United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Canada

Mr/Madame Chairperson,
I would like to thank the panellists for their excellent presentations and for establishing
the parameters for discussion on this challenging and cross-cutting theme. Clearly, there
is a global responsibility to ensure production and consumption patterns do not cause
irreparable damage to the environment and human health.
The findings in the Secretary General?s Report on Sustainable Consumption and
Production (SCP) patterns indicate that the life-cycle approach can drive the efforts of the
international community on SCP. Since SCP is linked to Green Economy efforts, the
value of such an evidence-based policy approach is clear ? robust scientific findings can
point convincingly to the need for immediate action.
Canada's thematic profile on SCP supports the principle that policy tools and rigorous
processes are required to support actions on SCP. The Government of Canada is
committed to finding ways to continuously integrate sustainable patterns of consumption
and production throughout the economy and society.
The federal government aims to balance economic, environmental and social
considerations throughout its work on SCP. Much effort is focused on consumer
education and awareness including labelling programs. For example:
▪ The EcoLogo program was designed to help consumers and industry make
more environmentally conscious decisions. The program began in 1988, and is
now the most widely recognized and respected environmental certification
program in North America. There are currently over 120 product categories in
the EcoLogo program, and over 7000 certified EcoLogo products for things
like household and industrial cleaners, laundry detergent, paper and paper
products, tissues and napkins, paint, fuels, office furniture, printers, flooring
and other renovation and building supplies are all currently EcoLogo certified.
▪ Another example is the EnerGuide Label, which helps consumers make an
energy-wise choice when buying houses, heating and cooling equipment,
buildings and appliances in Canada by requiring minimum energy efficiency
standards. Information on the EnerGuide Label is the result of extensive
testing, based on Canadian Standards Association test procedures.
The Government has also worked with civil society, which includes industry, to promote
the uptake of sustainable production tools and processes such as lean manufacturing,
design for environment, extended producer responsibility, and technology road maps.
The Government of Canada?s technology roadmaps are an example of an industry-led
planning process that identifies the critical technologies and associated skills needed to
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compete successfully. Technology roadmaps have been completed on wind energy,
carbon capture and storage, clean coal and bio-refineries. Other technology road maps on
environmental technologies are also available in Canada?s thematic profile.
In terms of cooperative frameworks and partnerships, Canada?s Computers for Schools
program is an example of an innovative partnership between government and industry.
The program refurbishes computers and related equipment donated by governments and
businesses. These computers are distributed across Canada to schools, libraries and
registered not-for-profit learning organizations. Through the donation, it was estimated
that 621,502 computers since 2002 had their useful life extended.
As a follow-up to the North American Regional Meeting on SCP, which was organized in
2008 by the Governments of Canada and the United States of America, and in partnership
with the United Nations Environment Programme?s Regional Office for North America
(UNEP RONA), the Government of Canada commissioned work to establish a North
American Actor and Activity Map on Sustainable Consumption and Production.
Recognizing that there are several streams of SCP-related activities across all Major
Groups and governments in Canada and the United States of America, this actor and
activity map will enable us to better understand the breadth of ongoing initiatives and
synergies, which may not be currently addressed in a formal fashion under the Marrakech
Process discussions. The actor and activity map will also help determine possible gaps as
Canadian and US government officials continue to collaborate with UNEP RONA to
follow-up on regional efforts on SCP.
Thank you.
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