Sustainable Consumption: Methodical Concepts and Case Studies
AbstractOver the past decades, environmental policy discussions tended to focus on the negative impact of production processes on the environment. Sustainable development as a subject and holistic approach became a scientific and political issue only at the Rio Earth Summit of 1992. Since then, consumer behaviour and lifestyles have been increasingly recognised as determining factors for sustainable development. Consumer structures influence production processes and they are responsible for the consumption of resources. Growing consumer demand not only places a burden on the environment since satisfying that demand means an increase in material and energy consumption, but it also leads to increasing amounts of waste. Considering the overall economic importance of private consumption, it is indispensable to change consumer structures if any sustainable development is to be achieved. The steps necessary to refocus consumption processes and the methodological framework of ecological-cum-economic information systems are discussed in the pertinent literature, but no quantitative treatment has yet been supplied. Analysing sustainability within the scope of private consumption opens up a wide area of research, in which a variety of approaches is used to study the far-reaching ecological (as well as social) effects of private consumption behaviour. Both in the theoretical literature as well as the studies that concentrate on implementation, the emphasis is on reorienting demand structures. When it comes to implementing economic structures which are viewed as compatible with sustainable development, the discourse has so far been mainly concentrated on the direction in which restructuring consumption patterns is desired: maintaining the present welfare level while reducing the flow of materials and sensitive substances.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by WIFO in its journal WIFO-Monatsberichte.
Volume (Year): 75 (2002)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
Postal: Austrian Institute of Economic Research Publikationsverkauf und Abonnentenbetreuung Arsenal, Objekt 20 A-1030 Vienna/Austria
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ilse Schulz).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.