Title: Prioritising sustainable consumption patterns: key decisions and environmental gains

Authors: Josef Kaenzig, Olivier Jolliet

Addresses: Institute for Economy and the Environment, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. ' Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 48109-2029, USA

Abstract: How does one improve the personal environmental balance of housing, private transportation, nutrition, consumer goods and services? Innovatively, this paper concentrates primarily on the potential environmental gains, by identifying the key decisions for the environmental impact and then deriving sustainable consumption patterns. Financial considerations are also addressed as potential savings are compared to the total impact per person per year, so as to highlight priorities for action. By adopting a series of consumption patterns coinciding as closely as possible with the present Swiss lifestyle, the environmental impact of a consumer can be reduced by one third, at no extra cost.

Keywords: sustainable consumption; prioritising; decision making; life cycle approaches; environmental impact; consumption patterns; sustainable development; sustainability; Switzerland.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISD.2007.016930

International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 2007 Vol.2 No.2, pp.140 - 154

Published online: 30 Jan 2008 *

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