What we as consumers choose to buy affects ourselves and other people, animals, nature and the whole ecosystem and determines our children and grandchildren’s opportunity for a good future. Therefore, it is important to consume in a sustainable way.
Sustainable consumption has been defined by the UN as:
To be able to buy what we need to meet our needs, without jeopardizing the opportunities of future generations to meet their needs.
In order to achieve a more sustainable consumption that contributes to sustainable development, all actors in society must help. Sustainable development encompasses social, economic and environmental aspects, and many countries are constantly working to include all aspects of consumer work.
Consumption has slowed down in many EU countries in recent times, but at the same time, many countries’ consumption has continued to increase. Much of what we consume, such as clothing and electronics, has been manufactured in other countries and is therefore counted as emissions in China, India and Bangladesh – not from Europeans. If emissions were to be calculated in the countries where the goods are consumed instead, Europeans would emit much more per person. It says something about how much our consumption affects emissions.
Towards a more sustainable consumption
We believe that concrete and powerful measures are needed to achieve the goal of sustainable consumption – economically, environmentally and socially. Sustainable consumption should be the norm, not the exception, and all consumers should be able to consume sustainably.
The desire to make an effort is great with today’s consumers. At the same time, it is important not to pass on all responsibility to consumers. Labeling and other measures must never be an alibi for politicians and companies to avoid making tough decisions.
We believe that politicians and companies, as well as consumers, must take responsibility for ensuring sustainable development. Industry and trade must contribute to phasing out harmful products and making environmentally adapted products attractive and more accessible. Politicians need to make it easier for consumers to make conscious choices through various means that make it easy to make the right choice.