October 13, 2016

Transforming consumption and production paradigms to support sustainable societies – Sustainable futures in practice

Pierpaolo Duce, IBIMET – Istituto di Biometeorologia (CNR)

Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) has become an important topic of policy and research agendas over the last ten years. Although early policy ideas can be traced back to the mid-1990s, policy attention accelerated after the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, where a 10-year framework programme on SCP was promoted, and then developed (multi-stakeholder Marrakech Process – 2003–2011), together with national SCP initiatives, before being adopted at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20) in 2012.

In parallel, SCP has been increasingly debated by academics, resulting in various special issues in scientific journals, overviews, and analyses of policy debates.

The appeal and importance of the SCP agenda is that it moves beyond the dominant focus on pollution control and green products, widening attention to the patterns of consumption that sustain the resource-intensity of everyday lives and design sustainable futures in practice.

The strength of SCP-research is its proposal to jointly consider production and consumption activities. In the context of climate change, environmental degradation, resource problems and declining bio-diversity, research on these two fundamental areas of human activity has intensified because of the recognition that both domains need to change to achieve large gains in environmental sustainability.


The aim of this session is to provide an opportunity to discuss innovative applications and methodologies focused on how current consumption and production paradigms can be modified or replaced to support transitions to sustainable and equitable societies.