The Sustainable Lifestyles, Cities and Industry Branch leads work central to UNEP's Resource Efficiency subprogramme and to the global sustainable consumption and production (SCP) agenda - delivering scientific, credible, innovative solutions to make sustainability central in government policy frameworks, business direction-making and in peoples’ lives. The Branch partners with leaders in society, markets and governments to “walk the talk” of sustainability - making peoples' life better while ensuring that natural resources are managed and used in a more efficient way through policy advice, awareness raising, capacity strengthening and advocacy. The Branch also strives to identify and deliver new ways to meet everyone's needs to decouple consumption and production patterns from environmental impacts and increased resource use.
Science is the basis of the Branch's work, applying system approaches, complimented by methods such as life cycle analysis, urban metabolism, participatory action research and integrated analysis. Interventions target improving value chains, procurement processes, food systems, and use education and leisure activities like tourism as agents of change. The Branch works through an extensive network of stakeholders to ensure sustainability solutions are applicable at all levels, particularly addressing cities which are driving resource use patterns, and within the context of developing countries' needs.
The Branch contributes to key policy processes such as the 10-Year Framework of Programmes of SCP (for which it acts as the Secretariat) and the Sustainable Development Goals, and supports thematic and sector-specific programmes and other global partnerships. At the industry front, the Branch supports, via partnerships with knowledge and service providers, micro, small and medium enterprises to use sustainability tools and improve their operations. The Branch is also enhancing understanding on what constitutes sustainable lifestyles and promotes evidenced-based experience to inspire global change of consumption patterns.