Making sustainable consumption and production a reality – A guide for business and policy makers to Life Cycle Thinking and Assessment

The Joint Research Centre (an entity under the EC) has issued a new guide for business and policy makers to lifecycle thinking, which includes case studies helping readers to understand the full environmental impact of products used in our daily lives.  The introduction reads:

The many products we buy and use every day contribute to our comfort and well-being. However, awareness of the unsustainable levels of resource consumption and the significant impacts of these products on the environment is growing among consumers, policy makers and business. Consumers want to make the right environmental choices when buying products. Policy makers want to promote sustainable consumption and production to respond to national and international environmental challenges. And businesses want to improve efficiency to boost margins and competitiveness, while contributing to a sustainable society.

This guide has been developed to help address these issues. The case studies highlighted offer an ideal starting point in understanding the full environmental implications of products. The availability of information about various environmental pressures is increasing. However, it is not always clear what this information means, how important it is, and how it can best be related to products. What businesses and policy makers need to know is how to attribute environmental pressures to specific products, how to obtain this information and how to present it in a way that is easy to understand.

This guide shows how a life cycle approach can be used to identify and reduce the environmental and health impacts of the products we use. It underlines the importance of considering these issues across the entire life cycle of a product and sets them within the context of policy development, business design and innovation.

The information in this brochure is aimed at helping both the public and private sectors make more informed decisions to achieve better environmental outcomes. This in turn contributes to delivering our common environmental objectives through better policies, business strategies, product design and better customer choice.

Read the full publication here in PDF format.

Citation: Making sustainable consumption and production a reality – A guide for business and policy makers to Life Cycle Thinking and Assessment, 2010, ISBN: 978-92-79-14357-1, doi: 10.2779/91521

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