Resource efficiency in the Asia Pacific region

The brief from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Bangkok office was to convey the scale and complexity of resource use in a way that would provoke interest amongst ministers and specialists in the Asia Pacific region.

A database on resource efficiency covering 26 Asia Pacific countries, 157 indicators and 40 years (1970-2010) was developed as a result of a three-year science-based consultative process mandated by countries in the region.

This was coordinated by UNEP, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Asia-Pacific Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production (APRSCP) with support from the European Union's SWITCH-Asia Programme. Our project was conducted in conjunction with Carbon Visuals.

Scene from the film showing the amount of water used on average to generate each dollar (USD) of GDP

Scene from the film showing the amount of water used on average to generate each dollar (USD) of GDP

Because of the complexity of the data and fast-track time schedule the project was carried out in a highly collaborative way, with UNEP staff in Bangkok supporting the CarbonSense Foundation and Carbon Visuals creative team throughout the scoping, design and production phases.

In addition to a short, high impact film, a set of interactive web-tools was also provided. This enabled a more detailed examination of the data. Further input from graphics specialists supported the publication of other work in hand at UNEP.

Scene from the film showing the average rate of use of metal in the Asia Pacific region

Scene from the film showing the average rate of use of metal in the Asia Pacific region

The film was used to launch the UNEP Report at a conference on 19th May 2015 attended by Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP, and Environment Ministers and policy makers from the Asia Pacific region. The UNEP webpage can be seen here. Further details of the project can be found on the Carbon Visuals website and, separately, the client's perspective.

Scene from the film showing daily resource use in the region

Scene from the film showing daily resource use in the region

It was great to have the film for the launch. It really helped us make the most of that event. Resource efficiency was identified as the 2nd sustainability priority at that meeting, and the video probably helped participants to see the relevance. So the policy impact was immediate.

Janet Salem, Programme Officer, Sustainable Consumption and Production
UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.