Promoting Sustainable Consumption And Production In Sri Lanka Through Eco Innovation


In recent decades, there has been a growing recognition amongst manufacturing business leaders on sustainability challenge such as climate change, worker welfare and resource constrains which have a significant impact on businesses. 

Sri Lanka has been benefiting from robust economic growth in recent years. Calculated growth of GDP for the country was 6.3% in 2015. Agriculture one of the major economic activity in Sri Lanka, is one of the key environmental concerns: having a tremendous impact on everything from climate change to soil deterioration. It is believed that increases in non-infectious diseases in Sri Lanka such as cancer and chronic kidney diseases due to certain agricultural practices and agro chemicals leaching into streams and shallow wells, contaminates drinking water resources.

Agri-food industry in Sri Lanka is one of the emerging and lucrative industries in terms of production, consumption, export and growth prospects. Consumers are. However facing some issues with the sector such as food safety, food quality and lack of information on origin. Food safety is a crosscutting issue that should be addressed by bringing together collaborative efforts of agencies concerned.

Since its inception in 2002 National Cleaner Production Center undertook different international projects to accelerate the shift towards achieving sustainable development in the country. Accordingly in 2014, United Nations (UN) Environment selected NCPC to pilot the concept of Eco Innovation in Agri-food sector in Sri Lanka, Aiming to embed sustainability at strategy level and change the business models. NCPC Identified key areas in various companies to enhance their economic, environmental and social performance. As a result six SMEs were selected and applied the concept. This Two year project is now getting successfully completed.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) officially known as “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” is one of the national priorities in Sri Lanka. Many stakeholders are taking different initiatives to achieve 17 SDGs in Sri Lanka. National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) has focused to achieve SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) through diverse activities.

With the completion of “Project on Eco Innovation, Strengthening SCP Practices in Sri Lanka by Empowering SMEs in Agri-food Sector” NCPC will embark on a project supported by 10 Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) of UN Environment on “Consumer Information, Promoting SCP in Sri Lanka through Facilitating Accessibility to Information”. This launch took place at Waters Edge recently to shape up the Sustainable Consumption in the country.

Speaking at the event Mr. Wasantha Dassanayake additional secretary to Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment stated that since its inception in 2002 the Ministry has supported the process and Ministry will support this 10 year framework in future to implement this mechanism.

Speaking at the event Mr.Ian Fenn stated that Eco Innovation tools been developed with policy guidelines. He also stated that this is a good opportunity for consumers to promote and discuss about the benefits of sustainable choices, opportunities available.

The 10 year framework will help out the business and retailers to enhance a communication drive for a behavioral change, Drive change in Business and government and to improve quality of consumer information in its products. This will help to promote sustainable goods and quality information along supply chains. Also to use information tool to improve, processes, goods and services for business. It is also a new avenue for many industries which to enable to save costs through reduced resources usage such as raw material, energy and water resulting revenue growth with new market opportunities.