Bangkok, 30 November 2021 – GIZ Thailand in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)’s One Planet Network organised an online regional knowledge sharing event titled “Changing consumption patterns through sustainability information”. The gathering brought together policymakers, businesses, organisations and individuals from Europe and Asia who shared the innovative policies, tools and business models that promote sustainable consumption.
Sustainable consumption plays a central role in achieving sustainability and climate protection goals. Ensuring sustainability in consumption patterns requires a multidisciplinary and multinational approach and cannot be solved by any one actor. In view of the climate emergency and the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to shift the way we consume resources has come into the spotlight. There is great potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and an opportunity to build recovery plans through more sustainable consumption.
In her welcoming and opening remarks, Ms. Preeyaporn Suwanaged, Deputy Director-General, Pollution Control Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand, stated: “The Government of Thailand places great emphasis on the promotion of sustainable consumption and production (SCP). To do so, we have formulated policies, measures and mechanisms to advance Green Public Procurement (GPP). In the Thai GPP Phase 2, it is estimated that environmental benefit is valued at approximately 79 billion baht, and CO2 emission reduction accounts for around 11-million-tons CO2e for full implementation. We are currently in the process of drafting the new GPP Action Plan 2021-2027 which focuses on increasing environment-friendly products and services in the market and procurement system, promoting production and providing environment-friendly products and services, and using economic and legislative instruments to support the promotion of such products and services.”
“Thailand is proud to have played a part in fostering knowledge and experience sharing. I would especially like to thank the German Government for their continuous support in the financing of the Proliferation of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in Asia – the Next 5 Countries (SCP Outreach) project,” she added.
In his opening and keynote address titled “German and European Policies on Consumer Information”, Dr. Ulf Jaeckel, Head of Division of Sustainable Consumer Protection, Product-related Environmental Protection, the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU), stated: “Our goal is for consumers, the environment and the climate to benefit from products that are more durable, reusable, repairable, recyclable, and energy-efficient. To achieve this, Germany is committed to working with countries around the world to modernise policies and instruments and assist others in their transition to a low-carbon society. For more than 10 years, we have worked together with our partner countries in Asia to integrate climate-friendly criteria into eco-labels, generate markets for eco-labelled products, and empower consumers to consume sustainably.”
In closing, Mr. Kai Hofmann, Project Director of Sustainable Consumption and Production Hub, GIZ, said: “All over the world, consumers have become more conscious of the environment and we see that governments, companies and organisations are responding. Take for example, IKEA Thailand, which has just launched a Circular Shop, a buy-back and resale service that seeks to extend product life, reduce raw materials and promote reuse. Another example is from South Korea where in 2011, the Ministry of Environment and the Korea Environment Industry and Technology Institute introduced a Green Credit Card to promote eco-friendly lifestyles. When purchasing eco-friendly products and services from participating businesses, customers receive reward points.”
“Enabling consumers to make informed choices does not imply that the sole responsibility to reduce the adverse effects of product manufacturing and consumption on society and the environment lies with consumers. Sustainable consumption and production can only be achieved if all stakeholders play their parts,” Mr. Hofmann added.
The project “Proliferation of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in Asia – the Next 5 Countries (SCP Outreach) is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. SCP Outreach supports the development and implementation of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) policy framework and institutional capacity, in particular Green Public Procurement (GPP) and ecolabels in five countries, namely Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam and Bhutan. Today’s knowledge exchange is one of the activities under the project and runs from March 2020 – February 2024.