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Rethinking our production and consumption cycle for a sustainable world

  • By Vivian Kwame
  • February 11, 2021
  • 0 Comment

Given the recent estimates, our global footprint now exceeds the world’s capacity to regenerate by about 30%. If the current demands continue, by 2030 we will need the equivalent of two planets to maintain our lifestyle.

The latest trend within the sustainability sector, Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), is keen on promoting a system which allows both individuals and organisations a gateway to meet their needs without interfering with the planets healthy ecosystems.

Having been on the international agenda since Agenda 21 (1992), SCP has identified unsustainable patterns of production and consumption as the major cause of the continued deterioration of the global environment.

Product consumption alone is responsible for up to 60 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and between 50 and 80 percent of total land, material, and water use. This is mainly contributed by the improper disposal of products once consumers are done using them. At the end of their use, many products are discarded and end up in dumpsites and landfills leading to poor waste management.

In most cases, this waste often stems from inefficient product design, materials selection and manufacturing and service-delivery systems, which equate to lost capital and revenue for companies.

These investments are usually lost as when the energy and materials set in the product are used and then buried or carbonized. Due to this, companies are encouraged to come up with product designs that are both sustainable and profitable leading to a circular economy.

The shift to sustainable consumption depends on attending to the overlooked areas of the value chain cycle: product design, engagement and use, and end-of-use. To break it down, project design is a key element because design function is a concentration point for decisions around a large set of human and material resource flows. Whereas engagement and use requires consumers to practice sustainable behaviors, companies are encouraged to create awareness for consumers on how their consumption choices and behavior impact sustainability.

Finally, end-of-use requires both the consumers to properly dispose their products once they are no longer in use and companies need to create sustainable products that can be used multiple times without losing their value.

In an era when the world faces significant constraints on natural resources and equally significant demands to use those natural resources to create the products and services that meet people’s daily needs progress, sustainability now depends on how we redesign our products and change our consumer behaviors.

In regards to this, Kenya Climate Innovation Centre in partnership with What Design Can Do have set up the #NoWasteChallenge, a global competition that looks forward to addressing the enormous impact of waste and consumerism on climate change.

Through this competition, they are calling on all creatives, hackers and dreamers to submit their bold solutions to reduce waste and rethink our entire production and consumption cycle by 1st April 2021.

If you believe you are the ideal candidate for this competition you can apply through this link  https://www.kenyacic.org/.