Green Action Week 2020
With the consumer advocacy movement committed to driving forward the 'green recovery' in response to the pandemic, 2021 will be a decisive year for progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals – key milestones include the UN Environment Assembly in February and COP26 in November 2021. The 2020 Green Action Fund theme, Sharing Community, speaks directly to SDG 12 – Sustainable consumption and production patterns, and the importance of promoting a culture of sharing and collaboration within communities to reduce waste and improve resource efficiency. The grants are made available by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, and is administered by Consumers International. During Green Action Week, the annual global campaign which ran from Monday 28th September to Sunday 4th October 2020, grantees organized activities linked into their wider projects, that mobilised consumers around the theme and promoted actions that could be taken to reduce unsustainable consumption globally. This year Consumers International's members ran 25 campaigns in 22 countries across four continents: twelve in Africa, eight in Asia-Pacific, three in Latin America, and two in the Middle East. An example from each continent is included below: - Africa, Benin: Bénin Sante et Survie du Consommateur (BSSC): BSSC conducted an awareness campaign about the consequences of malnutrition to contribute to social change amongst target communities. The awareness campaign sought to empower actors together, aiming for heads of households to pool resources to improve the nutritional status of children through promoting balanced diets and local food resources with high nutritional value. - Asia Pacific, India: Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC): CERC created a physical sharing platform to share provisions between migrant workers and local communities and used social media channels to spread the appeal. - Middle East, Yemen: Yemen Association for Consumer Protection YACP: YACP's project aimed to increase awareness of the importance of food safety to reduce the spread of infectious diseases and epidemics of the post-purchase stage by allowing communities to participate in practical experiences of implementing food safety measures. - Central & South America, Mexico: Colectivo Ecologista Jalisco (CEJ): CEJ worked with Tianguis del Recycle and the Producers Fair in Mexico to promote circular economy practices to increase the exchange and consumption of sustainable products as well as reduce waste.
Green Action Week is our opportunity to show how consumer advocacy groups, alongside other organisations and stakeholders around the world, are actively driving sustainable consumption. We used the week to celebrate new ideas, insight and innovations that are delivering impact and progress towards SDG 12. Our members sent us many updates from their campaigns and actions showing us how they were promoting sustainable consumption in their country or region. Despite COVID-19 coinciding with the week, our members took precautionary measures in-person e.g. using face masks, socially distancing. They also utilised online platforms e.g. holding webinars, uploading videos to share knowledge and resources.