Confab addresses role of green production, social sectors in minimizing climate risk
November 11, 2009

Four internationally known specialists and some 300 representatives of government, business, and civil society will hold the GP3 Conference 2009 on November 12-13 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia to highlight the global trends on environment and green consumerism and look at local initiatives in green production.

GP3 stands for Green Productivity, Green Purchasing towards Green Philippines, and the conference theme is "Green Consumerism: A way forward to cushion the impact of climate change". It is the second GP 3 Conference, with the first ever held in 2006.

GP3 participants will discuss the global outlook in the production and use of environmentally preferable products, and discuss ISO 14000 product oriented series standards, such as environmental labelling; seven sins of green washing or making false environmentalist claims; life cycle analysis and design for environment for production aspects; and approaches and strategies in establishing green procurement programs.

Speaking in this conference are international experts Dr. Dan Steinbock, American green business specialist; Dr. Ning Yu, Taiwanese environmental labeling expert; Dr. Kun Mo Lee, Korean business life cycle assessment specialist; and Mr. Scot Case, American environmental marketing expert.

Local speakers include Rep. Roilo Golez, co-author of the Climate Change Act; Dr. JR Nereus Acosta, former solon and expert in environmentalist law-making; former First Lady Amelita M. Ramos, environmentalist and Pasig River rehabilitation advocate; and former Environment Secretary Elisea 'Bebet' Gozun.

Around 300 participants will join the conference from concerned stakeholders such as government organizations, academic and research institutions, policy makers, producers, and non-government organizations. Participants will come from various fields of expertise such as responsible officers of various sectors involved in pollution control, procurement, and corporate social responsibility; and teachers, researchers, business managers and development officers, among others.

The lead conference organizers are the non-government organization Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development (PCEPSDI), a non-government organization that implements the National Ecolabelling Programme -Green Choice Philippines (NELP-GCP).

NELP-GCP has awarded the Green Choice Seal of Approval to 11 products found to be environmentally preferable, based on ISO 14024. The Green Choice Seal is the only third-party and multiple-criteria based seal of approval on enviČronmental claims that is being espoused by the government.

The Seal is awarded based on ecolabelling or environmental labeling, an international system of identifying products and services that reduce environmental impact.

The Programme has already developed 32 sets of product criteria. They include criteria for consumer items like detergents, liquid disinfectants, bath soaps, hair shampoos, crayons and liquid dishwashing products, tissue paper and paper envelopes, writing instruments, and household batteries.

Criteria were also developed for the construction materials like paints, cements, organic infill materials, fire extinguishers, fluorescent lamps, and electronic ballasts.

Already available are the criteria for materials used in office and industries like engine oils, printing and writing paper products, paper boards, inkjet and toner cartridges, desktop and laptop computers, multi-function printing devices, printers, photocopiers, and facsimile machines.

"The environment is related to our nation's economic development, and the use of ecological products will minimize the risk effects and disasters arising from climate change" says former Environment Secretary and PCEPSDI Chair Elisea Gozun, as she urges the government, business and civil society groups to assess the effects of various products on the environment.

Ecolabelling or environmental labeling is gathering momentum among business groups. On October 15, various sectors affirmed support for green production, and formed the Green Purchasing Alliance Movement during a consultative meeting attended by 52 representatives of government, private sector and non-government organizations.