Changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns is essential to achieve sustainable development. One billion people in the world are not able to meet their basic needs; at the same time, there is an emerging global consumer class that puts strain on resources and the environment. Today's challenge is to separate economic growth from environmental degradation and to contribute to poverty reduction and better quality of life.
The promotion and implementation of SCP can decrease damage to the environment by using natural resources in sustainable ways, which reduce superfluous costs for present and future generations and create economic growth with new jobs and business opportunities for the local people.
UNEP is exploring the type and quality of linkages between the objective of achieving sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns, and those of poverty alleviation and sustainable development. UNEP developed a report Sustainable Consumption and Production for Poverty Alleviation (PDF); it is leading in the construction of theoretical frameworks based on the analysis of development specialists, as well as scenarios and empirical data, which show how natural resources, SCP patterns and the environment underpin development efforts.
This report showcases a number of case studies in key economic sectors, including energy, agriculture, waste management and urban development are. These case studies identify and where possible quantify the combination of economic, social and environmental gains secured by shifting towards SCP patterns.