We must do more, and better
This year’s Nordic Council Environment Prize focuses on inspiring solutions to promote sustainable consumption and production in the Nordic region and in the rest of the world. But what does this mean?
We know that the Nordic countries are far from reaching sustainable consumption and production, Sustainable Development Goal number 12. Due to our high level of consumption, our material footprint is among the highest in Europe and we are generating a substantial amount of waste per person. We need to stop throwing out perfectly good food, indulging ourselves in fast fashion, buying too many cars, and continuing our excessive use of plastics. This behaviour is simply not sustainable.
Achieving SDG 12 is an extremely complex issue. We need to transform the entire consumption and production chain. We must speed up the shift to renewable energy. Producers must take more responsibility for the way their products are produced and where they end up after use. Consumers must make more sustainability-conscious choices, or simply consume less. Reducing resource use and the amount of waste generated are by far the most effective ways to make a difference.
The task is highly pragmatic, and the necessary change will take time. What is even more evident is that a much more vigorous approach is required.
This is what the Nordic Council Environment Prize 2019 is all about. Rewarding those who enable us to do more and better with less, which is crucial to our future.