Towards an EU strategy on sustainable consumption (own-initiative opinion)

EESC opinion: Towards an EU strategy on sustainable consumption (own-initiative opinion)

Key points

  • The ways that we consume today – at a high rate and along a take-make-dispose trajectory – are not sustainable in terms of planetary boundaries.
  • Although the EU has several good policy tools to build from, a comprehensive approach on sustainable consumption is still missing and should be at the heart of the European Green Deal.
  • The aim of the opinion is to develop recommendations for a comprehensive European policy for sustainable consumption, covering for example nutrition, mobility, housing and lifestyles, as part of the European Green Deal and as a complement to the circular economy package. It pays particular attention to the impact of such a policy on vulnerable populations and low-income households.
  • A strategy on sustainable consumption is necessary to provide a framework for Member States and for the private sector to address both household consumption and public sector consumption. The opinion highlights that such a policy should carefully balance the three dimensions of sustainability and thus contribute not only to SDG 12, but also to the achievement of all SDGs by 2030. Increasing the sustainability of consumption should not come at the expense of other societal objectives such as social justice, health, well-being and quality of life.