The Rio+20 Conference reaffirmed that Sustainable Consumption and Production is a cornerstone of sustainable development. The well-being of humanity, the environment, and the functioning of the economy, ultimately depend upon the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources. These challenges are mounting as the world population is forecast to reach 9 billion by 2050, with one billion people to be lifted out of absolute poverty and an additional 1 to 3 billion middle class consumers joining the global economy by 2030. The most promising strategy for ensuring future prosperity lies in decoupling economic growth from the rising rates of natural resource use and the environmental impacts that occur in both consumption and production stages of product life cycles.
Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) is about “the use of services and related products, which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimizing the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle of the service or product so as not to jeopardize the needs of further generations”. SCP is about doing more and better with less. SCP is about increasing resource efficiency and promoting sustainable lifestyles. It offers important contributions for poverty alleviation and the transition towards low-carbon and green economies. It requires building cooperation among different stakeholders as well as across sectors in all countries.