Avoid. Shift. Improve.

There appears to be a lot of confusion about growth especially when it is described as green. For the purposes of this article, the term Green Growth describes an alternative path of growth. Instead of measuring economic growth in isolation, it includes development metrics to ensure that resources are used in the most economically, ethically, and ecologically sustainable way.

Looking back 50 years ago…

The Limits to Growth 1972: “As soon as a society recognizes that it cannot maximize everything for everyone, it must begin to make choices. Should there be more people or wealth, more wilderness or more automobiles, more food for the poor or more services for the rich? Given growing public support worldwide for strong sustainability, sufficiency, and sustainable consumption, changing demand patterns and reduced demand are accompanying environmental and social benefits” 

So where are we now?

Chapter 5 of the latest IPCC Report is dedicated to demand-side strategies and includes a wide range of demand-related terms like deep demand reduction, low demand scenarios, reduced demand, demand-side options, and demand-side measures.

Supply terms used describes production and supply-side measures aimed at changing patterns of production.

In short, demand, consumption, and demand-side measures are driven by what producers choose to make and what consumers choose to buy.

Demand-side measures are divided into three types: AVOID, SHIFT. IMPROVE.

AVOID consists in consuming less of something.
SHIFT means substituting one type of consumption for another
IMPROVE is the greening of an existing type of consumption.

As producers and as consumers, we have the power to choose.

What can we avoid, shift, and improve in our production processes and our consumption behaviors?

At AMMIQUE as producers and as part of our design brief and product development processes through to production and distribution, we have already acted in line with the three types of demand-side measures:

AVOID: Our bed is mattress-free thereby avoiding the over-production of unwieldy, unsanitary, and unhealthy mattresses that deteriorate rapidly in support and hygiene as well as the unsustainable take-make-waste linear mattress industry that results in millions of end-of-life mattresses being dumped worldwide --- year after year.

SHIFT: Our mattress-free bed is a complete bed and a radical shift away from all existing bed/mattress combos – anywhere and at any price. It is an alternative, hygienic and durable sleep solution that can be cleaned and recleaned, used and reused, styled, and restyled repeatedly over its very long lifetime as well as a major shift to a uniquely sustainable and circular sleep industry.

IMPROVE: Our product is a major improvement as a product and as a means to reduce consumption. It healthier for the user and better for the planet. No need to buy a replacement - ever! No need to landfill – ever! Long term value for people’s health whilst protecting the planet. Shared prosperity.

“As soon as a society recognizes that it cannot maximize everything for everyone, it must begin to make choices. Should there be more people or wealth, more wilderness or more automobiles, more food for the poor or more services for the rich?”

“Given growing public support worldwide for strong sustainability, sufficiency, and sustainable consumption, changing demand patterns and reduced demand are accompanying environmental and social benefits.”

Personal, professional, and political choices matter.

It’s up to all of us to make better choices – personally, professionally, and politically.

It’s up to our politicians, governments, and institutions to ensure we are told the facts to enable us to make better informed choices, and for our legal institutions to be enabled to hold them to account if they fail to do so.

It’s up to media to inform and educate as well as entertain, but never at the expense of their duty of care to all of us, and for our legal institutions to be enabled to hold them to account if they fail to do so.

What is the point of our institutions if they are not able to do so?

It’s 2022 – let’s not wait another 50 years wasting – let’s get moving NOW!

“If the consumer way of life is both ecologically damaging and psychologically flawed, then the possibility remains that we could live better by consuming less and reduce our impact on the environment at the same time”

“Beyond a threshold, increased material consumption is not closely correlated with improvements in human progress”
 
References: Jackson 2008; Fedrigo et al. 2010; Schroeder 2013; Figge et al. 2014; Spangenberg and Germany 2016; Spengler 2016; Mont et al. 2020; Burke 2020).” Kahneman and Deaton 2010; Vita et al. 2019b, 2020; Frank 1999; Steinberger and Roberts 2010; Oishi et al. 2018; Xie et al. 2018; Wang et al. 2019; Roy et al. 2012).

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