Programme to promote sustainable consumption and production
Finland’s programme to promote sustainable consumption and production – Getting more and better from less – was one of the first such national programmes to be launched anywhere in the world. The programme was initiated in 2005, in response to a decision made at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2002 that ten-year framework programmes should be drawn up in order to promote sustainable forms of production and consumption. The proposal for the revised programme, More from Less – Wisely, was published in May 2012.
More from Less — Wisely
In Finland, both greenhouse gas emissions and the consumption of natural resources per capita are relatively high. The aim of this programme is therefore to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental nuisances caused by consumption, while simultaneously improving quality of life, finding new opportunities for the green economy and creating new jobs. In addition, the programme seeks to promote material and energy efficiency in the public sector, and in companies and households.
The programme measures focus on public consumption, housing, food consumption and modes of transport. During the life cycle of Finnish households, housing, food consumption and modes of transport account for more than 70 per cent of their total climate impact, and more than 55 per cent of their other environmental impacts.
The expert group viewed the wiser use of financial steering methods as important in the future. For example, with respect to cars, the taxation focus should be shifted from the acquisition of a car to its use. Likewise, road tolls would guide consumers towards making the right choices. In the field of construction, we need steering and funding models that promote energy renovations. Households should also be encouraged to become energy smart in their everyday electricity and heat consumption.
For the food sector, the expert group proposes the introduction of a tracking system, to verify that responsible practices are being applied. This would provide information on the origin of food and its production chain. Food that is healthy, appetising and environmentally friendly can be combined, by developing a ‘Healthy and environmentally friendly plate model’.
The public sector should set a good example for the rest of society. Public procurement can play an important role in innovations entering the market.The expert group proposes the establishment of a help desk for sustainable public procurement. In addition, the state administration should monitor the implementation of energy and environmental targets more systematically.
In order to support the attainment of these objectives, funding will be provided for pilot projects testing eco-efficient solutions related to modes of transport, housing and eating. These pilot projects will involve municipalities, companies and research institutions.
The Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy prepared the programme proposal, in cooperation with other ministries, research institutions, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. In addition, approximately 190 experts representing various sectors participated in the work.