Rapid economic growth has lifted many Asian countries out of poverty, but it has often come at the cost of an increased use of natural resources, growing greenhouse gas emissions and larger waste streams. The SWITCH-Asia Programme, launched in 2007, helps 24 countries across Asia tackle these global challenges.
Supported by the European Union and its international partners, SWITCH-Asia promotes Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP). It aims to improve the environmental performance of products throughout their life cycle, stimulate demand for better products and production technologies, and help consumers make informed choices.
The objectives of the programme are to:
- promote sustainable development
- contribute to economic prosperity and to reduce poverty in Asia and Central Asia
- contribute to a transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient, and circular economy
The programme funds pilot projects through its grants scheme. The projects assist companies in adopting sustainable industrial practices and cleaner technologies, and help consumers make responsible daily and lifestyle choices.
The evidence from the projects feeds into dialogues with national and regional governments and other stakeholders, strengthening the implementation of sustainable production and consumption policies.
Over more than a decade of progress, the SWITCH-Asia programme has already supported some 130 projects. The projects have engaged over 500 Asian and European non-profit partners, 100 private sector associates, and reached more than 80 000 Asian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in sectors including: agri-food; textiles and leather; housing, buildings and construction, and; waste and plastics.