There is a need to also transform markets by replacing high-carbon consumption patterns with low-carbon ones. This challenge of shifting to dramatically low-carbon lifestyles constitutes a big opportunity for companies.

But what strategies can help businesses tap these opportunities? In a series of booklets directed to companies, this project aims to answer this question.

The booklets focus on six strategy areas, spanning from short-term actions aiming at quick responses to long-term actions targeting a paradigm shift:

  • What are the business opportunities and challenges behind the sustainable consumption agenda?
  • How to drive business value through sustainable consumption business strategies?
  • What does sustainable consumption mean for major business sectors?
  • What are sustainable consumption business strategies?
  • What public policy framework is required to encourage sustainable consumption business strategies?
  • What sustainable consumption opportunities are there in developing countries?
  • Which partnerships are required for sustainable consumption?

This booklet series is part of the activities of the Marrakech Task Force on Sustainable Lifestyles coordinated by the Swedish Ministry of Environment. In this project, the SEI is collaborating with the UNEP/Wuppertal Institute Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production.

How can Business Encourage Sustainable Consumption in Base of the Pyramid Markets? – This booklet addresses the question of business strategies to foster development without compromising the environment in Base of the Pyramid markets.

What public policy framework is required to encourage sustainable consumption business strategies? – This booklet looks at sustainable consumption as a concept that offers many benefits for society, business and the environment. It has the potential to mitigate, or even undo, the negative environmental impacts that development has had in the past.

Economic development has been largely coupled with increasing resource use and pollution and despite improvements in product efficiencies, consumption patterns continue to put significant strain on the environment. Resource use and pollution already exceed the planet’s carrying capacity and are likely to increase dramatically with the growing consumption trends in emerging economies.

A shift towards more sustainable consumption and sustainable lifestyles is essential and by joining forces with all relevant stakeholders, such a shift is possible. The solution lies beyond increasing efficiency and moving to greener and more fair products. New lifestyles and business models need to be developed to decouple consumption from resource use.