Following the results of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Progress Report 2023 on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) vows to continuously promote and advocate SDG 12 “Responsible Consumption and Production”.
This report analyzes the progress toward achieving the SDG targets and highlights the countries that have demonstrated a commitment to achieving sustainable development.
The report cited several countries that have made better progress than the regional average since 2015, with the Philippines being the only country to have bested the regional average for SDG 12.
In the country, the DTI is one of the agencies that push for implementing programs and initiatives that will assist consumers in shifting to more sustainable practices.
Last 2018, the Department formally started its campaign to promote sustainable consumption in the Philippines and as focal for the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP), with the assistance of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), served as the lead project proponent for the development of the ASEAN Sustainable Consumption Toolkit.
The toolkit aims to guide consumer protection authorities in ASEAN in promoting sustainable consumption by looking at best practices and models of public policies that will support sustainable consumption. It comprises five (5) modules – it looks into the concepts and principles of sustainable consumption, best practices, and approaches to policies, tools, and instruments used in influencing consumer behavior, among others.
The development of standards and eco-labeling, supporting – legislative proposals, creation and broadening of awareness on sustainable consumption are included in DTI’s initiatives.
Over the years, the DTI Consumer Protection Group (CPG) has developed and continuously develops standards for Environmental Management that guide organizations and businesses in incorporating environmentally conscious design in their products.
In addition, DTI CPG also assists in developing Green Choice Philippines, a voluntary, third-party ecolabelling program that follows the guidelines set by ISO 14020 and ISO 14024.
On policy, the DTI supported the various SCP-related legislative proposals, including that on single-use plastics and their regulation.
The Department also partnered with the Plastic Credit Exchange (PCX) an organization that implements “plastic offsetting”, and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme, allowing businesses or companies to invest in environmental projects to neutralize the carbon footprint they produce.
Lastly, as DTI believes that an informed consumer is empowered, the CPG strives to create and broaden their awareness of sustainable consumption through Consumer Welfare Month (CWM), Konsyumer Atbp. radio program, weekly Consumer Care Webinar Series, and fora.
The past Consumer Welfare Month celebrations that the CPG spearheaded, revolved around SCP. In those years, the CPG highlighted the power of consumers to drive sustainability through their choices and took the opportunity to encourage sustainable consumption despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 World Consumer Rights Day was themed Tackling Plastic Pollution followed by month-long Consumer Care Webinars on SCP initiatives.
Capitalizing on the youth’s high-level interest in sustainability, the DTI partnered with the National Youth Commission (NYC) and is working with the Department of Education (DepEd) to include SCP in the existing primary and secondary education curricula.
“The DTI has always been an advocate of the advancement of the UN SDGs, particularly SDG 12. We will continue and tirelessly push for increased consumer awareness and education on SCP, until everyone in the country becomes a sustainable consumer, practicing sustainability and exercising mindfulness for the planet in their daily consumer practices and behaviors,” DTI CPG Undersecretary, Atty. Ruth B. Castelo, underscores.