Jackson-2005

Jackson-2005 - STATE OF THE DEBATE Live Better by Consuming...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: STATE OF THE DEBATE Live Better by Consuming Less? Is There a Double Dividend in Sustainable Consumption? Tim Jackson Summary Industrial ecology has mainly been concerned with improving the efficiency of production systems. But addressing consump- tion is also vital in reducing the impact of society on its environ- ment. The concept of sustainable consumption is a response to this. But the debates about sustainable consumption can only really be understood in the context of much wider and deeper debates about consumption and about consumer behavior it- self. This article explores some of these wider debates. In par- ticular, it draws attention to a fundamental disagreement that runs through the literature on consumption and haunts the debate on sustainable consumption: the question of whether, or to what extent, consumption can be taken as good for us. Some approaches assume that increasing consumption is more or less synonymous with improved well-being: the more we consume the better off we are. Others argue, just as ve- hemently, that the scale of consumption in modern society is both environmentally and psychologically damaging, and that we could reduce consumption significantly without threaten- ing the quality of our lives. This second viewpoint suggests that a kind of double dividend is inherent in sustainable consump- tion: the ability to live better by consuming less and reduce our impact on the environment in the process. In the final analysis, this article argues, such win-win solutions may exist but will require a concerted societal effort to realize. Keywords consumer behavior consumer choice consumer culture evolutionary psychology industrial ecology symbolic interactionism Address correspondence to: Prof. Tim Jackson Centre for Environmental Strategy University of Surrey Guildford GU2 7XH United Kingdom <t.jackson@surrey.ac.uk> <www.surrey.ac.uk/eng/scripts/staff.pl?name=JacksonT> 2005 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University Volume 9, Number 12 http://mitpress.mit.edu/jie Journal of Industrial Ecology 19 STATE OF THE DEBATE Industrial Ecology and Consumption Over the past decade or so, industrial ecol- ogy has successfully focused attention on im- proving the resource efficiency of the systems of production. Reusing, remanufacturing, and recycling end-of-life products, using the wastes of one production process as inputs to an- other, and redesigning products, processes, and supply chains for improved efficiency all offer clear environmental benefits to industrial society (Geyer and Jackson 2004; Graedel and Allenby 1995; Guide and van Wassenhove 2004; Jackson 1996)....
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 08/06/2008 for the course ESM 282 taught by Professor Geyer during the Spring '08 term at UCSB.

Page1 / 18

Jackson-2005 - STATE OF THE DEBATE Live Better by Consuming...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online