Consuming Differently, Consuming Sustainably: Behavioural Insights for Policymaking

You are here

Browse by:



January 2017
Kanyinsola Aibana, Jamie Kimmel, Sarah Welch
United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP), ideas42

Human demands on Earth’s natural resources have outpaced what can be produced. A shift to more sustainable growth is dependent on changes in current patterns of both production and consumption. While recent policy has largely focused on addressing production and supply, consumption and demand must also be addressed. Today, in less than nine months, we consume more resources than our planet produces in a year, and our rate of consumption continues to grow.

The objective of this publication is to shed light on opportunities to strengthen the effectiveness of policies for sustainable consumption in both developed and developing countries. The publication provides evidence-based insights from behavioural science, detailing five key behavioural barriers to sustainable consumption. It also includes concrete examples of how behavioural science has been successfully coupled with policy to cost-effectively achieve sustainable consumption.