Why is Sustainable Consumption important?

Current consumption patterns have caused huge pressure on the planet. With global population expected to grow from 7.6 billion in 2017 to 9.8 billion by 20502, and more people joining the middle class, the environment will suffer irreversible damage if our unsustainable lifestyle continues. On one hand, individual welfare improves with increasing prosperity; on the other hand, higher demand for resources creates a variety of environmental and social problems.

Hong Kong, being one of the most prosperous cities in the world, imports and consumes large quantity of products every day to maintain and continuously improve the living standard of society and the city’s competitiveness. However, society is also confronted with a range of sustainability issues, such as inadequate space for waste treatment, harbour pollution, depletion of natural resources such as damaging the continuity of sea food species, excessive use of chemical fertiliser and pesticide, contamination of food supply chain etc. Evidently, individual consumers and business are major contributors to the city’s ecological footprint.

Other than environmental concerns, provision of products and services with socially responsible manner and benefits to local communities are also crucial elements of a sustainable society. The success of sustainable consumption depends on the availability of sustainable products and services in the market and consumers that can support by choosing sustainable products and services.

 

2 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Acessible: https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/world-population-prospects-2017.html