UNEP works to promote resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production in both developed and developing countries. The focus is on achieving increased understanding and implementation by public and private decision makers of policies and actions for resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production.
International scientific assessments, such as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the Global Environmental Outlook and the 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, make it increasingly evident the world cannot achieve sustainable economic growth without significant innovation in both the supply (production) and demand (consumption) sides of the market.
To ensure natural resources are produced, processed and consumed in a more environmentally sustainable way.
Decoupling economic growth from environmental impact and creating the 'space' for poor people to meet their basic needs will require producers to change design, production and marketing activities. Consumers will also need to provide for environmental and social concerns—in addition to price, convenience and quality—in their consumption decisions.
Given the breadth of the challenges and actions required, activities are focused on specific tools encompassing policies, market-based instruments and voluntary approaches, with emphasis given to some specific economic sectors.