United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Israel

Advancing more sustainable patterns of consumption and production is not an
unfamiliar challenge for Israel. Given our scarce natural resources, promoting
sustainable consumption and production ha s long been an imperative in our country?
and Israelis have become well acquainted with the challenge of doing more with less.
We remain ready to share our expertise in this area with others.
It is clear that this effort will require us to make changes at both ends of the economic
cycle , enabling the transition to a circular economy. Moving toward sustainable
consumption and production means decoupling economic growth from environmental
degradation through technological innovation, eco-efficiency, and advances in
information and communications technology.
At the same time, we must foster behavioral change in consumption patterns, which
will be essential for building a circular economy. These efforts and policies should
take into account the human characteristics and social motivational forces that lead to
behavioral changes, leveraging these forces to promote more sustainable lifestyle
choices.
We recently launched a major, government -led green lifestyle campaign that uses
traditional marketing tools to communicate the need to reduce consumption. This
campaign ? which will be featured in a working breakfast that Israel is hosting on
May 13th ? uses clear messages and offers simple advice to the Israeli public about
day-to-day activities that can promote more sustainable consumption patterns and
save money.
We are also implementing a government decision that aims to set an example in the
public sector for adopting sustainable practices by setting measurable targets for
reducing the consumption of paper, electricity, water, and bottles. The decision also
calls on public agencies to give preference to low-pollution, low-fuel consumption
vehicles in government tenders, reinforcing an earlier government decision to
promote green procurement.
At the same time that we seek to green our government, Israel is undertaking major
efforts to green our schools , from kindergartens to universities. These initiatives are
not limited to environmental studies programs. They include concrete actions ? such
as conserving resources and minimizing waste ? which improve the environment and
the surrounding community.
Sustainable consumption and production remain a top priority. However, we must not
forget that reducing consumption or production levels is not a goal in itself, but rather
a means to an end. At present, the lack of data makes it difficult to determine whether
consumption or production patterns are sustainable. Therefore, the shift toward
sustainable production and consumption should be accompanied by the development
of indicators other than GDP to measure the full environmental and social impacts of
economic growth. Supplementary indicators are especially crucial for states in
transition and emerging markets where environmental and economic decoupling is a
major challenge as a result of population and economic growth.
Israel looks forward to a continued exchange of ideas and best practices on programs
and frameworks to accelerate the shift toward sustainable consumption and
production.
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