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State of Play Session 4: Acting Globally - Practical capacity building for eco-innovation Dr. Guido Sonnemann, Programme Officer for Sustainable Innovation, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics The Green Economy Initiative

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state of play

State of Play

Session 4: Acting Globally - Practical capacity building for eco-innovation

Dr. Guido Sonnemann, Programme Officer for Sustainable Innovation,Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

the green economy initiative

The Green Economy Initiative

Mobilizing and re-focusing the global economy towards investments in clean technologies and 'natural' infrastructure such as forests and soils is the best bet for real growth, combating climate change and triggering an employment boom in the 21st century.

In October 2008, UNEP launched the 2 year Green Economy Initiative (GEI)

Green Economy report: an overview, analysis and synthesis of how public policy can help markets accelerate the transition towards a green economy

Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: a partnership project focusing on valuation issues; and

Green Jobs report, looks at employment trends






Cost / liability


Licence to


The Business Case for greening…

New Markets:

- Development of new products

- First mover advantage

- Innovation in addressing environmental concerns



building upon dtie initiatives
Building upon DTIE Initiatives


Division of Technology,

Industry and Economics


International Environmental





and Trade


Consumptionand Production



Business and Industry


Finance Initiative

Technology transfer


Urban and Transport

Finance Unit

Integrated Resources Management

Goods and Services

operationalising the approach and addressing the barriers
Operationalising the Approach and Addressing the Barriers
  • 4 Key components to UNEP approach
    • Policy
    • Technology
    • Finance
    • Communication: information, guidance, networks, training, …
  • Applies to DTIE activities of ETB, Energy and SCP branches
  • In particular relevant for Finance Initiative, Resource Panel, Life Cycle Initiative, RECP programme (with UNIDO) and various Energy related projects
  • All inter-related and necessary
policy instruments
  • SCP indicators for measuring current status and progress with regard resource management in a life cycle perspective
  • Indicators for measuring the impacts of policies applied to various industrial sectors;
  • Sustainable Procurement (public and private);
  • Public and Private Financing;
  • Technology Verification and Performance Targets;
  • Knowledge Services (directories, handbooks, guidelines…) and other information campaigns;
  • Trade (barriers, incentives);
  • Economic instruments (taxes, subsidies);
  • Voluntary agreements (certification systems).


An investor initiative in partnership with UNEP FI and the UN Global Compact



technology transfer framework
Technology TransferFramework
  • Identify technologies
  • Assess markets for technologies, including barriers for transfer and finance conditions
  • Create platform for action
    • Study various sectors
  • Implement identified actions for each sector
    • Decide which actions at with level
communication elements
  • Overall goals to
    • Assess cutting-edge knowledge
    • Collect best practice examples
    • Set up global networks
    • Raise awareness
    • Provide guidance
    • Develop training material
    • Build capabilities
    • Demonstrate practical applications
  • Focus on businesses in developing countries
  • In close co-operation with leading experts from around the world and centres of excellence in developing countries, like the National Cleaner Production Centres (NCPCs)
unep finance initiative
UNEP Finance Initiative
  • 18 year-old UNEP partnership with the financial industry, mostly private sector
  • 170 financial institutions: banks, insurers, asset managers
  • From all the world regions: Europe 48%, Asia 29%, North America 13%, Africa 6%
  • Mission: identify, promote, and realize the adoption of best environmental and sustainability practice at all levels of financial institution operations.

Applying the Principles for Responsible Investment: Cleantech

  • The Principles are designed to be applicable to all asset classes.
  • Cleantech sector a particularly exciting sector for those investors ‘ahead of the curve’ on environmental considerations.
  • Cleantech highlighted by UNEP’s ‘new green deal’ as one of the ‘priority sectors’ for investment.


unep s energy branch
UNEP’s Energy Branch
  • Not being a financial institution, UNEP works in non-competitive ways with banking community leaders
  • Mission: To help overcome market barriers and increase investment flows to renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies
  • Turning the finance sector into an ally promoting clean energy:
      • Supporting decision making, both amongst governments and financiers, helping to get policies enacted, financial strategies formed and new financial instruments launched
      • Financial support mechanisms used to reduce the front-end barriers that hinder the development of solar market
      • Approaches for softening loan financing: Interest rate reductions, green mortgages, guarantee facilities.
lessons learned
Lessons learned
  • Technologies available: market uptake slow
  • Markets scale up quickly once banks start to lend
  • Banks need help to get started
      • Assessing technologies
      • Marketing new loans
      • Kick-startingdemand
  • Lending gives feedback signal that technology is mature
      • Policy makers take a technology more seriously once banks lend
  • Increasingly requested to replicate type of project
      • Photovoltaic Loan Facility in India (Energy globe awarded in 2007)
      • MEDREP - Mediterranean Renewable Energy Programme
      • BALREP – The Balkan Renewable Energy Programme (for SWH)
      • GEF Solar Water Heating (SWH) Global Initiative
assessing cutting edge knowledge
Assessing cutting-edge knowledge

Financially supported among others by

global life cycle innovation network
Global life cycle innovation network

Mission:To bring science-basedlife cycle approaches into practice worldwide

Financially supported among others by


A Practical Approach for Developing Economies

  • Redesign and Benchmarking methodologies
  • Combining Life Cycle approaches, the Cleaner Production (CP) and product innovation interventions
  • Guidance to companies or those who work with them to pursue internal D4S efforts (via the supply chain or single operation context)
  • Focus on incremental improvements rather than deep innovation
  • Available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese
  • Applied at national level in Vietnam, further to testing in Morocco and Costa Rica
experiences from demonstration projects
Experiences from demonstration projects

A promising combination between “traditional” CP (developed by UNIDO/UNEP), which in Vietnam is more focused on process, with D4S approach (developed by UNEP and partners), which focuses on sustainable products

Coaching and experience sharing are critical at key stages of the projectsuch product selection

Marketing component needed

Bottom-up approach and step-by-step methodology for SMEs

Build capacity in NCPC to evaluate product market; supply chain points of intervention, support local and international experts

ec funded project on sustainable innovation
EC funded Project on Sustainable Innovation

Preparation of Industrial Sector Studies:

  • Recycling – from E-Waste to Resources
  • Critical metals for future sustainable technologies and their recycling potential
  • Technology Transfer for reducing the carbon footprint – example of cleaner technologies for food processing
  • Review of Bioenergy Life-Cycles- Results of Sensitivity Analysis for Biofuel GHG Emissions
  • Study on global flow of metals
  • Decoupling economic growth from resource use and environmental impact

Studies were identified by UNEP, EC, Sustainable Innovation Group and/ or Resource Panel membersto support the work of the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management.

recycling from e waste to resources
Recycling – from E-wasteto Resources
  • Setting the scene for capacity building and technology transfer by bringing eco-innovative responses to the needs in developing countries in the area of Resource Efficiency
  • Focus on e-waste recycling technologies, including a range of metals, (ferrous and non-ferrous metals) and other materials
  • Analysis of barriers for uptake of relevant technologies fore-waste recycling sector in selected developing countries
  • Application of the Technology Transfer Frameworkin order to foster the transfer of innovative technologiesin the e-waste recycling sector;
  • Identification of centres of excellence in emerging economies relevant for e-waste recycling technologies
  • Under finalisation to become UNEP/ UNU joint publication
thank you
Thank You!

For more information about UNEP’s work

on Sustainable Innovation:

Guido Sonnemann

Programme Officer for Innovation and Life Cycle Management

Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch

Division of Technology, Industry & Economics

United Nations Environment Programme

15 rue Milan

75441 Paris Cedex 09, France

Tel: +33 1 4437 1450 Fax: +33 1 4437 1474