This course introduces the student to the concept of sustainable lifestyles (SLs) now anchored
in policies, including the COP21 Paris Agreement that made it clear that SLs and sustainable patterns
of consumption and production (SCP) will be key to the fight against climate change, the 2030 Agenda
for Sustainable Development that includes the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the
10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption Patterns.1
“A ‘sustainable lifestyle’ is a cluster of habits and patterns of behaviour embedded in a society
and facilitated by institutions, norms and infrastructures that frame individual choice, in order
to minimize the use of natural resources and generation of wastes, while supporting fairness
and prosperity for all." 2
It contributes to meeting SDG 123: "Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns"
with a specific focus on lifestyles considering this goal's Target 8: "By 2040, ensure that people
everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles
in harmony with nature".
It also contributes to meeting SDG 44: "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and
promote lifelong learning opportunities for all", and specifically Target 7: "Ensure that all learners
acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among
others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles".
It considers the results of three major publications. The first, based on the Global Survey on
Sustainable Lifestyles conducted among 8,000 urban young adults from 20 different countries to
reach a better understanding of their everyday life, resulted in the publication Visions for Change:
Recommendations for Effective Policies on Sustainable Lifestyles5 that resulted from the Global
Survey on Sustainable Lifestyles (GSSL).
“Lifestyles define, connect and differentiate us. They are representative of how we lead our
life, interact with one another in the decisions and choices we make – as individuals evolving
within a global society of nearly seven billion people. Our lifestyles can have strong impacts
on the environment and on communities, and can be at stake when unsustainable collective
and individual choices lead to major environmental crises (e.g. climate change, resource
scarcity, pollution) while failing to improve people’s well-being.