Communicating Sustainable Production and Consumption: Challenges and Strategies
Assessing the range of ecological and socio-economic threats afflicting the planet, the causal chain eventually leads back to various underlying configurations of unsustainable production and consumption practices, policies and systems. Awareness of these drivers and the need to address them has evolved over the past four decades, resulting in the 2002 declaration at the World Summit on Sustainable Development that changing unsustainable production and consumption is one of the “overarching objectives” of and essential to sustainable development. However, the message and values of sustainable production and consumption tends to clash with those of mainstream consumer culture and the global advertising industry, as well as political ideologies promoting unlimited economic growth. This paper examines some of the challenges facing organizations involved in communicating the concepts and values of sustainable production and consumption among different audiences and stakeholder groups, with attention to different strategies addressing these challenges.