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Workshop outlines a vision for sustainable lifestyles

Better technologies will not be sufficient to address the environmental problems we are facing; our lifestyles and consumption patterns will also need to change. What do these changes need to look like and how can we make them happen? These questions were at the heart of the discussion in a workshop organised jointly by the European Environment Agency and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) on 9 March 2011 in Brussels.

Participants from national governments, the European Commission, business and civil society organisations came together to discuss how people could live sustainably in 2050 and how different stakeholders can pull in the same direction to enable, encourage and engage consumers to change their behaviors. Ideas ranged from promoting a new culture of 'quality' that needs less material and energy, introduction of new metrics to measure success in business and well-being of individuals, etc.  Finally, all participants 'committed' themselves to bring sustainable consumption forward – revealing an amazing amount of engagement.

The outcomes of the discussions have been summarised graphically (click for a zoomable version):

 Lifestyles and consumption in 2050

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