A new mandate for sustainable consumption and production (SCP) was created at the Johannesburg Summit in 2002 by calling for the development of a 10-year Framework of Programs on Sustainable Consumption and Production. In 2006 EU Sustainable Development Strategy was revised to include sustainable consumption and production and last year, in 2008, European Commission published an Action Plan on sustainable consumption and production (EC, 2008). Thus, the issue of sustainable consumption and production has been finally gaining momentum in the European policy arena. There is therefore a great demand for insight into what existing and potential policy instruments are best suited to support SCP.
A European project Sustainable Consumption Policies Effectiveness Evaluation (SCOPE2) has been conducted under the EU's 6th Framework Programme to assist with this task. The project included an inventory and analysis of the effectiveness of policy instruments, voluntary business initiatives for sustainable consumption and production and more systemic approaches to realise SCP. A gap analysis was then performed that focused on gaps of effectiveness (how instruments and approaches can be applied more effectively, alone or in combination), on sectoral (housing, mobility and food) and geographical gaps and on white spots of new instruments and approaches that seem necessary for furthering sustainable consumption and production, but are not applied yet anywhere. The project identified short, middle and long-term goals, means and problems with reaching various levels of sustainable consumption and production from a systemic perspective. It furthermore developed recommendations for how policy, business and more systemic efforts can be undertaken to promote SCP and which political actors should be involved in specific activities. This contribution reports the outcomes of the project.