United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

UN Environment, the leading global environmental authority, works with voluntary sustainability standards as a way to contribute to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By promoting Voluntary Sustainability Standards, UN Environment also supports a circular economy that reduces pollution and pressure on natural resources.

UN Environment helps partner countries to identify economic sectors where domestic compliance with Voluntary Sustainability Standards can increase market access and improve the value of exports while enhancing sustainability and social development.

 

UN Environment and Voluntary Sustainability Standards

To do this, UN Environment works with:

Governments – UN Environment supports national and local governments to develop enabling frameworks for voluntary sustainability standards, among other consumer information tools, with the aim of identifying and expanding export opportunities.

Private Sector –UN Environment provides tools and technical assistance to companies, including small and medium-sized companies in developing countries, to strengthen the use of consumer information tools, improve production practices and communicate this to consumers. UN Environment also helps producers in complying with standards and certification schemes (for improved market access and trade opportunities), and to improve procurement and value-for-money ratio.

Standard-setting and Labeling Bodies – UN Environment works with standard-setting and labeling schemes to improve and coordinate existing voluntary sustainability standards and other consumer information tools.

To do this there are two principal initiatives at UN Environment: The Environment and Trade Hub and the Sustainable Consumption and Production Unit.

The Environment and Trade Hub

The Environment and Trade Hub

Standards are essential to production, trade and consumption of most goods and services, especially in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. Focusing on the market opportunities arising from environmental and social standards and certification, the Environment and Trade Hub aims to green global value chains and enhance sustainability and social development by helping partner countries to identify economic sectors where domestic compliance with voluntary sustainability standards can increase market access and improve the value of exports.

 

 

The Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Unit

The Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Unit

The Sustainable Consumption and Production Unit works with different groups of stakeholders to foster sustainable consumption and production, through the use of consumer information tools, including voluntary sustainability standards. The SCP Unit provides tools and technical assistance to companies, including SMEs in developing countries; supports national and local governments to frameworks to support the implementation of standards; and works with standard-setting and labeling schemes to improve and coordinate existing voluntary sustainability standards and other consumer information tools.

The Environment and Trade Hub

Green Economy and Trade: A Guide for the Assessment of the Costs and Benefits of Sustainability Certification

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Building Capacity for Trade in Organic and Biodiversity-based Agriculture Products in South Africa

Textile Training Workshop in Jiangsu Province – China

The Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Unit

Advance SCP: Advancing and Measuring Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) for a Low-Carbon Economy in Middle-Income and Newly Industrialized Countries

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Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information

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COP23: Sustainable Consumption – Processes and Instruments Addressing Climate Change