Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) tools focus primarily on the following four areas:
1) Do the right things, reduce strategic risks
Every business is based on interest groups and their expectations. Social responsibility is appropriate to link business to the interests of interest groups. As the concept of sustainable development seeks to resolve the conflict between the desirable and undesirable impacts of economic activities at the global level, social responsibility addresses this conflict at the level of business goals and strategies. Social responsibility is therefore an essential tool of SCP, from which the objectives of other instruments can also be derived.
CSR is based on an analysis of interest groups and a plan to manage strategic risks and exploit opportunities related to these interests.
To meet the goals and strategies set in the framework of corporate social responsibility, the company needs additional activities / tools. For example, reporting or reporting is used to communicate effectively with stakeholders at the level of goals and strategies. Voluntary agreements and unilateral commitments formalize specific objectives and strategies.
2) Have an effective system
An effective management system is essential to realize goals and strategies in practice. Companies in this area are increasingly using integrated management systems. As the environmental management system is the most widespread environmental management system (EMS) according to ISO 14001 standard. The European Environmental Management Standard EMAS extends the EMS requirements primarily to external reporting (using a verified public environmental performance statement).
3) Use materials and energy efficiently
Specific changes take place at the level of products and production processes and related material and energy flows. The oldest voluntary approach used at the process level is cleaner production (CP), which focuses primarily on identifying and implementing eco-efficient innovations, which leads to waste minimization and pollution prevention. An energy audit is a widespread tool for improving energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources.
The prerequisite for the integration of CP into the company management system and the achievement of continuous improvement of its environmental profile is the creation of an information system on material and energy flows. Environmental Management Accounting (EMA) focuses on this area. The advantage of EMA is its wide reach and integration of flow monitoring into the company's accounting system, but needs additional tools to identify innovation and achieve change.
Monitoring and targeting (M&T), like EMA, aims to implement an information system on material and energy flows and is a tool for implementing energy management. However, unlike EMA, it also monitors factors affecting their consumption in processes and thus enables continuous monitoring of the real efficiency of the use of important material and energy flows. This is a prerequisite for effectively designing austerity measures and monitoring their real effects.
4) Improve the product and its life cycle
Today, the most significant environmental and social impacts are not linked to production processes, but to products and their life cycle. Ecodesign focuses on the entire life cycle of products and services. Ecodesign is a broad concept that uses a number of sub-tools, such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which focuses on the impact assessment phase. LCA uses Type III Environmental Labeling (EPD) for business to business communication.
The best known case of eco-labeling is type I eco-labeling. . If an enterprise achieves the objectives set in the award of an eco-friendly product, it may obtain the right to use it to label its products.