Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production

Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production

The Wuppertal Institute and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) jointly founded the Wuppertal-based Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP) in 2005 to establish an internationally visible institution for scientific research, outreach and transfer activities on sustainable consumption and production (SCP). The CSCP is a member of the international family of UNEP collaborating centres and is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry for Environment, Agriculture and Consumer Protection and the Business and Employment Support Agency, Wuppertal. The Centre's lifespan is not time-limited, but the associated joint working plan covers the initial three years.


The Centre contributes to the Plan of Implementation agreed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 to promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production (SCP). It seeks to “promote social and economic development within the carrying capacity of ecosystems by addressing and, where appropriate, de-linking economic growth and environmental degradation through improving efficiency and sustainability in the use of resources and production processes and reducing resource degradation, pollution and waste”. The con-cept of SCP aims to take an integrated and coordinated approach towards consumption and production, seeking positive synergies between different methodologies and tools, and ensuring that activities are mutually supportive.

To accelerate the shift towards SCP, the Plan calls for the promotion and development of a 10-year framework of programmes (10YFP), now referred to as the "Marrakech Process". The CSCP supports this process in the areas of both scientific research and project implementation with a special focus on developing countries. It provides scientific support to activities undertaken by UNEP and other organisations in the field of SCP, for example by analysing the state of the art in SCP policies and activities worldwide. The CSCP supports the integration of environmental, social and cultural concerns into decision-making at the level of national governments, regional and local authorities, the private sector and consumer groups. The development, testing, implementation and monitoring of concrete projects, especially in developing countries, shall enable these countries to leapfrog to sustainable consumption and production patterns using life cycle thinking and a human development perspective as guiding principles.

Within the Marrakech Process, Marrakech Task Forces (MTFs) have been established as voluntary initiatives lead by countries – in co-operation with other partners – committed to carrying out a set of activities that support the implementation of specific projects of the Marrakech Process. Starting in 2006, the CSCP will support the MTFs through the development and application of demonstration projects on various levels. The objectives of the Centre are to:
* Monitor and report on global and regional trends in SCP
* Contribute to the adoption and implementation of policies and measures aimed at promoting SCP patterns by understanding global and regional priorities
* Raise awareness within, and provide information to the private sector in understanding their role in achieving SCP patterns along the global value chain and in specific regions
* Raise awareness within, and provide support to consumer groups in understanding their role in achieving SCP patterns
* Achieve effective cooperation with partners and engagement with stakeholders

Strategic Priorities

The agenda of the Marrakech Process has led to the three strategic priority areas that structure the work of the CSCP. They are derived from the discussions taking place under the Marrakech Process and reflect recent developments in the SCP debate. The first area deals with the socio-economic consequences of progress towards SCP, especially its contribution to human development and poverty reduction in developing countries. Addressing the consumption side is the focus of the second area, which deals with both individual and institutional patterns of consumption. The production side is dealt with in the third area, in which the CSCP seeks to encourage responsible industrial development.

Sustainable Consumption and Production for National and Local Development

Key areas to accelerate implementation of SCP as outlined in the Marrakech Process are the development of national action plans on SCP, the integration of SCP into urban development planning and the mainstreaming of SCP in poverty eradication efforts. CSCP has thus decided to work on the socio-economic aspects of SCP and strategies for bringing about change by linking SCP to national and local development goals.CSCP works on making societal, public sector and private sector actors aware of SCP policies and programmes and their related positive effects on human development in local and global communities. These activities aim to enable developing countries to leapfrog to sustainable consumption and production patterns by harvesting the economic and social benefits that are derived from the implementation of sustainability across the life cycle of products and services. The CSCP supports new models of economic development such as closed-loop economies, investments in long-term and cost-effective solutions, and creating public/private partnerships that can provide better access to sustainable environmental services for the poor.

Changing Individual and Institutional Patterns of Consumption

The Marrakech process recognised the need to build a vision of sustainable lifestyles among different stakeholders to achieve sustainable patterns of consumption. Actions proposed include support for sharing best practice examples in this area, awareness raising campaigns, consumer education, and the development of guidelines and manuals giving examples of possible designs for sustainability. The CSCP takes up these issues in its work on international trends and patterns of consumption and the design of intervention strategies to promote sustainable lifestyles among both public and private consumers.

This includes work to promote awareness of, and knowledge about, SCP issues at the point when procurement decisions are made. Different key stakeholders with an influence on private consumption decisions are involved or targeted by the CSCP’s work, including businesses, retailers and governments. CSCP also works on instruments and tools to implement sustainable consumption across institutional consumers and to mainstream these tools into procurement decisions.

Encouraging Responsible Industrial Development

Involvement of business in SCP activities is crucial for the realisation of the implementation challenge. Accordingly, the Marrakech Process calls for policy frameworks that promote the adoption of SCP by industry and the CSCP is responding to this call by working on both public and private sector strategies to promote responsible industrial development.

For companies, CSCP aims to promote a better understanding of the value of SCP and raise awareness that it can be profitable and make business sense. These activities take into account the different potential and capa-bilities of transnational companies versus SME’s and the informal sector, addressing these constituents through targeted concepts. Although informal and micro enterprises may not have the resources to make SCP investments, CSCP recognises the importance of such enterprises in achieving environmental and social quality improvements. For governments, CSCP develops flexible policy interventions to promote sustainable production that take into account businesses capabilities, needs and motivations. CSCP promotes policy approaches that feature a flexible mix of financial and economic instruments, information tools and voluntary approaches com-plementing regulation.

See also

* Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy
* United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)


* [http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Sustainable_Consumption_and_Production Wikibook on Sustainable Consumption and Production]

External links

* [http://www.scp-centre.org/ CSCP Homepage]

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