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Seizing Ecolabelling and Sustainable Public Procurement Opportunities in the Southern Cone Region
Responsible organisation
2013 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

One of the most significant environmental and social problems of the world corresponds to unsustainable patterns of production, distribution, consumption and disposal of products. These unsustainable patterns are the result of choices made by a myriad of actors across the value chain of products. These choices can be influenced by making credible and meaningful information about the products they are producing, trading or consuming more readily available to market actors and decision-makers to enable them to make more informed choices. Such information should be based on the impacts of a product´s life cycle to ensure the net improvement and avoid burden shifting7.In this sense, ecolabels and other product information tools have played an important role in advancing more sustainable consumption and production patterns. Their function is to provide information about environmental and/or social aspects of products to all actors of the value chain. Ecolabels not only guide manufacturers towards the right choices of raw materials, production processes, packaging and end-of-life logistics, but also influence the behaviour of consumers so that their choice of product comes with an environmental and/or social conscience (Prasad, 2012). Thus, ecolabels are widely supported as an integral component of comprehensive policy frameworks and initiatives aimed at achieving sustainable consumption and production patterns (DEFRA, 2010).In this respect, Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) plays a crucial part in the uptake of ecolabelling. Public procurement constitutes a significant part of domestic consumption. Through specific SPP policies, governments have backed the creation of markets for domestic ecolabelled products (Horne, 2009). Equally, ecolabels are a key element for the widespread and better application of SPP, as they can be used to outline and comply with specifications of tendering processes (AMPHOS 21, 2011). The strong inter-linkage between ecolabelling and SPP is evidenced in the case of the EU Ecolabel, where diverse countries have implemented successful national ecolabelling programmes that have facilitated the development of sound SPP policies (AMPHOS 21, 2011).Compared to developed regions, Southern Cone (SC) countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) have little experience with the use of ecolabelling and SPP for promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns. At the same time, there is a wide range in the levels of activity across the countries in the SC.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers , 2013. , 110 p.
Nordiske Arbejdspapirer, 2013:919
Keyword [fi]
kestävä kehitys, ympäristö
Keyword [da]
Bæredygtig udvikling, Miljø
Keyword [is]
Sjálfbær þróun, Umhverfi
Keyword [no]
Bærekraftig utvikling, Miljø
Research subject
Sustainable development; Environment
URN: urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-684DOI: 10.6027/NA2013-919OAI: diva2:700979
Available from: 2014-03-04 Created: 2014-03-04 Last updated: 2014-09-12

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