The way we live our daily lives – our choices, habits and context within which we live – have a profound effect on our planet, our communities and our wellbeing. Shifting to more sustainable lifestyles through policy, business models and education are core to the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda. Yet we are far from decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation and negative social impacts at scale under the “take, make, dispose” model of production.

At the side event, Nordic cooperation was in focus with examples from sustainable textiles and fashion including Filippa K’s commitment to totally circular clothing and clothing rentals and IKEA’s efforts to produce circular products that also make it easier for the customer to live more sustainable. This is part of IKEA’s recently launched Group Sustainability Strategy for 2020; People & Planet Positive.

Overall, the event was well-attended and clearly demonstrated the power of positive actors’ cooperation: business, policy and research and how this can actually help to create concrete solutions that both promote a circular economy and more sustainable lifestyles. Three things emerged as central in continued development: to change the standards of good life, adapt infrastructure and to continue developing international cooperation for sustainable lifestyles.

In connection with the event, the forthcoming launch of a new project was announced in the Sustainable Lifestyle and Education program. Japan is contributing an additional 50 million SEK, creating opportunities for more innovative projects that strengthen the transition to a more sustainable lifestyle and a circular economy. Find out more about the details here.


Download the event programme, in PDF form. The preliminary programme, below, was last updated on 16 October.

9:00 Registration and coffee

  • Moderator: Izumi Tanaka, Senior Commercial Advisor, Embassy of Denmark

9:30 Welcome from the hosts

  • Representative from the Ministry of Environment, Japan
  • Eva Ahlner, Senior Advisor, Swedish Environmental Agency

9:45 How we work to make real change in everyday living

  • Peter Repinski, Senior Expert, SEI

10:00 Sustainable and carbon-lean lifestyles: new research insights

  • Lewis Akenji, Director for Sustainable Consumption and Production, IGES

10:15 Circular business models in the fashion industry

  • Elin Larsson, Sustainability Director, Filippa K

10:40 Coffee and fruit

11:00 Circular business models and sustainable lifestyles – local policy approaches in Asia

  • Chen Liu, Research Manager, Sustainable Consumption and Production Area, IGES

11:15 A new textile initiative by the Nordic Council of Ministers

  • Marianne Gjörv, Senior Advisor, Norwegian Environmental Protection Agency

11:30 Inspiration and motivation through concrete examples

  • Lena Pripp-Kovac, Head of Sustainability, Inter IKEA Group

12:00 Break

12:05 Panel discussion: How important are sustainable lifestyles in shifting to a circular economy?

  • Policy: OECD (TBC) and Eva Ahlner, Swedish EPA
  • Business: Elin Larsson, Filippa K and Lena Pripp-Kovac, IKEA
  • Research: Lewis Akenji, IGES

12:50 Wrapping up

  • Lewis Akenji, IGES
  • Peter Repinski, SEI

13:00–14:00 Lifestyle mingle

This side event of the 2nd World Circular Economy Forum  was organised by SEI and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment, Japan and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The outcome will feed into the work of the 10YFP Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme co-led by the Japanese and Swedish governments.