Responsible Consumption and Circularity

Responsible Consumption & Circularity

CSB research on Responsible Consumption & Circularity looks into sustainable forms of consumption and production models that extend the product lifecycle, to reduce unnecessary waste and overuse of finite resources.

Responsible consumption refers to the increasing need for organisations and consumers to consider environmental impacts of producing and buying goods/services at different stages of their life cycle.

Responsible consumption is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and aims to reduce our use of finite natural resources while increasing resource efficiency.

Circularity is linked to responsible consumption, representing a model of production and consumption aimed at extending the product/service life cycle by sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials for as long as possible.

Over-consumption leads to resource scarcity, price volatility and supply crises, which creates pressing commercial demands on businesses.

Traditional production models extract raw materials to make products that are consumed and thrown away – referred to as a linear ‘take, make, waste’ approach – and assume infinite supplies of raw materials, energy and labour.

A circular economy shifts to renewable energy and materials to have a restorative net positive impact on social standards and the natural world.

This model is designed to reduce consumption of finite resources by using waste as a raw material, extending product lifecycles by sharing, leasing, repairing and refurbishing, to keep existing materials in use for as long as possible.

The Centre of Sustainable Business research on responsible consumption and circularity covers:

  • Developing circular supply chains
  • Influencing consumption choices
  • Income inequality and consumption patterns
  • The sharing economy and poverty alleviation
  • Food ecosystems

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