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More with Less: Scaling Sustainable Consumption and Resource Efficiency

To achieve sustainable consumption at the scale necessary to avert staggering economic consequences, companies, industry sectors and the public and NGO sectors need to come together to change how business is done. This is the central theme of a new report issued by the World Economic Forum, the elite network of global CEOs and other stars and global influentials.

The report, “More with Less: Scaling Sustainable Consumption and Resource Efficiency,” is animated by impatience for progress toward sustainable business. These days, calls for sustainable business practices among the business community are motivated as much by opportunities as threats. But this report places more weight on the threat side of the equation. As a call to action it cites an analysis by Oxford Economics supposing a “peak metals” scenario that puts $2 trillion of output at risk by2030; and another that foresees costs of $1.8 trillion across the major global economies associated with agreed and necessary restraints on carbon.

Featuring an analysis centered on the consumer goods sector, the report lists the CEOs of some of the world’s best known companies as contributors, including Alcoa, Best Buy, BT Group, DuPont, Kraft Foods, Nestlé’ , Marks & Spencer, S.C. Johnson & Son, Unilever and Walmart. Reflecting a belief that future of sustainable consumption depends in large part on influencing consumer behavior, a number of leading marketing, advertising and public relations firms-- Edelman, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, WPP, Aegis Media-- also contributed to the report.

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