There is an antidote to destructive production and consumption: circular economies. MedWaves supports the pursuit of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) as a way to transform traditional economic models into low-carbon, restorative circular business solutions. Climate change, loss of biodiversity and rising social inequities are all signals demanding the discovery of innovative sustainable approaches to business. These changes are not only possible, but needed at all levels.
What is a circular economy?
The traditional “take-make-use-dispose” linear supply chain has proven to be short-sighted, dangerously depleting natural resources and stimulating injustices. A circular economy is the way towards a sustainable future: designing solutions that benefit the environment and make good business sense. Economic activity decoupled from the consumption of finite resource use opens a realm of possibilities for climate-neutral businesses that benefit the earth, people and business. The circular economic approach is based on three main principles:
What is SCP?
Over time, all things evolve. Traditional business models that valued efficiency and profit over all else must now consider the environment in order to succeed over time. SCP is one of the main global approaches adopted to revert the destructive impacts that the global economy has on the sustainability of natural ecosystems and societies The awareness that unsustainable patterns of consumption and production cause continued deterioration of the environment was brought to the global stage during the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Leaders have worked together to ensure that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development contains the dedicated Goal 12 to SCP, breaking profit from environmental degradation. SCP aims at doing more and better with less, decoupling economic activity from environmental degradation, minimizing the use of natural resources as well as emissions and waste, while enhancing the quality of life. Systematically shifting the entire value chain, SCP engages all major stakeholders (see below) in order to ensure required changes from enabling policies, to sustainable production models, to sustainable lifestyles.
How do we move from aspiration to action?
Circular economies and SCP are solutions that exist now and can be implemented today. MedWaves promotes eco-innovative sustainable business models as a way to address challenges with solutions that benefit the environment, society and the economy. The Switchers Support Programme has been developed specifically to implement these solutions at a regional level, ensuring and enhancing sustainable business models in the Mediterranean. The Switchers are businesses that provide “commercial solutions which create ecological value and/or safeguard the environment (addressing environmental challenges and/or reducing environmental impacts) and are economically viable and socially empowering” (UNEP/MAP Decision IG.25/18 – Annex II). The programme responds to the “Set of Regional Measures to Support the Development of Green and Circular Businesses” approved by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention in December 2021 (Decision IG.25/18).
It is possible to face global challenges when we each do our part. SCP and circular economies demand active, empowered stakeholders requires a holistic approach and systemic change. The MedWaves Switchers Support Programme (SSP) targets a wide range of actors, including:
MedWaves offers core support services, such as:
SSP responds to the “Set of Regional Measures to Support the Development of Green and Circular Businesses” that was approved by Contracting Parties during COP22 in December 2021 (Decision IG.25/18). Additionally, SSP offers support for other regional and global policies, such as: the EU Green Deal External Dimension; the New Agenda for the Mediterranean; the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development; UNEP/MAP – Barcelona Convention Mid-Term Strategy; the UfM’s 2030 GreenerMed Agenda; and the 2030 Agenda and several of its SDGs.
SSP is more than a great idea, it has truly amplified success in the region since its creation in 2014, including: