The government of Panama announced the launch of the new "Panama Green Label" to be developed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MICI) and the Union of Industrialists of Panama (SIP) with support and technical assistance from the OAS-SEDI Department of Sustainable Development. The Label - announced on March 19, 2014 at the IX International Symposium on Cleaner Production, co-sponsored by the OAS - seeks to promote the implementation of sustainable production processes and environmentally respectful products by companies.
The Green Label will become a local recognition for companies that are committed to implementing Closed Looped Cycle Production (CLCP) and the Cradle to Cradle® international certification in which experts assess the toxicity of materials used in products and define a path to improve product design and manufacturing processes. This concept encourages sustainable production and consumption behavior in closed loop or circular economies, which - unlike traditional linear processes - maintain resources in continuous use in order to reduce dependency to and extraction of non-renewable natural resources. This initiative is undertaken “in an effort to provide consumers with export quality products, manufactured observing best practices” said President of SIP, Michelle Ureña de Maduro.
During the symposium, the OAS-SEDI hosted an inter-sectoral meeting on competitiveness and environmental performance of MSMEs, as part of the Pathway to Prosperity initiative, which led to the exchange of ideas and experiences on innovative methodologies for competitive and sustainable production. Participants included representatives from cleaner production Centers in the region, SME governmental authorities, the private sector and academia.
Ministers and High-Level Authorities of Sustainable Development of the Americas convened in Santo Domingo in 2010, declared that unsustainable patterns of production and consumption is a complex challenge for sustainable development and human well-being, and that the deterioration of the goods and services provided by ecosystems has an impact on economies and livelihoods of communities that depend on them, affecting their resilience. In this sense, they committed to support the improvement of environmental performance of productive sectors in the region, promoting sustainable patterns of production and consumption.
The efforts of the OAS in Panama will focus on increasing awareness and acceptance by all stakeholders - government, national companies, National Centers for Cleaner Production, Small Business Development Centers and Chambers of Commerce, among others- about the relevance and feasibility of implementing innovative design and production methods and of Closed Looped Cycle Production certification as a means to meet the commitments made by Member States.
A successful program: the experience of Ecuador in sustainable production
The program in Panama builds on the experience of the pilot project conducted in Ecuador during the first phase of Closed Looped Cycle Production (CLCP) in the Americas Program between 2011 and 2013. The project had implications both at company and public policy levels, paving the way for the country’s effective move towards cleaner production.
ü Creation and adoption of a National Program for Closed Looped Cycle Production
ü Delivery of the first basic Cradle to Cradle ® certification of a packaged product in Latin America and the Caribbean for the Ecuadorian company Batery Alimentos SA
ü Progress towards the establishment of a new Center for Cleaner Production in Ecuador
ü Inclusion of a chapter in the National Development Plan "Plan for Good Living 2013-2017" dedicated to promoting Closed Looped Cycle Production in the country.
In addition to Panama, Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago will also participate in the second phase of the OAS-SEDI Program.
This article was originally published in the SEDI newsletter, here.