Sustainable Production and Consumption

According to UNEP, Sustainable Production and Consumption is a way to do “more and better with less,” by reducing resource use, degradation and pollution along the life cycle of goods and services, while increasing the quality of life for all.

At the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) it was acknowledged that Sustainable Production and Consumption forms one of the three overarching objectives of, and essential requirements for, sustainable development, together with poverty eradication and the management of natural resources in order to foster economic and social development.

Thus, Sustainable Production and Consumption aims at achieving economic growth without exceeding the carrying capacities of natural ecosystems by increasing the efficiency of resource use in the production, distribution and use of products.

It includes a variation of aspects, such as: sustainable resource management, design for sustainability, cleaner production and resource efficiency, sustainable transport, eco-labeling and certification, sustainable procurement and marketing, sustainable lifestyles and waste management. 

More information can be found on the page of UNEP RONA or European Commission and of the United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

Links with other thematic areas

Thus, Sustainable Production and Consumption is the way to increasing resource and energy efficiency and sustainability of infrastructure, while creating new markets and generating green jobs, such as markets for organic agriculture, fair trade, cultural heritage and traditional crafts, sustainable housing, renewable energy, sustainable transport,  tourism, and creative industries. It can also contribute to can contribute to preserving the natural and landscape diversity, because due to its focus of staying within the carrying capacity of natural ecosystems. As such, it touches upon many aspects of livelihoods in the rural communities, and should become an essential component of education for sustainable development and intergenerational learning.