German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear SafetyNational Program for Sustainable Consumption

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Release date:
February 2016

German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Berlin

The consumption of products and services fulfills several functions for society and individuals as such. It provides an important foundation for economic growth and overall wealth. Consuming and making use of products and services as well as the respective waste disposal considerably affect not only economic and social conditions, but also the state of the environment. To a large extent, the consumption of private households contributes to environmental factors and the exploitation of resources. This holds a great potential for reducing environmental influences, not just in terms of climate protection, but also regarding biodiversity, conserving resources and other environmental components. Moreover, consumption affects other social aspects such as participation of all social groups, working conditions over the entire value-added production process and the variety of goods supplied. 

In the National Program for Sustainable Consumption, the German Federal Government describes the relevant fields for action and subdivides them into comprehensive intervention approaches as well as into six fields which exhibit great potential for environmental relief (mobility, food, housing and residency, working and office, clothing, leisure and tourism). Within these approaches and topics concrete measures and instruments are being presented. 

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