On Sunday 19 September, Emmanuel Prinet of One Earth is giving a workshop about Sustainable Consumption and Production with Stefanie Bowles of the Policy Research Initiative. It’s part of the 2010 Canadian Environmental Network conference taking place in Montreal this week. They ask participants what it would take to create a sustainable economy and society when it seems like we are often fighting brush fires. How do we get to transformative change that addresses the root causes of unsustainability? This workshop explores sustainable consumption and production as an organizing concept and holistic lens whose essence is to catalyze large-scale systemic change, both in Canada and globally. If you’re in Montreal, you can attend and discover how this approach can support your work, and share your ideas about what the effective leverage points are that will create the sustainable consumption and production patterns the world needs. More on the CEN website.
Posts Tagged ‘consumption’
One Earth Director Bill Rees set the stage for an international panel on Eco-Footprints and Solid Waste at the United Nations, during a side event hosted by One Earth with UN-Habitat, Worldwatch Institute and UNEP. At least 65 delegates came to hear from the speakers during the UN’s 18th Commission on Sustainable Development. Erik Assadourian, Director of Worldwatch Institute’s 2010 report, launched it here: State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures from Consumerism to Sustainability. UN Habitat’s Nairobi-based programme manager Graham Alabaster showed how waste has a different context in developing countries, which was brought to bear by speakers Mwalim Ali Mwalim and Cesar Castaneda, from the governments of Zanzibar and Nicaragua respectively. In developing countries, consumer goods – including those being produced from or for foreign markets – are causing problems in their landfills, for instance because of toxics. Juliet Schor – co-Founder of the Center for a New American Dream – wrapped up the panel by talking about “conspicuous waste” where as products become cheaper and cheaper, there are rising levels of waste, as seen in the garment industry. The side event was called: Eco-Footprints and Solid Waste: Making Tracks to Achieve Sustainable Patterns of Production and Consumption. The pamphlet is here.
One Earth is mapping the actors and networks who are working on elements of the sustainable consumption and production (SCP) issues — or the system as a whole. This project is funded by Industry Canada and is an input to the upcoming 2nd North American meeting on SCP. Contact: Emmanuel Prinet.
One Earth’s Emmanuel Prinet and Bill Rees present their latest work at the SCORAI (Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative) conference at Clark University on October 15-17. Emmanuel presented “Advancing Sustainable Household Consumption: Insights for Effective Policy Development” and Bill spoke about “What’s Blocking Sustainability? Human Nature, Cognition and Denial.” SCORAI explores sustainable consumption and the impact of changing individual household patterns, bringing together top academics and practitioners from the US and Canada. A central conclusion was that because of the scale and the urgency of the changes needed, households cannot significantly advance sustainable consumption on their own, but require systemic solutions and coordinated actions by many stakeholders, including grassroots initiatives, institutional changes, government policies, and political reforms.
On June 22, One Earth launched a report with key elements for a Canadian policy strategy on sustainable household consumption with partner, the Consumers Council of Canada. Examining what sustainable household consumption means in a Canadian context is important insofar as the average Ecological Footprint of Canadians is significantly larger than what the Earth can sustain in the long term; indeed, were everyone around the world to adopt a typical Canadian lifestyle, four Earth-like planets would be necessary to support this way of living. The challenge is great: to maintain–and even enhance–quality of life of all Canadian citizens, while reducing by some 80% their material and energy demands. Household consumption is at the heart of these concerns, and should therefore be an integral part of any national sustainability plan in Canada. The report makes a case for emphasis on collective solutions such as better public transportation to achieve greener consumer behaviour. This project is funded by Industry Canada’s Office of Consumer Affairs.