Sustainable Society With Responsible Consumption and Production

Sustainable Society With Responsible Consumption and Production

Bhavya Kavitha Dwarapureddi, Swathi Dash, Nihanth Soury Garika, Aman Raj, Saritha Vara
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8426-2.ch017
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Contemporary consumption patterns are observed to be ever-growing leading to aggravated social and environmental problems. In order to achieve sustainable development and economic growth, a reduction in ecological footprint through changes in production and consumption of goods and resources is to be bought. In fact, the 12th goal of sustainable development aims at the same. This has made several researchers carry out studies on sustainable production and consumption, which have identified two distinct points, one being focused on the promotion of effective production methods and products while the other is emphasizing the need for considering volumes of the overall distribution, consumption issues, along with related institutional and social reforms. Furthermore, responsible consumption and production behaviors include intricate forms of social and environmental issues which are in line with sustainability. This chapter focuses on the need for sustainable responsible consumption and production, detailing the barriers and also providing measures to attain the same.
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Current levels of global production and consumption is resulting in depletion of resources speeder than they can be replenished (Lebel and Lorek, 2009). There exists an intricate relation among consumption and production patterns of the world wherein consumption is related to various aspects like process of production, structure of distribution, provision systems and social aspects (Jussila, 2015; Lebel and Lorek, 2009). Basic changes in the processes of production and consumption could contribute in achieving sustainable development goals, which require due responsibilities from every nation, industry and stakeholders. Shifting towards SCP does not limit to reduction in consumption of resource, limited waste and generation of eco-friendly environment but also contributes in enhancing reuse and recycle of resources (Jussila, 2015). Appropriate initiatives are required for accelerating this shift keeping in mind the carrying capacity of ecosystem while reducing degradation of resources (United Nations, 2012).

Responsible consumption and production (RCP) are understood to be critical towards achieving sustainable world. Interactions among humans and systems of environment via economic system happen in varied ways leading to several unsustainable issues. Addressing these issues is non-trivial and hence considered to be one among the world’s “wicked” problems, which are defined as complex, conflicting, obstinate and multidimensional usually several times which have unforeseen with unintentional consequences (Churchman, 1967). Sustainable Development Goals have been developed by the United Nations’ towards setting an agenda for transformation of businesses, nations and societies towards becoming more sustainable by 2030. In the total of 17 goals set considering various economic, social and environmental issues, goal 12 entitles responsible consumption and production, which comes with an extended history from various conferences and actions at international level (Griggs et al. 2013).

RCP focusses on ensuring patterns of sustainable consumption and production (SCP). The objective of SDG 12 is stating the need for strong national framework that requires to be integrated into business practices, policies regulatory plans and consumer behaviour along with sticking to international norms on waste management and hazardous chemicals (UNDP, 2016). Chief focus of this goal is on elements related to supply chain from industries which are precise and extractive to specific consumer needs. In several research streams and considerations green supply chains and green consumerism are apparent which are necessary towards understanding in detail how to progress towards meeting SDG 12. Further, inputs from principles like economics, management science, engineering, operation science along with allied domains, which will exemplify need for transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary research for investigating topics related to SCP (Schaltegger et al. 2013; Tseng et al. 2018).

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