Environmental Project, 807, 2003

Whole-Systems Framework for Sustainable Consumption and Production


This paper offers concrete suggestions for achieving sustainable production and consumption by means of a whole systems thinking model. The model expands upon conventional consumption-production models by examining the linked cycles of unsustainable investment, production, consumption, and waste as part of a connected problem. Whole-systems models identify coordinated networks of strategic interventions that optimize a whole system. Rocky Mountain Institute offers examples based on its work in the areas of whole-systems thinking, Natural Capitalism, manufacturing efficiency, and alternative energy and energy systems. These programs are organized into three groups: Systems Thinking, Green Design, and Regional Development.

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