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Changing Consumption Patterns—Drivers and the Environmental Impact


  • Rasadhika Sharma

    () (Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade, Leibniz University Hannover, Königsworther Platz 1, 30167 Hannover, Germany)

  • Trung Thanh Nguyen

    () (Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade, Leibniz University Hannover, Königsworther Platz 1, 30167 Hannover, Germany)

  • Ulrike Grote

    () (Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade, Leibniz University Hannover, Königsworther Platz 1, 30167 Hannover, Germany)


Economic growth coupled with population increase and globalization have engendered structural changes in consumption patterns around the world. Contingent on their composition, these changes can be demanding on natural resources and pose unsustainable challenges for the environment. The paper aims to provide a general framework to assess the link between changing consumption patterns and their environmental impact by focusing on the rising beef demand in Vietnam. It draws from secondary literature and data to find that the increased beef demand in Vietnam is mostly met domestically, but there is a major dependency on imports. Within Vietnam, the rising demand has contributed substantially to the carbon footprint and land use and raised waste disposal concerns. To understand the impact of Vietnamese beef demand at the global level, the paper looks at Australia. Carbon footprint and land use are estimated to provide a perspective on the plausible scale of environmental damage that can be ensued in the future. Changes in consumption patterns are an integral part of our world and will play a significant role in determining the sustainable future of our planet. Therefore, it is important to attain a better understanding of the theme and its possible impact on the environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Rasadhika Sharma & Trung Thanh Nguyen & Ulrike Grote, 2018. "Changing Consumption Patterns—Drivers and the Environmental Impact," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(11), pages 1-19, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:11:p:4190-:d:182699

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