allows the partners to boost the demand for such CSE goods/services in a short time. Scaling SCP will support the green product availability, possibly also by developing an electronic green product directory and linking this to the e-procurement system of the country.
Scaling SCP has further launched a webinar series in parallel with its sister project SCP Outreach, which started on 22nd March 2022 with over 100 participants coming from public and private sector, international organisations and academic institutions.
Finally, from 31 August until 1st September 2022, a Regional Circular Economy Conference on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 12.7 is planned, with the focus on Material Efficiency and CE criteria in products and services. This will be held in Bangkok, Thailand.