Education, Lifestyles and Youth

Adopting more sustainable consumption patterns is the responsibility of all citizens. But for this shift to be effective and for individuals to adopt more sustainable lifestyles, the full participation of educated and motivated citizens is crucial. Through education for sustainable consumption (ESC), individuals learn how to adopt more sustainable lifestyle choices, consume better and more responsibly, seek creative new solutions and engage in policy debates.

The world faces numerous challenges, such as financial to environment challenges such as climate change, resource shortages, and the loss of biodiversity. Tackling these challenges requires widespread behavioural change that is needed to shift towards more sustainable consumption and production patterns and the adoption and promotion of sustainable lifestyles. It also involves educating consumers on sustainable consumption and engaging nearly half of the world’s population, namely young people below the age of 25, in efforts to change wasteful consumption patterns into ones that are more attuned to sustainable development. 

UNEP’s activities on Education for Sustainable ConsumptionSustainable Lifestyles and Youth are aimed at promoting a rational and responsible use of natural resources, equitable socio-economic development and a better quality of life for all; a pre-requisite to the achievement of sustainable development. UNEP’s initiatives, projects and efforts to educate and promote sustainable consumption and lifestyles are implemented worldwide with the support of different stakeholders including national governments, civil society, business, other UN agencies, consumer organizations, amongst others. Through its activities on ESC, lifestyles and youth, UNEP aims to respond to the need for new cultural and educational models that can foster a new generation of citizens who integrate sustainability in their personal and professional choices and to develop innovative tools to educate, communicate and learn about sustainable consumption.

For more information on UNEP's activities on communications and sustainable consumption, please visit the Communication and Marketing section.