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Assessment of Policy Integration of Sustainable Consumption and Production into National Policies

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Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) was adopted as a stand-alone goal and reflected as one of the cross-cutting objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a central role to address global resource consumption and its associated environmental impacts, as well as numerous social and economic issues. With this broad characterization of SCP, policy integration is crucial in addressing it at national level. This paper analyzes characteristics of SCP policy integration based on a survey of national government policies. It reveals that SCP is not fully integrated in national policy-making; high resource consumption sectors such as urban planning, building, and tourism are not fully incorporated into national SCP policies, and there is only limited participation of relevant government ministries other than environment ministries. We find that among countries with horizontal policy integration, those with Green Economy/Green Growth frameworks tend to have better sectoral integration; and those with SCP-specific frameworks are likely to have broader coordination of ministries. By conducting cross-analysis using income level and region, the different characteristics of SCP policy-making approaches were identified. The results of this study provide a better understanding of how SCP is integrated into policy for effective national policy-making and measurement of the SDG Goal 12.
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Article
Assessment of Policy Integration of Sustainable
Consumption and Production into National Policies
Ryu Koide 1,2 ,*ID and Lewis Akenji 1,3
1Sustainable Consumption and Production Area, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies,
Kamiyamaguchi 2108-11, Hayama, Kanagawa 240-0115, Japan; akenji@iges.or.jp
2Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW,
Washington, DC 20036, USA
3Department of Economics and Management, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 27, Latokartanonkaari 5,
Helsinki FI-00014, Finland
*Correspondence: koide@iges.or.jp; Tel.: +81-46-826-9615
Received: 19 July 2017; Accepted: 5 September 2017; Published: 22 September 2017
Abstract:
Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) was adopted as a stand-alone goal and
reflected as one of the cross-cutting objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a
central role to address global resource consumption and its associated environmental impacts, as well
as numerous social and economic issues. With this broad characterization of SCP, policy integration is
crucial in addressing it at national level. This paper analyzes characteristics of SCP policy integration
based on a survey of national government policies. It reveals that SCP is not fully integrated in
national policy-making; high resource consumption sectors such as urban planning, building, and
tourism are not fully incorporated into national SCP policies, and there is only limited participation
of relevant government ministries other than environment ministries. We find that among countries
with horizontal policy integration, those with Green Economy/Green Growth frameworks tend to
have better sectoral integration; and those with SCP-specific frameworks are likely to have broader
coordination of ministries. By conducting cross-analysis using income level and region, the different
characteristics of SCP policy-making approaches were identified. The results of this study provide a
better understanding of how SCP is integrated into policy for effective national policy-making and
measurement of the SDG Goal 12.
Keywords:
sustainable consumption and production; sustainable development goals; policy
integration; sustainability governance; green economy; green growth
1. Introduction
Global resource demand and environmental pressure have been drastically increasing as
both population and per capita consumption reach historic levels [
1
]. To cope with this global
challenge, Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) has repeatedly been emphasized in
the international process especially since the Rio Summit in 1992. The 10-Year Framework of
Programmes for SCP (10YFP) was adopted at the Rio+20 summit in 2012, calling for “fundamental
changes in the way societies consume and produce” which is “indispensable for achieving global
sustainable development” [
2
]. Having recognized it as a core and overarching objective of sustainable
development [
3
], SCP was adopted as one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 [
4
].
In addition to its adoption as a stand-alone goal, SCP has a cross-cutting role and is essential to
achieving the SDGs, with targets other than Goal 12 also oriented to achieving the shift towards SCP
patterns [5].
The use of resources is highly associated with consumption and production activities; resources
are primary inputs to products and services in society. The most widely used definition of SCP is
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Resources 2017,6, 48 2 of 21
the “use of services and related products, which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality
of life while minimising the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of
waste and pollutants over the life cycle of the service or product so as not to jeopardise the needs
of future generations” in the Oslo Symposium, 1994 [
6
]. As illustrated by this widely adopted
definition, SCP provides a comprehensive framing for issues surrounding the use of resources—not
only focusing on improvement of resource efficiency and minimizing its use but also addressing
well-being and basic needs. Thus, analyzing resource use from an SCP framing provides a broad
lens from which to understand how effective policy could support better linkages between managing
resource sustainability and delivering on broader societal objectives. This broad view of SCP and its
links between socio-economic dimensions and natural resources is recognized not only by researchers
but also by policy-makers. For example, in Agenda 21 Chapter 4 [
7
], governments call for “new systems
of national accounts and other indicators of sustainable development” that do not depend on economic
growth; there should be “new concepts of wealth and prosperity which allow higher standards of
living through changed lifestyles and are less dependent on the Earth’s finite resources and more in
harmony with the Earth’s carrying capacity”.
Akenji and Bengtsson [
3
] present SCP as having two broad and interrelated objectives:
the achievement of wellbeing for all people; and keeping the negative environmental impacts of
socio-economic activities to within carrying capacity. They further argue that an effective framing for
SCP requires three things, namely: “(1) A thorough understanding of the drivers of production and
consumption, including the social, economic and cultural context in which these activities take place
(e.g., inequity, commodification of culture and many forms of human interaction, individualism and
competition, marketing and advertising practices, corporate governance and the design of financial
markets); (2) Understanding patterns of production and consumption in society (planned obsolescence
in products, inefficiencies, peer-to-peer influence), including how they respond to the identified drivers;
and (3) Using a lifecycle perspective, prioritizing areas where production and consumption have the
highest impact on society and the environment (food and agriculture, transport and mobility, housing
and construction and manufactured goods)”.
Policy integration is central to sustainable development; effective policy integration is necessary
to pursue the SDGs, which requires diverse expertise in different institutions and sectors [
8
]. We argue
that the importance of policy integration is also applicable to SCP, with its complexity and cross-cutting
characteristics similar in nature to the SDGs. Many policy sectors ranging from environment,
agriculture, infrastructure to industry are related to SCP because consumption and production occurs
virtually throughout all economic activities. Also, various sustainability impact areas such as waste,
pollution, resource extraction, and quality of life are linked with the objectives of SCP. Addressing SCP
in one sector may have positive or negative impacts in other policy areas; some sectoral SCP issues
are interlinked, thus requiring coordination between policies to achieve the same objectives. As its
sectoral focuses broaden, coordination among different government ministries, not only environment
ministries, has become crucial for national policy design and implementation of SCP. While there
can be integration of environmental objectives into each sectoral and organizational level, policy
integration can also be fostered through cross-sectoral strategic frameworks; this type of integration
is conceptualized as horizontal policy integration [
9
]. A considerable number of countries have
developed a specific action plan for SCP or have mainstreamed SCP into other cross-sectoral strategies.
Due to the complex characteristics, context and political economy in each country, no single approach
in addressing SDGs fits all countries [
8
]. Suitable approaches to policy integration of SCP would also
depend on the situation in each country.
Measuring the progress of national-level policy-making for SCP is not straightforward.
The proposed SDG indicator 12.1.1 is: “Number of countries with SCP national action plans or
SCP mainstreamed as a priority or a target into national policies”, and it intends to measure the
existence of national plans related to SCP. However, the data collection methodology had not yet
been developed as of November 2016 and the indicator is classified as Tier III—“lack of scientific
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methodology” [
10
]. Monitoring of such SCP national policy indicators would require substantive
understanding of policy integration of SCP because policies related to SCP are spread across different
sectors and ministries at different levels of integration. Despite the importance of understanding the
level and type of policy integration of SCP being practised by national governments, there has been
very limited systematic empirical investigation on a large scale and in a systematic manner across all
analyzed countries. A few reports summarize overviews of regional and national SCP policies mainly
through qualitative reviews of secondary information [
11
,
12
]. Other documents focus on general
principles for SCP policy-making as a handbook or guideline [1316].
In this study, country approaches to SCP policy integration were examined based on the results of
a survey of national governments as part of a project called the Global Survey on National SCP Policies
and Initiatives. Based on the survey responses, SCP policy integration from sectoral and organizational
perspectives was analyzed using empirical data. The results were cross-analyzed with the existence
of SCP-related cross-sectoral policy frameworks such as Sustainable Development, Green Economy,
Green Growth, and SCP specific policy. The results of this study provide a better understanding of
the characteristics of different approaches of national SCP design and provide a comparison between
different income-levels as well as non-economic factors.
2. Background and Analytical Framework
2.1. The Concept of Policy Integration
Policy integration is an essential approach to addressing modern policy issues that cut across
organizational, sectoral, and institutional boundaries. The concept of policy integration emerged in
response to the issue of sustainable development in the 1990s [
17
]. The concept has then evolved in the
context of integrating the environmental dimension of sustainability into other policy domains, and
so it is sometimes specifically labeled as environmental policy integration. A widely used definition
of environmental policy integration is provided by Laffery and Hovden [
9
] as “the incorporation of
environmental objectives into all stages of policy-making in non-environmental policy sectors, with
a specific recognition of this goal as a guiding principle for the planning and execution of policy
( . . . )
accompanied by an attempt to aggregate presumed environmental consequences into an overall
evaluation of policy, and a commitment to minimise contradictions between environmental and sectoral
policies by giving principled priority to the former over the latter”. It highlights the importance of
incorporating the objectives and guiding principles of environmental sustainability into other sectors
in the policy cycle. In promoting the environmental dimension in other sectors, policy coordination,
mainstreaming, and coherence are also used as similar concepts [
18
]. Peters [
19
] categorizes the
obstacles of coordination in the government as follows: (i) redundancy between organizations working
on the same task; (ii) lacunae of organizations focusing on a necessary agenda; and (iii) incoherence
of goals and requirement for policies. In addition, policy interaction, collaboration, and cooperation
can be considered as related terms; e.g., policy integration “could require increased collaboration or
cooperation between the agencies in different policy fields, but not necessarily” [20].
There are multiple dimensions and layers in policy integration. One of the framings proposed
by Briassoulis [
21
] is examining five objects of policy integration: policy objects, policy actors, policy
goals, policy structures and procedures, and policy instruments. In this framework, policies can be
integrated when the relationship between these objects is addressed through substantive, analytical,
procedural, and/or practical dimensions of policy integration. For better design of policy integration
schemes, it emphasizes the importance of identifying the type of strategic policies to be integrated
and level of integration, as well as ensuring the commitment and organizational responsibility for
policy integration. Another important framing is the distinction between vertical and horizontal
policy integration. Laffery and Hovden [
9
] define vertical policy integration as “the extent to which
a particular governmental sector has adopted and sought to implement environmental objectives as
central in the portfolio of objectives that the governmental body continuously pursues”; and horizontal
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policy integration is defined as “the extent to which a central authority has developed a comprehensive
cross-sectoral strategy” for policy integration. According to Laffery and Hovden vertical integration
itself may not be sufficient in achieving the ambitions of policy integration for sustainable development
and may be inefficient without the framework provided by central government under horizontal
policy integration.
2.2. Analytical Framework of SCP Policy Based on Policy Integration
We draw on key elements highlighted in the conceptual discussion of environmental policy
integration and adapt them to SCP. The main dimensions of policy integration considered in this
analysis are: integration into policy sectors; coordination between organizations such as government
ministries; and the distinction between horizontal and vertical policy integration. These are
described below.
2.2.1. Vertical Policy Integration
The two approaches to policy integration as conceptualized by Lafferty and Hovden [
9
] have an
important implication for national strategic planning of SCP. Vertical environmental policy integration
is defined as “the extent to which a particular governmental sector has adopted and sought to
implement environmental objectives as central in the portfolio of objectives that the governmental
body continuously pursues” [
9
]. In this approach, the environmental objective will be embedded
in each sectoral policy without any horizontal mechanisms and frameworks. It does not necessarily
involve institutional mechanisms and coordination based on an institutional setup, but each ministry
and sector will integrate the environmental component into its policy-making under its own initiative.
Notably, SCP policy does not only address environmental and resource issues but also the social
aspects and implications of their use in society. Countries promoting SCP in different sectors without a
cross-sectoral policy framework practise vertical integration.
2.2.2. Integration between Sectoral Policies or Integration of SCP Objectives into Other Sectors
According to Briassoulis [
21
], sustainable development cannot be addressed by “sectoralized,
unit-dimensional, uni-disciplinary and uncoordinated policies” because policies tend to be not
coordinated, to be overlapped, or to be in conflict, and a single sectoral policy cannot solve the
whole complex issue. From this perspective, one definition of environmental policy integration
is provided by Lafferty and Hovden [
9
] as “incorporation of environmental objectives into all
stages of policy-making in non-environmental policy sectors.” This dimension is applicable to
SCP, as it is an embedded objective over various sectors in achieving sustainable consumption
and production patterns. Policy sectors relevant to SCP are quite broad, and include most sectors
related to socio-economic activity and resource consumption. Since the key approaches to SCP
are lifecycle and systemic perspectives, SCP objectives are expected to be integrated into policy
sectors related to various resources (e.g., water, energy, land), industries and public services (e.g.,
tourism, construction, agriculture, urban development), and consumption domains (e.g., food, mobility,
housing). To illustrate, the priority sectors of SCP policies suggested in a policy assessment report
by the EU SWITCH–Asia Project include those different dimensions: e.g., environmental protection,
urban development, construction and housing, mobility and transport, food and agriculture, natural
resources, manufacturing and consumer goods, tourism, and energy and water [12].
2.2.3. Coordination between Organizations Beyond Individual Government Departments
Another dimension of environmental policy integration defined by Lafferty and Hovden [
9
] is
“to aggregate presumed environmental consequences into an overall evaluation of policy,
and ( . . . )
to minimize contradictions between environmental and sectoral policies”. Meijers and Stead [
22
]
conceptualize policy integration as “management of cross-cutting issues in policy-making that
transcend the boundaries of established policy fields, (
. . .
) which do not correspond to the institutional
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responsibilities of individual departments”. The aspect of minimizing contradictions between
environmental and sectoral policies speaks very strongly to SCP objectives. The process of harmonizing
environmental aspects into policy cycles and sectoral policies requires strong coordination. Under the
discussion of policy integration for sustainable development, Thomas [
23
] indicated “institutional
coordination” as one of his four concepts of integration. A guideline by UN Environment [
13
]
also encourages inter-ministerial coordination: e.g., incorporation of finance ministries in SCP
policy-making. Inter-ministerial coordination in charge of various policy sectors can ensure integration
of these areas. In national SCP policy-making, one option is to assign responsibility to a single
government institution, such as the environment ministry [
13
]. This is one of the typical practices in
many countries. However, considering the broad sectoral coverage of SCP and the necessity to ensure
policy integration, the literature suggests a need to reexamine this practice to ensure participation of
other ministries related to the primary focuses of the SCP.
2.2.4. Horizontal Policy Integration
Horizontal environmental policy integration is defined as “the extent to which a central authority
has developed a comprehensive cross-sectoral strategy” [
9
]. In this approach, coordination through an
established cross-sectoral policy framework and institutional setup plays a significant role in ensuring
policy integration across different sectors and organizations. In the context of SCP, countries promoting
SCP with relevant cross-sectoral strategies fit this category. Within this type of policy integration, two
approaches are typically taken by countries: (i) developing a specific action plan dedicated to SCP;
and/or (ii) mainstreaming SCP into a broader national strategy.
One approach in horizontal SCP policy integration is to establish a specific SCP policy framework,
and coordinate policy-making and implementation based on the framework. For example, National
Action Plans for SCP (SCP–NAPs) have been developed by more than 30 countries. Countries that have
developed SCP–NAPs include Ghana, Mauritius, Tanzania, and Zambia in Africa; Brazil, Colombia,
Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay in Latin America; and the Czech
Republic, Finland, Poland, and U.K. in Europe [
24
]. The EU Switch-med Programme also assisted
the development of SCP–NAPs in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and
Tunisia [
25
]. The typical characteristics of SCP–NAPs are defining priority sectors, objectives, and
action plans through participatory and stakeholder processes including business and civil sectors.
The guideline for national SCP programmes suggests several steps, including the establishment of an
advisory group, conducting a scoping exercise, selecting priority areas, defining objectives and targets,
and selecting policies and initiatives [13].
Another approach is to mainstream SCP into broader national strategic planning frameworks.
The guideline for national SCP programmes also proposes to integrate SCP within existing national
strategies on sustainable development, national development, or poverty reduction, so that SCP should
not be “a one-off initiative” to elaborate a document, but should be integrated and mainstreamed
into other policy areas [
13
]. SCP can be reflected as one of the important pillars and cross-cutting
objectives in achieving sustainable development. Integrating SCP as a part of existing strategies
for sustainable development or other development plans is common in South-east Europe, Eastern
Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, North America, and West Asian regions [
24
]. Although there are
conceptual differences, many countries regard both SCP and Green Economy/Growth as the means
to achieve environmental sustainability of economic activities, and of production and consumption
chains. Thus, the main principles and tools of SCP are sometimes incorporated in Green Economy and
Green Growth policies, which can draw attention to financing and investments to achieve SCP [
14
].
The development of a Green Growth Strategy, for example, has been assisted by Global Green Growth
Initiative (GGGI) in more than 30 countries [26].
The choice between establishing a specific SCP–NAP or mainstreaming SCP into a broader policy
framework depends on the country and its policy environments. It is not the intention of this paper to
recommend any one approach over the other. However, ensuring policy integration of SCP objectives
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in various sectors is essential for addressing global resource consumption and sustainable development.
This paper seeks to understand and describe the determinant characteristics of countries and their
choice of approaches, such as vertical and horizontal policy integration, and the relationship of these
with the sectoral and organizational dimensions of SCP policy integration.
3. Materials and Methods
This study is based on analysis of a survey of national government policies to promote SCP.
The data used is from the Global Survey of National SCP Policies and Initiatives; the survey was
designed and conducted by the Secretariat of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes for SCP (10YFP)
under the United Nations Environmental Programme (UN Environment) in 2015, and the data
processed and analyzed by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES). The population
frame used in the survey was a list of national focal points (NFPs) of the 10YFP, which are typically
officers from national ministries such as environment ministries, economic planning offices, or foreign
affairs ministries. In response to the survey questions, coordination with other institutions was
encouraged to ensure accuracy of the responses, and more than 70% of the respondents received inputs
from outside of their organizations. In total, 46 countries and the European Union have responded.
The responding countries cover low- to high-income countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa,
West Asia, and the Asia-Pacific with a response rate of 36% (In comparison with 129 NFPs).
The questionnaire used in the Global Survey consists of three parts: (a) background information
about respondents; (b) national SCP policy; and (c) SCP policies and initiatives. In this study, we
only use the data from (b) national SCP policy, which provides information on the status of national
policy-making including national SCP policy frameworks, institutional mechanisms, funding and
technical resources, as well as challenges and capacity needs. The raw data are not currently available
to the public, but a summary of the survey results and general discussion is provided in a series
of the report of UN Environment to be published in 2017 [
27
]. As metadata, the classification of
countries based on income level by the World Bank [
28
] and regional attribution of countries based
on UN Environment’s geo-scheme [
29
] were collected. The categories of low-income and lower
middle-income, and Asia-Pacific and West Asia, were combined respectively into single categories due
to the limited responses in these. A response from the European Union was excluded in cross analysis
with income-level because it is not applicable to the European Union, which is a group of countries of
different income-levels.
The Global Survey has a set of questions about national policy sectors involved with SCP.
The questionnaire asks whether the government address SCP in existing national policies. For those who
responded “Yes” to this pre-question, a close-end question was asked to indicate the focus of these existing
national policies addressing SCP. The multiple answers to this question were analyzed separately in two
parts according to the nature of policies. The first group was sectoral policies which indicate whether
SCP is addressed in each policy sector, i.e., environment protection/conservation, industrial/economic
development, poverty alleviation, energy, public procurement, urban planning/development, buildings
and construction, food and agriculture, tourism, and other sectors. The second group is cross-sectoral
policies, where SCP is incorporated into the national strategic plans: i.e., Sustainable Development, SCP
specifically (e.g., the SCP Action Plan), and Green Economy/Green Growth. There might be other sectors
and cross-cutting policy concepts that potentially address SCP, but those are not considered in this study
due to the limitations of the survey data.
To examine the sectors where SCP is vertically integrated, the responses in the first group were
analyzed by descriptive statistics. They were also cross-analyzed with income level and region using a
linear probability model and a logit model to identify the differences associated with these country
attributions. Two different models are used in this study because both have different strengths.
The linear probability model is useful for intuitive interpretation of the estimated coefficients and when
the purpose of analysis is to know the associations between two variables rather than prediction; the
logit model can guarantee the predicted value falls within 0 to 1 but sacrifices ease of interpretation [
30
].
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After that, hierarchical clustering analysis and correlation analysis were applied to this dataset to assess
the policy integration between different sectors. All the statistical analysis in this study was conducted
by R version 3.3 (R Core Team, Vienna, Austria) [
31
]. Visualization of the result of correlation analysis
was carried out with the “corrplot” package of R [32].
The survey data also included a question about ministries participating in SCP policy-making.
The multiple answers to this question (i.e., ministries in charge of environment, finance, energy,
industry, agriculture, development cooperation, transport, tourism, infrastructure, and other)
were analyzed using descriptive statistics to assess the status of organizational policy integration.
An additional research question here was whether the relevant ministry is participating in SCP
policy-making. To investigate this, correlation analysis between sectoral policy focus and participating
ministry was conducted.
To investigate the progress of horizontal policy integration of SCP and its effects on vertical
policy integration, the response data on the existence of cross-sectoral policies incorporating SCP
(i.e., Sustainable Development, SCP specifically, and Green Economy/Green Growth) was utilized.
The responses about cross-sectoral policies were first analyzed using descriptive statistics and linear
probability and logit models using income level and region as independent variables. Then, the total
number of sectoral focuses addressing SCP and the total number of ministries participating in SCP
policy-making were calculated by aggregating the number of policies and ministries. These aggregated
variables are considered as the representations of the level of sectoral and organizational policy
integration. The relationship between the existence of cross-sectoral policies and the values of the
aggregated variables was examined by regression analysis to examine the effect of horizontal policy
integration on vertical policy integration using income level and region as controlling variables.
Linear probability and logit models were also used to investigate closely the effect of the existence of
cross-sectoral policies on each of the policy sectors and ministries addressing SCP.
4. Results and Discussion
4.1. Sectoral Policy Integration
4.1.1. Sectoral Policies Addressing SCP
The proportion of respondents addressing SCP through each sectoral policy is summarized
in Figure 1. Our findings show that SCP is predominantly addressed in the environmental and
resources sectors: i.e., energy (72%) and environment protection and conservation (68%). In addition,
public procurement (60%) appears to be a major cross-cutting sector where national governments
actively engage with the SCP issue. This reflects the fact that, predominantly, SCP is perceived as an
issue associated with the use and saving of energy resources as well as the avoidance of pollution
(environment protection) and natural resources distortion (conservation). It is also the case that many
countries place importance on the leading role of the government through public procurement policy
integrating SCP objectives.
In comparison with those sectors, SCP does not appear to be fully integrated into concrete and
specific policy sectors. Food and agriculture (55%) and industrial and economic development (53%)
are involved with SCP only to a moderate extent. Engagement with urban planning and development
(36%), tourism (43%), and buildings and construction sectors (45%) is quite limited. Addressing each of
these concrete policy sectors is essential for promoting SCP because the consumption and production
of goods and services occur in association with these key sectors. According to footprint studies [
33
,
34
]
and the sustainable consumption literature [
35
,
36
], areas such as food, housing, mobility, consumer
goods, and leisure are considered key areas causing upstream resource extraction and associated
environmental impacts throughout the lifecycle. Regardless of the importance of these sectors in
addressing sustainable consumption, urban planning (closely related to mobility), tourism (leisure),
building and construction (housing) have only limited integration of SCP objectives.
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industry, agriculture, development cooperation, transport, tourism, infrastructure, and other) were
analyzed using descriptive statistics to assess the status of organizational policy integration. An
additional research question here was whether the relevant ministry is participating in SCP policy-
making. To investigate this, correlation analysis between sectoral policy focus and participating
ministry was conducted.
To investigate the progress of horizontal policy integration of SCP and its effects on vertical
policy integration, the response data on the existence of cross-sectoral policies incorporating SCP (i.e.,
Sustainable Development, SCP specifically, and Green Economy/Green Growth) was utilized. The
responses about cross-sectoral policies were first analyzed using descriptive statistics and linear
probability and logit models using income level and region as independent variables. Then, the total
number of sectoral focuses addressing SCP and the total number of ministries participating in SCP
policy-making were calculated by aggregating the number of policies and ministries. These
aggregated variables are considered as the representations of the level of sectoral and organizational
policy integration. The relationship between the existence of cross-sectoral policies and the values of
the aggregated variables was examined by regression analysis to examine the effect of horizontal
policy integration on vertical policy integration using income level and region as controlling
variables. Linear probability and logit models were also used to investigate closely the effect of the
existence of cross-sectoral policies on each of the policy sectors and ministries addressing SCP.
4. Results and Discussion
4.1. Sectoral Policy Integration
4.1.1. Sectoral Policies Addressing SCP
The proportion of respondents addressing SCP through each sectoral policy is summarized in
Figure 1. Our findings show that SCP is predominantly addressed in the environmental and resources
sectors: i.e., energy (72%) and environment protection and conservation (68%). In addition, public
procurement (60%) appears to be a major cross-cutting sector where national governments actively
engage with the SCP issue. This reflects the fact that, predominantly, SCP is perceived as an issue
associated with the use and saving of energy resources as well as the avoidance of pollution
(environment protection) and natural resources distortion (conservation). It is also the case that many
countries place importance on the leading role of the government through public procurement policy
integrating SCP objectives.
Figure 1. Proportion of countries with sectoral policies addressing SCP. Note: Survey question “Is
SCP currently addressed in existing national policies? If yes, please indicate the focus of this/these
national policies”. All responses were “yes” to the pre-question. Cross-cutting sustainability policy
areas excluded. n = 47. Colour: environmental and resources sector in orange, cross-cutting sector in
blue, economic and consumption sectors in green. Source: authors based on data from the Global
Survey on National SCP Policies and Initiatives with permission from the 10YFP Secretariat under
UN Environment [27].
In comparison with those sectors, SCP does not appear to be fully integrated into concrete and
specific policy sectors. Food and agriculture (55%) and industrial and economic development (53%)
Figure 1.
Proportion of countries with sectoral policies addressing SCP. Note: Survey question “Is SCP
currently addressed in existing national policies? If yes, please indicate the focus of this/these national
policies”. All responses were “yes” to the pre-question. Cross-cutting sustainability policy areas
excluded. n= 47. Colour: environmental and resources sector in orange, cross-cutting sector in
blue, economic and consumption sectors in green. Source: authors based on data from the Global
Survey on National SCP Policies and Initiatives with permission from the 10YFP Secretariat under UN
Environment [27].
The sector focus and priority of SCP policies are expected to vary depending on the specific context
of countries. To compare the sectoral integration of SCP between the countries with different income
levels and regions, the same response data were examined by the linear probability model and logit
model. The result of analysis based on the linear probability model and the logit model for six sectors
using income level (and region) as independent variables were compared in Table 1. The results for
other sectors are included in the supplementary material (Table S1). According to the linear probability
model with income and region as independent variables (LPM-2 in Table 1), upper-middle income
countries are 43% more likely to be addressing SCP in the industrial and economic development sector
than high-income countries with 5% statistical significance with holding regions constant (p< 0.05).
After controlling for income level, countries in Europe are 48% and 64% more likely to be involved in
this sector than Latin America (p< 0.05) and Africa (p< 0.1), respectively. Based on the logit model
(Logit-2 in Table 1), the predicted probability that a country address SCP in industrial and economic
development is no less than 94% in upper middle-income Europe. The predicted probability becomes
much less for a high-income European country (55%) and an upper middle-income Latin American
country (49%), and a low to lower middle-income African country (33%). This indicates that industrial
and economic development and its associated environmental problems are part of the central policy
agenda in middle-income countries, where environmental problems are typically intensified along
with rapid industrial development. Non-economic factors represented by region also determine the
prominence of this sector. Asian and European countries place more importance on addressing SCP in
the industrial sector, possibly because of their priority is on manufacturing and export-led development
in Asia and the awareness of the importance of resource-efficient industry in Europe.
Based on the linear probability model (LPM-2 in Table 1), after controlling for income, poverty
alleviation is 67% more likely to be integrated with SCP in African countries compared to Europe, but
is not highly significant (p< 0.1). In terms of income level, the predicted probability that a country
address SCP in poverty alleviation is 50% in low to lower middle-income countries, while it is predicted
to be 21% in high-income countries based on the logit model (Logit-1 in Table 1). This result implies
that under-consumption, where people’s basic needs are not met through current consumption levels,
is perceived as a priority SCP issue in lower income and/or African countries. They could then try
to leverage domestic resources and international support in addressing the nexus between SCP and
poverty alleviation. Apart from these areas, although not directly asked in the questionnaire, it is
essential to address the high level of consumption and its associated global environmental impacts
and resource extraction. This applies to high-income countries where average material consumption
levels are significantly higher [
37
], and also to the rapidly-growing consumer class in emerging
economies [3,38].
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Table 1. The effects of income level and region on sectoral policies addressing SCP.
Dependent Variable Energy Public Procurement
Model LPM-1 LPM-2 Logit-1 Logit-2 LPM-1 LPM-2 Logit-1 Logit-2
Income-
level
High --------
Up.mid. 0.08 0.23 0.41 1.23 0.13 0.07 0.56 0.33
(0.15) (0.20) (0.76) (1.05) (0.17) (0.21) (0.71) (0.94)
Low-
low.mid.
0.02 0.32 0.07 1.64 0.18 0.32 0.72 1.55
(0.18) (0.33) (0.85) (1.65) (0.19) (0.35) (0.80) (1.65)
Region
Europe - - - -
Asia 0.34 1.74 0.32 1.81
(0.24) (1.19) (0.25) (1.39)
Latin 0.19 1.01 0.01 0.04
(0.22) (1.14) (0.23) (0.98)
Africa 0.38 2.01 0.17 0.97
(0.35) (1.73) (0.37) (1.72)
Intercept 0.68 *** 0.74 *** 0.77 1.10 # 0.58 *** 0.54 *** 0.32 0.17
(0.11) (0.12) (0.49) (0.58) (0.11) (0.12) (0.46) (0.50)
Dependent Variable Food/Agriculture Industrial/Economic Development
Model LPM-1 LPM-2 Logi-1 Logit-2 LPM-1 LPM-2 Logit-1 Logit-2
Income-
level
High --------
Up.mid. 0.05 0.16 0.20 0.75 0.17 0.43 * 0.71 2.54 #
(0.17) (0.22) (0.67) (0.95) (0.17) (0.21) (0.68) (1.37)
Low-
low.mid.
0.08 0.31 0.32 1.35 0.07 0.44 0.30 2.50
(0.20) (0.36) (0.78) (1.53) (0.20) (0.35) (0.79) (1.82)
Region
Europe - - - -
Asia 0.20 0.90 -0.13 0.86
(0.26) (1.08) (0.25) (1.32)
Latin 0.37 1.60 -0.48 * 2.77 #
(0.24) (1.05) (0.23) (1.47)
Africa 0.49 2.09 -0.64 # 3.38 #
(0.38) (1.61) (0.36) (1.89)
Intercept 0.58 *** 0.64 *** 0.32 0.58 0.47 *** 0.54 *** 0.11 0.18
(0.12) (0.13) (0.46) (0.52) (0.12) (0.12) (0.46) (0.51)
Dependent Variable Urban Planning/Development Poverty Alleviation
Model LPM-1 LPM-2 Logit-1 Logit-2 LPM-1 LPM-2 Logit-1 Logit-2
Income-
level
High --------
Up.mid. 0.02 0.11 0.07 0.50 0.20 0.11 0.97 0.55
(0.16) (0.21) (0.70) (0.98) (0.16) (0.20) (0.75) (0.98)
Low-
low.mid.
0.07 0.26 0.31 16.62 0.29 0.24 1.32 16.40
(0.19) (0.34) (0.84) (2088) (0.19) (0.33) (0.85) (2202)
Region
Europe - - - -
Asia 0.31 1.65 0.09 0.64
(0.24) (1.32) (0.23) (1.35)
Latin 0.24 1.09 0.15 0.72
(0.23) (1.07) (0.22) (1.03)
Africa 0.24 16.42 0.67 # 18.27
(0.36) (2088) (0.34) (2202)
Intercept 0.37 ** 0.43 *** 0.54 0.30 0.21 # 0.20 # 1.32 * 1.36 *
(0.11) (0.12) (0.48) (0.50) (0.11) (0.11) (0.56) (0.60)
Note: Standard error in parenthesis. p< 0.001 ***, 0.01 **, 0.05 *, 0.1 #. n= 46. LPM: Linear probability model. Logit:
Logit model. Dependent variables are dummy variables on the existence of each sectoral policy addressing SCP
(1: Yes, 0: No). A response from the European Union was excluded from this analysis because it cannot be classified
by income level. Source: authors based on data from the Global Survey on National SCP Policies and Initiatives
with permission from the 10YFP Secretariat under UN Environment [27].
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Energy, public procurement, food, and urban planning might show some trends when looking at
regional comparisons, but these are not statistically significant. According to the linear probability
model (LPM-2 in Table 1), a slight tendency was observed that public procurement might be
emphasized in Asia; the integration of SCP into energy and urban planning sectors might be weak in
Asia; and the food and agricultural sector might not be emphasized in Latin America compared to
Europe, controlling for income level (0.1 < p< 0.25). These differences in sectoral focus are either a
reflection of needs based on priority issues of the countries (e.g., the poverty and SCP nexus in the
African region) or pitfalls of policy efforts regardless of the significance of these sectors (e.g., energy,
food, and urban planning in non-European responding countries). In the former case, where the
relatively high priority in these sectors is due to specific issues in the region and countries, discussion
of policy design and international cooperation for SCP should address these unique needs. In the latter
case, where some high-impact and still relevant sectors are not fully integrated with SCP, the emphasis
should be on how to broaden the scope of SCP into these key sectors involved with it.
4.1.2. Integration between Policy Sectors
Not every sector is expected to be integrated to the same level; there might be some groups of
policy sectors that tend to be addressed with closer integration. To identify the level of integration
between policy sectors, correlation analysis between sectoral policy focuses and cluster analysis based
on the correlation coefficients were conducted. The proximity between policy sectors is shown as the
height between the sectors and connecting nodes between them in the dendrogram of hierarchical
cluster analysis in Figure 2a. There appear to be five main policy sector clusters: (i) energy, building,
and food; (ii) industry and procurement; (iii) poverty, environment, and tourism; (iv) urban planning;
and (v) other. Correlation coefficients and clusters with a number of cluster K = 5 are summarized in
Figure 2b.
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Survey on National SCP Policies and Initiatives with permission from the 10YFP Secretariat under
UN Environment [27].
Energy, public procurement, food, and urban planning might show some trends when looking
at regional comparisons, but these are not statistically significant. According to the linear probability
model (LPM-2 in Table 1), a slight tendency was observed that public procurement might be
emphasized in Asia; the integration of SCP into energy and urban planning sectors might be weak in
Asia; and the food and agricultural sector might not be emphasized in Latin America compared to
Europe, controlling for income level (0.1 < p < 0.25). These differences in sectoral focus are either a
reflection of needs based on priority issues of the countries (e.g., the poverty and SCP nexus in the
African region) or pitfalls of policy efforts regardless of the significance of these sectors (e.g., energy,
food, and urban planning in non-European responding countries). In the former case, where the
relatively high priority in these sectors is due to specific issues in the region and countries, discussion
of policy design and international cooperation for SCP should address these unique needs. In the
latter case, where some high-impact and still relevant sectors are not fully integrated with SCP, the
emphasis should be on how to broaden the scope of SCP into these key sectors involved with it.
4.1.2. Integration between Policy Sectors
Not every sector is expected to be integrated to the same level; there might be some groups of
policy sectors that tend to be addressed with closer integration. To identify the level of integration
between policy sectors, correlation analysis between sectoral policy focuses and cluster analysis
based on the correlation coefficients were conducted. The proximity between policy sectors is shown
as the height between the sectors and connecting nodes between them in the dendrogram of
hierarchical cluster analysis in Figure 2a. There appear to be five main policy sector clusters: (i)
energy, building, and food; (ii) industry and procurement; (iii) poverty, environment, and tourism;
(iv) urban planning; and (v) other. Correlation coefficients and clusters with a number of cluster K =
5 are summarized in Figure 2b.
(a) Dendrogram of sectoral policy clusters (b) Correlation between sectoral policies
Figure 2. Result of clustering and correlation analysis of sectoral policies addressing SCP. Note: (a)
Dendrogram of hierarchical clustering by group average method; (b) Correlation coefficient in cells.
Squares for clusters (K = 5). n = 47. Source: authors based on data from the Global Survey on National
SCP Policies and Initiatives with permission from the 10YFP Secretariat under UN Environment [27].
The result of correlation analysis and the description of each cluster excluding others are
discussed below, in combination with the result of cross-analysis with income level and region in
Table 1.
Consumption domains: food and agriculture, buildings and construction, and energy sectors fit
with this cluster. The involvement of these sectors in national SCP policy-making shows strong
Figure 2.
Result of clustering and correlation analysis of sectoral policies addressing SCP. Note:
(
a
) Dendrogram of hierarchical clustering by group average method; (
b
) Correlation coefficient in cells.
Squares for clusters (K = 5). n= 47. Source: authors based on data from the Global Survey on National
SCP Policies and Initiatives with permission from the 10YFP Secretariat under UN Environment [27].
The result of correlation analysis and the description of each cluster excluding others are discussed
below, in combination with the result of cross-analysis with income level and region in Table 1.
Consumption domains: food and agriculture, buildings and construction, and energy sectors fit
with this cluster. The involvement of these sectors in national SCP policy-making shows strong
correlations (r
0.5). These areas are strongly associated with key household consumption such
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as food and housing, and they require robust lifecycle and cross-cutting approaches beyond
rural-urban and production-consumption distinctions. These areas tend to be more integrated
with SCP in Europe than other regions among respondents, but without statistical significance.
Centralized agenda: public procurement and industrial/economic development are categorized
in this cluster. The existence of these policies integrating SCP is fairly strongly correlated (r = 0.44).
The characteristics of these sectoral policies are that they are more relevant to the centralized role
of government. Public procurement emphasizes the leading role of the government sector in
creating demand for sustainable products, while industrial and economic policies are typically
handled by central government. These sectors tend to be addressed in upper middle-income
countries (industry/economic development: p< 0.05) or those Asian countries that responded
(public procurement: p< 0.25).
Localized agenda: tourism, environmental protection/conservation, and poverty alleviation are
classified into this cluster. These sectors show near strong correlations (r
0.47). These issues
are typically associated with localized issues such as rural and community development.
Conventional environmental pollution caused by industry affects local communities, while
environmental conservation is associated with the protection of natural resources typically
abundant in non-urban settings. Tourism can be a major income source for local communities,
while poverty tends to be a crucial issue among rural and urban communities. Poverty alleviation
and tourism tend to be integrated with SCP in African countries (p< 0.1) and in the middle- to
low-income countries (p< 0.2), respectively.
Urbanized agenda: among the multiple answer options, only urban planning and development
fit into this cluster. This agenda is highly associated with the issue in urban areas; the role of
urban planning is significant in determining the environmental impacts induced from mobility,
housing, and other lifestyle aspects as well as the use and development of urban infrastructure.
Among responding countries, European countries tend to address this area more, compared to
Asia (p< 0.25).
4.2. Organizational Policy Integration
4.2.1. Ministries Participating in SCP Policy-Making
The proportion of responding countries with participation of each ministry in SCP policy-making
is summarized in Figure 3. The result indicates that SCP policy is predominantly handled by
environment ministries (96%). Following this, relatively higher level of involvement was observed for
ministries responsible for agriculture (87%), energy (83%), and industry (77%). The strong presence of
energy ministries is compatible with the fact that energy is the sector that most frequently addresses
SCP (72%). The significant participation of agriculture and industry ministries would probably be
because conventional environmental issues such as industrial pollution and agricultural pesticides are
more advanced in terms of coordination than other sectors related to SCP; they are typically addressed
through coordination between these ministries and environment ministries.
By contrast, the participation of the ministries responsible for tourism (47%), infrastructure (51%),
and transport (55%) are limited regardless of the importance of relevant sectors such as mobility,
housing, and tourism. When we combine this result with sectoral focuses (Figure 1), the integration of
SCP objectives in these areas is quite limited both from organizational and sectoral policy integration
perspectives. It was also revealed that finance ministries have only moderate participation in SCP
policy-making (60%), despite their significant role in allocating the budget and developing taxation
policies, which determine the financial incentives in the market economy, and their role in allocating
domestic resources to different sectoral policies.
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correlations (r 0.5). These areas are strongly associated with key household consumption such
as food and housing, and they require robust lifecycle and cross-cutting approaches beyond
rural-urban and production-consumption distinctions. These areas tend to be more integrated
with SCP in Europe than other regions among respondents, but without statistical significance.
Centralized agenda: public procurement and industrial/economic development are categorized
in this cluster. The existence of these policies integrating SCP is fairly strongly correlated (r =
0.44). The characteristics of these sectoral policies are that they are more relevant to the
centralized role of government. Public procurement emphasizes the leading role of the
government sector in creating demand for sustainable products, while industrial and economic
policies are typically handled by central government. These sectors tend to be addressed in
upper middle-income countries (industry/economic development: p < 0.05) or those Asian
countries that responded (public procurement: p < 0.25).
Localized agenda: tourism, environmental protection/conservation, and poverty alleviation are
classified into this cluster. These sectors show near strong correlations (r 0.47). These issues are
typically associated with localized issues such as rural and community development.
Conventional environmental pollution caused by industry affects local communities, while
environmental conservation is associated with the protection of natural resources typically
abundant in non-urban settings. Tourism can be a major income source for local communities,
while poverty tends to be a crucial issue among rural and urban communities. Poverty
alleviation and tourism tend to be integrated with SCP in African countries (p < 0.1) and in the
middle- to low-income countries (p < 0.2), respectively.
Urbanized agenda: among the multiple answer options, only urban planning and development
fit into this cluster. This agenda is highly associated with the issue in urban areas; the role of
urban planning is significant in determining the environmental impacts induced from mobility,
housing, and other lifestyle aspects as well as the use and development of urban infrastructure.
Among responding countries, European countries tend to address this area more, compared to
Asia (p < 0.25).
4.2. Organizational Policy Integration
4.2.1. Ministries Participating in SCP Policy-Making
The proportion of responding countries with participation of each ministry in SCP policy-
making is summarized in Figure 3. The result indicates that SCP policy is predominantly handled by
environment ministries (96%). Following this, relatively higher level of involvement was observed
for ministries responsible for agriculture (87%), energy (83%), and industry (77%). The strong
presence of energy ministries is compatible with the fact that energy is the sector that most frequently
addresses SCP (72%). The significant participation of agriculture and industry ministries would
probably be because conventional environmental issues such as industrial pollution and agricultural
pesticides are more advanced in terms of coordination than other sectors related to SCP; they are
typically addressed through coordination between these ministries and environment ministries.
Figure 3. Proportion of countries with participation of ministries in SCP policy-making. Note: Survey
question “To your knowledge, what are the ministries participating in SCP policy-making at national
Figure 3.
Proportion of countries with participation of ministries in SCP policy-making. Note: Survey
question “To your knowledge, what are the ministries participating in SCP policy-making at national
level? (e.g., through participation in designing policies, representation in inter-ministerial groups)”
n= 47
. Colour: ministries responsible for environmental and resources in orange, cross-cutting agenda
in blue, economic and consumption sectors in green. Source: authors based on data from the Global
Survey on National SCP Policies and Initiatives with permission from the 10YFP Secretariat under UN
Environment [27].
4.2.2. Relationship between Organizational and Sectoral Integration
We now have a better understanding of the level and characteristics of sectoral and organizational
SCP policy integration. The next research question is how these two dimensions of policy integration
are related to each other. To investigate this, correlation analysis between sectoral policy focus and
the participating ministry was conducted as shown in Figure 4a. For a better understanding of the
interaction, a mosaic plot of the responses for those two questions is provided in Figure 4b.
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level? (e.g., through participation in designing policies, representation in inter-ministerial groups)” n
= 47. Colour: ministries responsible for environmental and resources in orange, cross-cutting agenda
in blue, economic and consumption sectors in green. Source: authors based on data from the Global
Survey on National SCP Policies and Initiatives with permission from the 10YFP Secretariat under
UN Environment [27].
By contrast, the participation of the ministries responsible for tourism (47%), infrastructure
(51%), and transport (55%) are limited regardless of the importance of relevant sectors such as
mobility, housing, and tourism. When we combine this result with sectoral focuses (Figure 1), the
integration of SCP objectives in these areas is quite limited both from organizational and sectoral
policy integration perspectives. It was also revealed that finance ministries have only moderate
participation in SCP policy-making (60%), despite their significant role in allocating the budget and
developing taxation policies, which determine the financial incentives in the market economy, and
their role in allocating domestic resources to different sectoral policies.
4.2.2. Relationship between Organizational and Sectoral Integration
We now have a better understanding of the level and characteristics of sectoral and
organizational SCP policy integration. The next research question is how these two dimensions of
policy integration are related to each other. To investigate this, correlation analysis between sectoral
policy focus and the participating ministry was conducted as shown in Figure 4a. For a better
understanding of the interaction, a mosaic plot of the responses for those two questions is provided
in Figure 4b.
(a) Correlation between sector and ministry (b) Mosaic plot of relevant sector and ministry
Figure 4. Result of correlation analysis of sectoral policies and ministries addressing SCP. Note: (a)
Correlation coefficient in cells; (b) relevant sector and ministry combination as Environment
protection/conservation and environment ministries; Energy and energy ministries;
Industrial/economic development and industry ministries; Food/agriculture and agriculture
ministries; Tourism and tourism ministries; Buildings/construction transport ministries;
Buildings/construction and infrastructure ministries; Urban planning/development and transport
ministries, Urban planning/development and infrastructure ministries. n = 47. Source: authors based
on data from the Global Survey on National SCP Policies and Initiatives with permission from the
10YFP Secretariat under UN Environment [27].
As a result, there were only a few areas where there was a weak correlation between policy
sectors and the participation of relevant ministries. For example, the environmental protection/
conservation sector is weakly correlated with the participation of environment ministries (r 0.3),
similar to the correlation between the food/agriculture sector and agriculture ministries (r 0.3). As
Figure 4.
Result of correlation analysis of sectoral policies and ministries addressing SCP.
Note: (
a
) Correlation coefficient in cells; (
b
) relevant sector and ministry combination
as Environment protection/conservation and environment ministries; Energy and energy
ministries; Industrial/economic development and industry ministries; Food/agriculture and
agriculture ministries; Tourism and tourism ministries; Buildings/construction transport ministries;
Buildings/construction and infrastructure ministries; Urban planning/development and transport
ministries, Urban planning/development and infrastructure ministries. n= 47. Source: authors based
on data from the Global Survey on National SCP Policies and Initiatives with permission from the
10YFP Secretariat under UN Environment [27].
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As a result, there were only a few areas where there was a weak correlation between policy sectors
and the participation of relevant ministries. For example, the environmental protection/ conservation
sector is weakly correlated with the participation of environment ministries (r
0.3), similar to the
correlation between the food/agriculture sector and agriculture ministries (r
0.3). As can be seen
from Figure 4b, the changes in policy focus are weakly associated with the change in the participation
of the ministry responsible for those areas. However, it should be noted that even for countries
addressing these sectors, many countries lack participation of the relevant ministries (upper-right
part of mosaic plots in Figure 4b). Apart from this, the analysis also identified the fact that countries
addressing SCP with poverty alleviation policies tend to have the participation of finance ministries
with weak correlation (r
0.3). This might be an indication that some countries, such as those in Africa
that are integrating SCP into poverty alleviation, tend to be aware of the importance of mobilizing
financial resources.
On the other hand, a majority of policy sectors have only very weak or no correlation between the
sectoral focus and the presence of the relevant ministry. The tourism sector and tourism ministries,
the buildings/construction sector and ministries in charge of transport or infrastructure, the urban
planning sector and the transport ministries, and the energy sector and ministries responsible for energy
or industry, all show very weak correlation (0.3 > r
0.1). The industrial/economic development sector
and industry ministries, the urban planning/development sector and the ministry of infrastructure
have virtually no correlation (r < 0.1). The mosaic plots in Figure 4b also indicate that there is
very limited association between the changes in sectoral focus and relevant ministry participation.
This suggests that many countries address relevant sectors without the presence of the ministry directly
responsible in the sector. It could also indicate that participation of the ministry concerned does not
ensure the full sectoral integration of SCP into that sector. In the latter case, the ministry may only
participate superficially, such as joining coordination meetings or working groups, but it does not
intensively work on integrating SCP into the relevant sectors as a priority, and so sectors were not
considered as appropriately addressing SCP. This random pattern of correlation might be partly due to
response bias, but it also potentially reflects the fact that there is not full cohesion between sectoral and
organizational policy integration.
Therefore, our question is, who is handling SCP policies in various sectors? Our findings indicate
that environment ministries appear to be coordinating various sectors on behalf of the line ministries
directly responsible for specific sectors. Correlation between tourism, buildings/construction, urban
planning/development, and poverty alleviation sectors and the presence of the ministries for the
environment shows some, albeit very weak, correlations (0.3 > r
0.1). This can be interpreted as
meaning that ministries for the environment are involved in SCP policy-making in various sectors
beyond the conventional domain of environmental protection and conservation. In addition, whenever
they participate, the ministries responsible for development coordination also seem to serve various
sectors, although they too have very weak correlations with tourism, urban planning/development,
buildings/construction, food/agriculture, energy, and poverty alleviation sectors (0.3 > r
0.1).
This can be an indication that ministries in charge of development cooperation play a role in addressing
SCP in various sectors when countries are involved in international cooperation, through either
receiving or providing international development support.
4.3. Horizontal Policy Integration
4.3.1. Cross-Sectoral Policies Addressing SCP
Horizontal policy integration refers to “the extent to which a central authority has developed
a comprehensive cross-sectoral strategy” [
9
]. In the context of SCP, it can mean different types of
cross-sectoral strategies related to sustainability. In the survey, countries were asked whether they
have specific SCP policies, and/or if they are addressing SCP through Sustainable Development and
Green Economy or Green Growth policy. The survey responses revealed that SCP policy tends to
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be mainstreamed into other sustainability frameworks instead of solely relying on specific policy
dedicated to SCP. Many countries responded that they address SCP through Sustainable Development
policies (74%), while some countries address it through Green Economy or Green Growth policies (54%).
However, less than half of the responding countries address SCP through specific SCP policies such as
SCP Action Plans (41%). This is compatible with guidelines by UN Environment recommending that
SCP can be either addressed through a dedicated plan or be mainstreamed into other existing national
strategies or policies [13].
To investigate the prominence of these cross-sectoral policies horizontally integrating SCP,
the linear probability model and the logit model were used to analyze the effects of income level and
region on the existence of each of the three types of cross-spectral policies incorporating SCP (Table 2).
The results of the linear probability model (LPM-2 in Table 2) indicate that countries addressing
SCP through sustainable development are more prominent in Europe compared to any other region
controlling for income level with 1% statistical significance (p< 0.01). It was also the case for low- to
lower-middle income countries (p< 0.01) and upper middle-income countries with 5% significance level
(p< 0.05) compared to high-income countries controlling for region. By interpreting the coefficients
on both income and region, high-income Europe is likely to have 38% or 24% more probability in
establishing a Sustainable Development framework incorporating SCP objectives compared to upper
middle-income Asia or Latin America, respectively.
The existence of a specific cross-sectoral SCP policy seems to be slightly more prominent in some
regions other than Europe. Based on the linear probability model (LPM-2 in Table 2), African countries
tend to have such policies compared to Europe controlling for income level (p< 0.05). By looking at
the effect of both income and region, low to lower middle-income African countries are likely to have
29% more probability in establishing a specific SCP framework than high-income European countries.
Although not statistically significant, Asian and Latin American responding countries tend to have
specific SCP policies compared to Europe (p< 0.3). Regarding Green Growth/Green Economy policies,
there are no statistically significant relationships identified, but European responding countries seem
to have a greater tendency to incorporate SCP into Green Economy/Green Growth policies compared
to other regions (p< 0.2).
4.3.2. Relationship between Horizontal and Vertical Policy Integration
This section analyzes the effects of horizontal SCP policy integration on vertical policy integration.
Horizontal policy integration is the extent to which the government develops cross-sectoral policies
for SCP, such as incorporating SCP objectives into Sustainable Development, Green Economy, or
Green Growth policies, or having a specific policy dedicated to SCP. These cross-sectoral policies are
expected to facilitate policy integration of SCP into different sectors and organizations. The survey
asked respondents to specify policies addressing SCP for both cross-sectoral and sectoral levels in
addition to the ministries participating in SCP policy-making. Based on these data, the effects of
the existence of cross-sectoral policies incorporating SCP (i.e., horizontal policy integration) on the
coverage of sectors and the participation of ministries addressing SCP (i.e., vertical policy integration)
were examined. Table 3summarizes the results of multiple regression analysis using aggregated
variables of the number of sectoral policies and ministries addressing SCP as dependent variables
(values ranging from 0 to 10) and the existence of cross-sectoral policies as independent variables with
and without controlling for income level and regions. According to these aggregated variables, on
average, a country addresses SCP objectives in 5.0 out of 10 policy sectors with participation of 6.4
out of 10 types of ministries. For a better understanding of each sector, the fitting results of the linear
probability model and the logit model using the existence of sectoral policies as dependent variables
for five sectors are shown in Table 4. The results for other sectors are included in the supplementary
material (Table S2).
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Table 3. The effects of cross-sectoral policies on the number of sectors and ministries addressing SCP.
Dependent Variable No. of Policy Sectors
Addressing SCP
No. of Ministries Participating
in SCP Policy-Making
Model Model 1 Model 2 Model 1 Model 2
Cross-sectoral Policy
SCP 0.14 0.42 1.56 # 1.34
(0.85) (1.03) (0.77) (0.94)
GE/GG 2.72 ** 2.95 ** 0.26 0.40
(0.85) (0.94) (0.77) (0.86)
SD 0.29 0.76 0.52 0.61
(0.96) (1.33) (0.87) (1.21)
Income-level
High - -
Up.mid. 0.62 0.41
(1.34) (1.23)
Low-low.mid. 1.74 0.53
(2.61) (2.39)
Region
Europe - -
Asia 0.88 0.64
(1.93) (1.77)
Latin 0.12 0.25
(1.70) (1.55)
Africa 2.31 0.55
(2.75) (2.52)
Intercept 3.23 ** 2.52 # 5.99 *** 5.66 ***
(0.95) (1.45) (0.86) (1.33)
Note: Standard error in parenthesis. p< 0.001 ***, 0.01 **, 0.1 #. n= 46. Linear regression model. Dependent
variables are the aggregated variables of total number of sectors or ministries addressing SCP (values range from
0 to 10). A response from the European Union was excluded from this analysis because it cannot be classified by
income-level. Source: authors based on data from the Global Survey on National SCP Policies and Initiatives with
permission from the 10YFP Secretariat under UN Environment [27].
The result shows that countries with a Green Economy/Green Growth policy tend to have a
broader coverage of sectoral focuses addressing SCP. Compared to the countries without such policy,
those addressing SCP with Green Economy/Green Growth strategy are associated with a 2.95 point
increase in the number of sectors addressing SCP (p< 0.05) based on the regression model controlling
for income and region (Model 2 in Table 3); and associated with a 2.72 point increase based on the
model not controlling for income and region (Model 1 in Table 3). The linear probability model
shown in Table 4(LPM) can examine this impact in terms of concrete sectors addressing SCP; e.g.,
countries with a Green Economy/Green Growth policy are 54%, 48%, and 43% more likely to address
SCP in building, energy and food sectors, respectively, with statistical significance (p< 0.01) after
controlling for income and region. Those countries might also be 31% more likely to address the
tourism sector with close statistical significance (p< 0.1). These areas are mainly the first cluster (i.e.,
consumption domains) identified in the previous section about integration between policy sectors.
Therefore, when incorporating the objective of SCP, Green Economy/Growth policies may have an
effect on expanding the sectoral scope of SCP into these high-impact household consumption areas
associated with cross-cutting and lifecycle perspectives.
Countries with specific SCP policies appear to be more oriented towards inter-organizational
coordination rather than progressive in sectoral policy integration. Governments with SCP-specific
policies are likely to have 1.56 more ministries participating in SCP policy-making with close 5%
statistical significance (p< 0.06) based on the regression model without controlling for income and
region (Model 1 in Table 3) and associated with 1.34 more ministries without statistical significance
(p< 0.2) after controlling for these factors (Model 2 in Table 3). These countries are associated with
38%, 21%, and 29% more participation by ministries responsible for transport (p< 0.05), agriculture
(
p< 0.1
), and tourism (p< 0.15) after controlling for region and income level. This effect is potentially
Resources 2017,6, 48 17 of 21
significant because many of the existing SCP national action plans are involved with the process of
participation by ministries and stakeholders as well as the establishment of institutional mechanisms
such as working groups or roundtables on SCP. On the other hand, these national plans tend to identify
several priority sectors and focus on elaborating the action plans and/or roadmaps in progressing SCP
in those identified areas. This might be the reason that they did not have much effect on fostering the
sectoral policy integration of SCP.
Table 4. The effects of cross-sectoral policies on sectoral policies addressing SCP.
Dependent Variable Energy Public Proc. Food/Agri. Build./Const. Tourism
Model LPM Logit LPM Logit LPM Logit LPM Logit LPM Logit
Cross-
sectoral
Policy
SCP 0.18 1.48 0.09 0.51 0.09 0.47 0.00 0.09 0.10 0.58
(0.14) (1.07) (0.16) (0.84) (0.17) (0.81) (0.16) (0.90) (0.17) (0.82)
GE/GG 0.48 ***
3.22 **
0.24 1.46 #
0.43 ** 1.94 **
0.54 *** 2.73 ** 0.31 # 1.62 *
(0.13) (1.08) (0.15) (0.82) (0.15) (0.72) (0.14) (0.86) (0.16) (0.79)
SD 0.34 # 2.12 0.44 * 2.99 * 0.13 0.72 0.14 0.89 0.25 1.18
(0.18) (1.31) (0.21) (1.45) (0.22) (1.04) (0.20) (1.21) (0.22) (1.00)
Income-
level
High - - - - - - - - - -
Up.mid. 0.09 1.38 0.12 0.59 0.17 0.97 0.14 0.84 0.40 # 1.89 #
(0.18) (1.58) (0.21) (1.06) (0.22) (1.17) (0.21) (1.07) (0.22) (1.06)
Low-
low.mid.
0.25 1.14 0.79 #
4.87 *
0.36 1.89 0.43 2.52 0.26 1.21
(0.36) (2.55) (0.41) (2.39) (0.42) (2.03) (0.40) (2.40) (0.43) (1.96)
Region
Europe - - - - - - - - - -
Asia 0.16 0.52 0.70 * 5.23 * 0.18 1.02 0.21 1.31 0.09 0.26
(0.26) (1.97) (0.31) (2.33) (0.31) (1.54) (0.30) (1.71) (0.32) (1.47)
Latin 0.24 1.02 0.35 2.38 0.31 1.72 0.02 0.15 0.12 0.40
(0.23) (1.80) (0.27) (1.59) (0.27) (1.42) (0.26) (1.45) (0.28) (1.31)
Africa 0.31 1.42 0.62 4.11 # 0.44 2.33 0.41 2.50 0.13 0.79
(0.38) (2.62) (0.44) (2.49) (0.45) (2.15) (0.42) (2.52) (0.46) (2.10)
Intercept 0.15 2.02 0.01
3.59 *
0.43 # 0.22 0.07 2.42 # 0.28 1.18
(0.20) (1.41) (0.23) (1.66) (0.24) (1.10) (0.22) (1.37) (0.24) (1.13)
Note: Standard error in parenthesis. p< 0.001 ***, 0.01 **, 0.05 *, 0.1 #. n= 46. LPM: Linear probability model. Logit:
Logit model. Dependent variables are dummy variables on the existence of each sectoral policy addressing SCP
(1: Yes, 0: No). A response from the European Union was excluded from this analysis because it cannot be classified
by income-level. Source: authors based on data from the Global Survey on National SCP Policies and Initiatives
with permission from the 10YFP Secretariat under UN Environment [27].
There was no clear relationship identified for countries with sustainable development policy
incorporating SCP. Although it shows a slight tendency to be strong in sectoral policy integration
and weak in organizational integration, the variation is too large to conclude anything on its effects.
This might be because the depth and breadth of integration of SCP induced by horizontal integration in
sustainable development policy vary because sustainable development covers much broader aspects,
and some countries might fail to set SCP as a priority among various agendas or mobilize the actual
involvement of ministries and resources into SCP.
4.3.3. Limitation of This Study
It should be noted that the survey data used for this paper has certain limitations that should be
considered when the results are being interpreted. The first limitation is selection bias. The population
frame of this survey is the national focal points (NFPs) of the 10YFP on SCP; countries with NFPs
are potentially more active in SCP policy-making than those that do not assign NFPs. Furthermore,
responding countries might be biased towards being the ones that work more intensively on SCP
and that assign more resources to this approach, compared to non-responding countries. Therefore,
the results of this survey do not necessarily come to general conclusions that would apply to every
country in the world; they are most robust in reflecting the characteristics of policy-making approaches
of those countries that are already working on SCP. Moreover, the sample size is limited (47 responses),
Resources 2017,6, 48 18 of 21
and the geographical distribution of the respondents is uneven; e.g., nonresponses in non-European
countries were higher than in Europe, which led to a smaller sample size in these regions. For this
reason, a reference category for analysis was set as high-income and European countries, and some
categories with small sample size were combined.
The second limitation is measurement error. The survey result may be affected by the view of
responding government officers, which might be different from the actual institutional situation of the
country. Although respondents (i.e., NFPs) were encouraged to coordinate with other government
agencies and ministries to answer the questionnaire—and many of them indicated that they had
collaborated in drafting national responses—the survey results should be considered as reflecting the
understanding of the responding government officers.
Finally, despite the above limitations, every effort has been made to ensure that the data
and methodology are of sound scientific standards. There is also ground-breaking value in the
size and scientific approach of the survey itself in that it is the first large-scale survey of national
governments directly focused on national SCP policy-making. Existing literature mostly addresses
individual country cases or broadly compares a few countries; it mostly relies on secondary sources of
information [
11
,
12
]; or it is focused on normative research to identify guiding principles and practical
recommendations [1316].
5. Conclusions
In this study, the responses to the questionnaire survey from national governments were analyzed
to assess the characteristics of policy integration of SCP. Through a literature review, the applicability
of the concept of policy integration to SCP policy-making was examined. Two important
dimensions applicable to SCP policy, namely sectoral and organizational policy integration, and
the distinction between vertical and horizontal policy integration, were identified from the existing
literature on environmental policy integration. The statistical analyses including regression analysis,
linear probability and logit models, and clustering and correlation analysis, were used to examine the
level and characteristics of these dimensions in SCP policy integration at the national level.
The results of our analysis revealed that both sectoral and organizational policy integration of SCP
in national policies are limited. In terms of sectoral policy integration, some economic and consumption
sectors such as urban planning, tourism, and building are not addressed by many countries (they are
only addressed by 36–45% of responding countries). Most of the countries perceive SCP as a matter
of environmental protection/conservation and use of energy resources, implying that the focus of
SCP is either on downstream end-of-pipe pollution control or upstream control of resource use and
conservation. With regard to organizational policy integration, it was again concluded that there
was only limited participation of line ministries directly in charge of some high-impact areas such
as tourism ministries, infrastructure ministries, and transport ministries (only 47–55% of responding
countries). Environment ministries are mostly involved with SCP (96%) and tend to handle various
sectoral policies including tourism, building, and urban planning on behalf of the line ministries
directly responsible in those sectors, implying that SCP is not going beyond the traditional silos of
the government system. A lack of the presence of key ministries might lead to a failure in effective
integration of SCP, which could cause difficulty in addressing resource consumption and its associated
environmental impacts from these high-impact sectors.
SCP is an issue embedded in the socio-economy and requires addressing the close linkage
between different policy sectors, which sometime contradict each other and/or are mutually beneficial.
The cluster analysis using correlation coefficients identified that integration between some sectors
related to SCP is progressing. Strong to fairly strong correlations were identified among the policy
sectors fitting into four clusters: (i) consumption domains, such as food, building, and energy;
(ii) centralized agenda, such as industry and procurement; (iii) localized agenda, such as poverty,
environment, and tourism; and (iv) urbanized agenda, which is urban planning/development. Each of
those policy clusters involves specific characteristics in policy-making approaches. For example,
Resources 2017,6, 48 19 of 21
it is vital to enable sustainable lifestyles in major consumption domains. Central government and
the industry sector should also have leading roles for the centralized agenda, while community
development and the rural economy should be addressed in the localized agenda. By contrast,
city government and planning plays a central role in the urbanized agenda. Further discussion
on effective and integrative policy design addressing both synergy and contradictions in each
SCP policy cluster could be a first step in ensuring comprehensive policy integration of SCP.
A cross-analysis of survey responses with income level and region identifies some priority areas
such as industrial/economic development in upper middle-income countries and poverty alleviation
in African countries. This should be considered in future international cooperation and domestic
policy-making efforts by strategically integrating SCP in the context of specific needs of the region and
countries. Although not directly addressed by the questionnaire, high resource consumption and its
associated environmental impacts in high-income countries, as well as the rapidly growing consumer
class in middle-income countries, are also important themes to consider. Ensuring integration of SCP
objectives into these policy clusters including consumption domains (e.g., food, building, and energy)
and urbanized agenda (i.e., urban planning) can be a first step in addressing this issue.
Many countries are taking a mainstreaming approach to horizontal policy integration; e.g.,
incorporating SCP as part of their broader national strategic planning policies such as Sustainable
Development and/or Green Economy. Fewer than half of the responding countries have a specific
SCP policy such as a national SCP action plan. The cross-analysis of the survey responses revealed
that the existence of national cross-sectoral policies might have different effects on the sectoral and
organizational policy integration of SCP. Countries with a Green Economy/Green Growth policy
incorporating SCP tend to be sectoral integration-oriented (i.e., addressing SCP in broader sectors),
while those with specific SCP policies might be coordination-oriented (i.e., more participation of
ministries). However, none of them would be perfect for SCP policy integration. Countries addressing
SCP through a Green Economy or Green Growth policy should consider a more effective institutional
setup to ensure the participation of various ministries. The ones with specific SCP policies can continue
their emphasis on organizational integration in SCP policy-making and should consider broadening
the scope of SCP policies into non-traditional sectors, as well as try to take an integrative approach
towards SCP instead of addressing SCP in each sector separately.
The results of this study provided insights into the measurement of SDG indicator 12.1.1 and
policy-relevant 10YFP indicators [
39
]. It was confirmed that countries are mainstreaming SCP into
their broader strategic planning (horizontal integration) and/or addressing it through concrete sectors
(vertical integration), not solely establishing SCP national action plans. In addition, the extent to
which countries are addressing SCP depends on each country, ranging from those addressing the
issue only with a few sectors predominantly handled by an environment ministry to those addressing
SCP through broader sector domains with the involvement of multiple ministries. In measuring
these international SCP policy indicators, the depth and breadth of SCP policy integration should be
considered through systematic assessment of actual policy-making efforts. Further study would be
necessary to more precisely assess SCP policy integration both at national and sub-national levels.
Moreover, further discussion of effective and integrative policy designs for SCP, addressing various
sectors and organizational involvement that incorporates effective operationalization of national
strategic plans, is recommended.
Supplementary Materials:
The following are available online at www.mdpi.com/2079-9276/6/4/48/s1, Table S1:
The effects of income level and region on sectoral policies addressing SCP (part 2), Table S2: The effects of
cross-sectoral policies on sectoral policies addressing SCP (part 2).
Acknowledgments:
This research is supported by the Secretariat of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes for
SCP (10YFP) under the United Nations Environmental Programme (UN Environment) and the Environment
Research and Technology Development Fund (S-16) of the Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agency
of Japan. The survey design and data is provided by the 10YFP Secretariat. The authors greatly acknowledge
the contribution of Magnus Bengtsson, Satoshi Kojima, Yasuhiko Hotta, and Vanessa Melinda Perez to the
development of this paper.
Resources 2017,6, 48 20 of 21
Author Contributions:
Ryu Koide analyzed the data, conducted a literature review, and led the writing of the
paper. Lewis Akenji led the design of this research, interpretation of results, and contributed to the writing of
the paper.
Conflicts of Interest:
The authors declare no conflict of interest. The survey was designed and implemented by
the 10YFP Secretariat under UN Environment, which is one of the funding sponsors of this research. The analysis,
interpretation of results, and writing of the manuscript are solely based on the academic objectives of the authors.
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©
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Written by an international team of over sixty experts and drawing on over three thousand scientific studies, this is the first comprehensive global assessment of the political impact of the Sustainable Development Goals, which were launched by the United Nations in 2015. It explores in detail the political steering effects of the Sustainable Development Goals on the UN system and the policies of countries in the Global North and Global South; on institutional integration and policy coherence; and on the ecological integrity and inclusiveness of sustainability policies worldwide. This book is a key resource for scholars, policymakers and activists concerned with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and those working in political science, international relations and environmental studies. It is one of a series of publications associated with the Earth System Governance Project. For more publications, see www.cambridge.org/earth-system-governance. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
... There are physical, ecological, social, and human limits associated with unlimited growth dynamics (Jackson, 2009) that compromise future survival conditions. Thus, one of the goals, as one of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) -Agenda 2030, goal 12, more specifically, proposed by the United Nations, is to ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns (Koide and Akenji, 2017). ...
... There are physical, ecological, social, and human limits associated with unlimited growth dynamics (Jackson, 2009) that compromise future survival conditions. Thus, one of the goals, as one of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) -Agenda 2030, goal 12, more specifically, proposed by the United Nations, is to ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns (Koide and Akenji, 2017). ...
... The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a central piece of the 2030 Agenda and can be considered as a reference to governments, the business sector, and nongovernmental organizations on how they should conduct their actions to promote sustainable development. The goals are so broad that their achievement cannot rest only on national government but will require integration between the different sectors (Koide and Akenji 2017;Stafford-Smith et al. 2017). Of the seventeen SDGs, SDG 11-"Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable"-addresses issues regarding urban inequalities, planning, financing, mitigation, adaptation to climate change, and resilience to disasters. ...
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Tourism can promote different possibilities for gender equality such as empowering women, generating employment and income, and promoting equitable experiences in tourist destinations and attractions. This chapter aims to discuss the incorporation of gender equality through the inclusion of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 in tourism. For this, a theoretical essay is developed based on articles present in the Web of Science (WoS) database. The results demonstrate that gender equality must be substantially discussed by everyone involved in the tourism sector. In particular with regard to equal salary and opportunities and salary for women as a way to reduce gender stereotypes in companies in the sector. In addition, it is understood that one of the ways to improve gender equality is in the development of practices in undergraduate higher education in tourism, as there are studies that indicate better academic results on the part of women.
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doi:10.3390/resources3030488 resources ISSN 2079-9276 www.mdpi.com/journal/resources Article Abstract: The paper suggests a sustainable material footprint of eight tons, per person, in a year as a resource cap target for household consumption in Finland. This means an 80% (factor 5) reduction from the present Finnish average. The material footprint is used as a synonym to the Total Material Requirement (TMR) calculated for products and activities. The paper suggests how to allocate the sustainable material footprint to different consumption components on the basis of earlier household studies, as well as other studies, on the material intensity of products, services, and infrastructures. It analyzes requirements, opportunities, and challenges for future developments in technology and lifestyle, also taking into account that future lifestyles are supposed to show a high degree of diversity. The targets and approaches are discussed for the consumption components of nutrition, housing, household goods, mobility, leisure activities, and other purposes. The paper states that a sustainable level of natural resource use by households is achievable and it can be roughly allocated to different consumption components in order to illustrate the need for a change in lifestyles. While the absolute material footprint of all the consumption components will have to decrease, the relative share of nutrition, the most basic human OPEN ACCESS Resources 2014, 3 489 need, in the total material footprint is expected to rise, whereas much smaller shares than at present are proposed for housing and especially mobility. For reducing material resource use to the sustainable level suggested, both social innovations, and technological developments are required.
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This paper argues that sustainable consumption and production (SCP) should play a prominent role in the formulation and implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and discusses how this could be practically done. Unsustainable patterns of consumption and production have been declared the primary cause of environmental deterioration. This was clearly recognized already at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (or the Rio Summit) in 1992; and this recognition has been reconfirmed in all high-level sustainability meetings since then. SCP aims to change these patterns; it is a policy agenda for addressing the root causes of our ecological predicament, while, at the same time, providing for human wellbeing and prosperity. Drawing from international agreements, practical policy experience and research from a range of disciplines, the paper provides a clarifying framework for scientifically robust, policy-relevant and practical goal-setting for SCP within the SDGs. Special attention is given to how SCP in the SDGs can create synergies with other international policy initiatives. The paper explores the advantages and disadvantages of two possible options for reflecting SCP in the SDGs framework: (i) SCP as a stand-alone goal; and (ii) SCP as a cross-cutting objective, embedded within relevant goals. While these two options are not necessarily mutually exclusive, given the competing number of issues for prioritization and the fact that a 10-Year Framework of Programs on SCP has also recently been established, it is hardly foreseeable that both options can be realized. The paper further proposes a set of basic principles for SCP at the global level and makes recommendations towards the formulation of indicators supporting SCP objectives in the SDGs.
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The principle of environmental policy integration (EPI) attracts great scholarly interest as well as widespread political backing. Political support is particularly strong in the European Union, where it enjoys a prominent quasi-constitutional status. However, the practical fulfilment of EPI appears to lag well behind these aspirations, although the evidence base of this widely held view remains rather fragmented. This article aims to review the ‘state of the art’ in EPI research and practice from the perspective of its conceptual meaning, processes of implementation and outcomes ‘on the ground’. It finds that the political commitment to EPI is indeed widespread, especially in industrialized states, but that deep disagreement surrounds its actual application. In terms of everyday practices, ‘policy integration’ is complex and contingent, and there are few ‘best practices’ that can be easily shared between jurisdictions. Finally, knowledge about policy outcomes is very sparse indeed, and policy-making systems seem very ill prepared to address this lacuna. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
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Drawing from papers in this special volume (SV), this introductory paper on absolute reductions argues that the magnitude, scope and urgency of the sustainability challenge require a drastic change in global civilisation, including a radical transformation of the institutional arrangements and socio-technical systems that facilitate the pursuit of wellbeing. The authors of this paper identify four main challenges to absolute reductions, including: the resource-intensive conventional template for development, macroeconomic structures and trade policies creating burden-shifting and inequality, a resource-efficiency improvements fallacy, and the dominant consumerist culture and lifestyles. The paper demonstrates the complexity of translating planetary boundaries into boundaries for resource use and targets for absolute reductions, proposing a practical approach starting with defining footprints for water, land and materials, and then proceeding to set resource boundaries. In seeking potential solutions, the paper highlights research addressing materials and product substitution, ecological fiscal reform with measures such as carbon taxation, sustainable lifestyles, design for sustainability, eco-innovation, and management of power dynamics in the production-consumption system. We then propose six domains in a research agenda for future research. These include: moving from niches and demonstration projects to broader norms; addressing reductions targets and indicators to guide policy and action; including policy design reflecting complexities such as time-lags, the resource nexus, and positive feedback loops; global resource governance; and convergence pathways between over-consuming and under-consuming societies. These areas will provide the science that will inform policy and business decisions and guide the engagement of practitioners to work towards sustainability transitions to equitable, sustainable, post-fossil carbon societies.
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The integration of certain policy objectives into other policy sectors – i.e. policy integration of such issues as gender, regional development, employment and environmental protection – is frequently requested in order to improve public policy. The article discusses the importance of evaluating policy integration as well as the perspective that such evaluations should extend to the outputs and outcomes of policies. Two examples of evaluating policy integration are provided: the integration of environmental concerns into technology policy and the integration of innovation objectives into environmental policy. The findings show that the integration of environmental concerns into technology policies could be increased, especially with respect to promoting technologies that do not have explicit environmental intentions. Similarly, innovation objectives could be further integrated into environmental policies. Evaluations of policy principles, such as policy integration, are important for policy development.
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This paper's overall purpose is to assess the viability of a particular form of integration, termed 'goal integration', based on a 'market' paradigm. The first section discusses the concept of integration in recent sustainable development policy thinking, outlines several ways of understanding it and culminates in highlighting and explaining the concept of goal integration. Two conditions relating to 'goal integrity' for policy design are set out. The remainder of the paper is concerned with whether and to what extent a market paradigm can meet these necessary conditions. The subsequent section employs a case study of European agri-environment policy to explore how well goal integration based on a market model meets the first of these tests. The next section considers the second condition for goal integrity and the extent it can be said to be met in attempts to integrate the goals pertaining to the domains of environment and economy by use of a market paradigm. The overall conclusion of this paper is that there are key respects in which the pursuit of goal integration by a market paradigm involves a logical failure to meet the conditions required for an appropriate degree of respect for goal integrity.
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Environmental policy integration (EPI) is a key defining feature of sustainable development. Despite the fact that EPI has been the subject of much debate both in academic and policy-making circles, conceptual issues relating to EPI have received relatively little treatment. The conceptual work that has been completed on EPI generally fails to place the concept in an appropriate environmental policy context, and this in turn appears to betray the fact that the concept clearly implies a relatively strong revision of the traditional hierarchy of policy objectives. In this article the authors discuss the origins of the concept and provide conceptual clarification regarding its definition and context. Further, the article derives a simple analytical framework consisting of vertical and horizontal dimensions of EPI, which can serve as a useful point of departure for further empirical work on the implementation of EPI.