The linkage between (green) economy and sustainability becomes more and more
evident. More and more companies try to accommodate standards of
sustainability. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition for instance works on
developing an index for measuring the environmental and social performance
of apparel products and the supply chains that produce them
(http://www.apparelcoalition.org/apparel-index) in order to stimulate a
race to the top among companies.
There is a positive global trend regarding awareness of corporate
responsibility for sustainability. However, what is the linkage to sustainable
lifestyles? Many descriptions of green economy’s impact on sustainable lifestyles themselves are often still too abstract.
Therefore, we might need studies which focus on the clear linkage between green
economy and sustainable lifestyles. Researchers might focus more on
concrete studies with standardized benchmarks for example to describe as accurately
as possible the impact of green economy on every individuals life.
So the question arises: Can green economy help to foster sustainable lifestyles? And
if so, how?
Please let us know what you think about it, if you know any relevant studies or
actors in the field...
On the website of New Economics foundation you can check out some papers and studies on this subject.
I would also recommend the books "Small is Beautiful" by E. F. Schumacher and "Sustainability by Design" by John R. Ehrenfeld.
E.F. Schumacher defined the errors in our current socio-economic system quite spot-on, John R. Ehrenfeld shows how products can help people in becoming sustainable (which should be the main goal of a "green" economy).
As far as I'm concerned, the environmental problems are a social rather than a technical problem.
Therefore, "the economy" should again become a tool that supports society in being a community with a clear vision on the boundaries of this planet.
Measuring tools as the one you refer to will always try to translate impact into cost, thus defining money as a motivator. As long as money is defined as the most important goal, the system you're aiming for will never be sustainable (although it will probably be better than the current one).
UNEP Business and Industry has just brought out a newsletter with some very interesting and relevant reports. Particularly interesting in terms of studies and actors in the field of green economy and sustainable living is the article: Green Skills and Lifestyles, connecting the discussion on the green economy to young people. Together with UNESCO, UNEP has developed the YouthXchange program which aims to outline the necessary skills and deliver knowledge needed in order to enable a greener economy, entrepreneurship and initiatives in the future.
In order to enable this, they aim to compile a comprehensive guideline and tool kit which they hope to put together with open contributions. UNEP is calling for your help by sending in examples, case studies stories, organisations that sucessfully work with and address green economy.
Sounds like a very interesting and inviting way of spreading and sharing experiences to me:-)
If you are interested, here is the link to their site and the apell: