Sustainable consumption and production: a handbook for policymakers
As the financial and environmental costs of resource depletion begin to affect economic growth worldwide, countries need to find ways to manage finite resources while meeting the needs of a growing and increasingly urban world population. By integrating sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns into national development planning and implementation, policy makers can make it easier and cheaper to produce goods and services more efficiently, with lower risks to humankind and the environment. Recent research shows that improved efficiency can reduce energy demand by 50 to 80 per cent for most production and utility systems. Some 60 to 80 per cent improvements in energy and water efficiency are commercially viable in sectors such as construction, agriculture, hospitality, industry and transport. The means to achieving such efficiency gains are outlined for the first time in a guidebook by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) entitled, 'Sustainable Consumption and Production: A Handbook for Policy Makers', launched on the occasion of World Environment Day (WED). The handbook contains compelling data on both the impact of unsustainable consumption and production, and the efficiency gains to be made by mainstreaming SCP patterns.