Communities have relied on consumption to drive economic growth and define collective prosperity but at an increasing cost to environmental quality and social equity.


"Sustainability 2.0"

Addressing consumption leads us to new solutions and multiple benefits. See how it can enhance sustainability efforts in your city. More »

Consumption is a key driver of climate change, pollution and resource depletion. And our consumer appetite compounds work and income stresses, leaving us little time to enjoy the things that really matter. We need a fundamental shift in the way we produce and consume goods and services to reorient our economic and social systems around a more sustainable model.

Cities are exploring how to advance sustainable consumption and we invite you to be part of this innovative work. This Toolkit introduces you to the key concepts and helps you get started implementing strategies in your community that can make a difference. 

Sustainability efforts are already making important contributions through energy efficiency, sustainable economic development, alternative transportation, equity and more. This Toolkit is designed to get you thinking about how these fit in the broader context of consumption and where you can take action on other equally important aspects: food, housing, and consumer goods.

The Big Picture

Changing the way we consume means addressing the broad array of economic, environmental, and social dimensions that form the backdrop of our choices and ways of living.

Understanding the concept

It's about consuming differently and changing the ways goods and services are provided to meet our needs.

Climate connections

Much of our collective carbon footprint is tied directly to our consumer behavior.


Equity dimension

As we work to advance sustainable consumption we need to take proactive steps to ensure access and opportunity for everyone.

Economic implications

Changing consumption challenges the growth paradigm on which our local and national economies are based.

Taking Action on Sustainable Consumption

Where to Start

Use our self assessment tool to choose what actions are the best fit for kickstarting sustainable consumption in your community.

Talk About It

Consumption habits can be a sensitive topic. Learn ideas for messaging and framing your sustainable consumption strategy.

Make it Happen

Check out a variety of sustainable consumption initiatives led by cities and partner organizations.

Measure It

Learn about the models and methods currently being used to measure consumption impacts and the effectiveness of city actions.