Each year until 2030, at least 150 million people will be entering the middle class. This will bring almost 60% of the world’s population into a middle income bracket. Over the same period energy demand is projected to increase by 40%, and water demand is expected to outstrip supply by 40%.
Providing for the next generation of consumers in a sustainable manner presents both a challenge and an opportunity. Leaders can position themselves to succeed in this changing framework by redefining their strategies. New products, services and value chains can embrace "absolute sustainability".
These issues are examined in a report entitled: More with Less: Scaling Sustainable Consumption and Resource Efficiency. The challenges and solutions are explored through the lens of:
- consumer engagement (demand)
- value chains and upstream action (supply)
- policies and an enabling environment to accelerate change (rules of the game).
The main outcome is the identification of key focus areas for business leadership through concrete goals and collaboration across industries. Find out more in the executive summary.
Following from the ‘More With Less’ report, our research team is now exploring what motivates consumer behaviour in order to develop recommendations on how companies can engage the consumer and use those motivators to encourage sustainable consumption and create business value.
Our key question is: How can companies engage consumers to trigger simple behavioural shifts that enable more sustainable lifestyles and create business value?
In support of this effort, the project team is currently collecting examples of initiatives whose goal is to change the behaviour of consumers. If you have such a case study example, please submit it to: email@example.com
Over the last few years, the World Economic Forum has been working at the cutting edge of these issues. This work has been supported by collaboration with a growing group of partner organizations and leading subject experts. The following reports are the results of this collaboration:
- The Consumption Dilemma: Leverage Points for Accelerating Sustainable Growth (2011)
- Redesigning Business Value: A Roadmap for Sustainable Consumption (2010)
- Sustainability for Tomorrow’s Consumer (2009)
The Forum can bring organisations together to demonstrate the aggregate scale of business actions, and use its multi-stakeholder platform to support existing commitments. Over the following years, the Forum will help to support new collaborations, building on and developing its expertise and practices.