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Abstract

The pursuit of sustainability in particular places and sectors often unravels at the edges. Efforts to tackle environmental problems in one place shift them somewhere else or are overwhelmed by external changes in drivers. Gains in energy efficiency of appliances used in houses are offset by greater total numbers or compensating changes in patterns of use. Analytical perspectives and practical initiatives, which treat production and consumption jointly, are needed to complement experiences and efforts with sector-, place-, product- and consumer-oriented approaches.

There is now a growing body of scholarship exploring a diverse range of initiatives and experiments aimed at enabling sustainable production-consumption systems (PCSs). Different approaches make divergent assumptions about market institutions, government regulation, sociotechnical innovation, and actor partnerships. From this body of work flow useful insights for others who would engage, for example, in redesigning relationships around services rather than products or between third world producers and first world consumers in fair trade initiatives.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.environ.33.022007.145734
2008-11-21
2024-06-14
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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