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Sustainable consumption: An untapped opportunity in Asia

November 24, 2016

Sustainable consumption: An untapped opportunity in Asia

By Clelia Daniel
Thursday 24 November 2016

The concept of sustainable consumption incites us all to consume less and to consume better. Perhaps less obviously, it also encourages the world’s poorest people to increase their consumption. The implication therefore calls the private sector to keep consumption levels to within the carrying capacity of the world, but also to make space for those currently in poverty who will inevitably consume more once out of poverty.

While companies meticulously and in great detail plan how to reduce their own social and environmental footprint, they tend to put much less emphasis on the impact of their products once in the hands of the consumers.

This is understandable as the behavior of their customers it is not under companies’ direct control. However, consumption might have the same or an even greater impact on the environment and society than expected.

Many global brands have rethought their products in a way that promotes sustainable lifestyles, i.e. Patagonia, Interface, Nike, Heineken among many others. Since sustainable consumption is at the heart of Sustainable Development Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, we can expect to hear more about it from Asian companies as well.

In the age of transparency, it is important for companies to send a clear message about their purpose, which can no longer be just selling more products and services with negative environmental and social impacts. By 2030, the Asia-Pacific region will account for 48 per cent of global consumption, urging the region to start thinking seriously about its consumption patterns.

Read more at Eco-Business.

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