Getting more from less – sustainable production in the EU

[tweetmeme Environmental concerns, growing public pressure and regulatory measures are changing the way people do business. Increasingly, companies are required to demonstrate that when it comes to their environmental performance, not only can they “talk the talk”, but more importantly, that their daily operations and investment strategies are rooted in sound principles of sustainable development. However, far from being seen as a burden, a growing number of businesses are embracing sustainable production as an opportunity to cut costs, exploit new markets and achieve competitive advantages. Sustainable production and consumption gives businesses the chance to transform environmental challenges into economic opportunities whilst also providing a better deal for consumers.

Despite these business and economic opportunities, unsustainable production methods and business activities continue to exert considerable pressure on the environment, thereby threatening long-term economic and social welfare. A key challenge, therefore, is to gradually change current unsustainable production and consumption patterns, such as by continuously improving environmental performance throughout the product life-cycle, encouraging more and more businesses to adopt innovative technologies and approaches and stimulating demand for more sustainable goods and production technologies.

The European Union is aware that sustainable production patterns, based on new innovations, are needed to address the considerable pressure that industrial processes and business activities place on the environment. With the adoption of the action plans on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) and Sustainable Industrial Policy (SIP) in 2008, the EU put forward a package of measures on sustainable production and consumption that complements and integrates a vast range of existing policies at EU and national level.

The European Commission’s LIFE (Financial Instrument for the Environment) programme has played an important role in demonstrating innovative approaches to sustainable production in European businesses and industries. To date more than 480 projects co-financed by LIFE have dealt with manufacturing industries and businesses, addressing a variety of sectors and environmental challenges. Support under LIFE is now also complemented by the new Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), which aims to enhance the competitiveness of European enterprises, for example by promoting the market uptake of eco-innovative products and services.

Building on the recent LIFE Focus brochure, “Breathing LIFE into greener businesses”, this latest publication presents a range of innovative approaches, developed within the framework of the LIFE programme, to promote sustainable production in Europe. This brochure presents 10 more exemplary LIFE projects targeting Europe’s main industrial sectors and highlights the potential for Europe’s businesses to take the lead in the shift towards more sustainable patterns of production and consumption.

Read the full publication here in PDF format.

Citation:  Getting more from less – LIFE and sustainable production in the EU, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2009, ISBN: 978-92-79-12231-6 ISSN: 1725-5619.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brigitte Goddemeyer, Professor Paul. Professor Paul said: Getting more from less – sustainable production in the EU #Sustainability #CSR #Environment […]

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