United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: NGOs

My name is John Hontelez, and I speak on behalf of the Forest Stewardship Council, member of the NGO Major Group. FSC is a global multi-stakeholder organisation promoting sustainable forest management. Our main tool is the FSC certification scheme of sustainably managed forests, which now covers almost 5% of all forests in the world. Our Chain-of-Custody scheme and FSC label on products gives consumers the chance to support sustainable forest management through their purchasing choices.
For FSC, I am member of the Advisory Committee of the UNEP-lead Sustainable Public Procurement Initiative which is part of the 10YFP. We have joined that process because we think that public procurement can be a powerful tool in the hands of all authorities, at all levels, to promote sustainable production and consumption patterns in a practical manner.
Sustainable Production and Consumption Patterns are the outcome of many different decisions and actions, by public authorities, business and civil society. The SDGs, with their targets and indicators, can trigger specific activities that can make a real difference. We suggest you to include in your discussion, sustainable public procurement as one of the tools to promote SCP.
Public authorities are big consumers. Estimates vary from 18% of GDP in the EU to 30%, and more, in developing countries. Several countries have started to use public procurement to reward environmentally and/or socially sound products and production methods. Doing this systematically, across the planet, will create reliable markets for environmentally and socially sound products, services and works, therewith increase efficiency, promote sustainable resource management, reduce pollution. Well designed sustainable public procurement policies, with a strong social dimension, can also considerably contribute to poverty alleviation and social justice.
The High Level Group of Eminent Persons Report you received half a year ago, proposed, under the goal of Sustainable Management of Natural Resource Assets, a particular target on increasing sustainable public procurement.
A similar proposal can be found in the report that BioRegional, for the global civil society coalition Beyond 2015, presented this morning at the pre-meeting with stakeholders. It proposes 28 targets and indicators under five expected goal areas most relevant to SCP. This report is available from BioRegional representatives here present or at bioregional.com
In conclusion: please include sustainable public procurement in the targets on SCP as an effective and necessary instrument to give the right signals to economic actors to practice and promote sustainable production and consumption.
Thank you