Sustainability Science

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 83–96 | Cite as

Educating for sustainable production and consumption and sustainable livelihoods: learning from multi-stakeholder networks

  • Roger A. PetryEmail author
  • Zinaida Fadeeva
  • Olga Fadeeva
  • Helen Hasslöf
  • Åsa Hellström
  • Jos Hermans
  • Yoko Mochizuki
  • Kerstin Sonesson
Original Article


This paper examines how education for sustainable development (ESD) can be concretely advanced using the theoretical approaches of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and sustainable livelihoods (SL). Five case examples illustrate a diverse set of strategic educational interventions focusing on: (1) education of specific organizational actors about these theoretical frameworks illustrated with case examples (such as SCP training by the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies [UNU-IAS] and CSR-Asia of government and business representatives), (2) regional education strategies focused on production and consumption in specific sectors (such as the food sector in Skåne, Sweden), (3) social learning directed at innovation for sustainable development (such as competitions of solar boats developed by universities in the region of Friesland, the Netherlands), (4) education of consumers and firms made possible by the adoption of certification systems affirming SCP and SL (such as Cradle-to-Cradle certification of a paper company in the Netherlands or the establishment of Fair Trade cities in Sweden), or (5) reorienting communities to address underutilized productive physical capital within communities (such as the sharing productive capital project in rural areas of Saskatchewan, Canada). The cases are drawn from the projects that the UNU-IAS, four of its regional centers of expertise (RCE) on ESD and other affiliates have conducted. In addition to documenting the educational processes emerging from specific regions, the paper highlights findings related to the success of these projects and opportunities for further research, including regional and inter-regional approaches.


Education for sustainable development (ESD) Educational processes Regional centers of expertise (RCEs) Sustainable consumption and production (SCP) Sustainable livelihoods (SL) Multi-stakeholder networks 



The authors would like to thank the UNU-IAS for facilitating the development of this paper, along with facilitating the RCE SL and SCP workshop held at the 5th World Environmental Education Congress on May 11, 2009, in Montreal, Canada. In addition, the authors would like to thank the UNU-IAS for their case examples, along with the RCEs and the members of the projects that have been profiled. These RCEs include RCE Rhine-Meuse (Netherlands), RCE Saskatchewan (Canada), and RCE Skåne (Sweden). In addition, representatives from several other RCEs participated in the workshop’s question and discussion period, providing valuable insights. These included: RCE Kano (Nigeria), RCE Curitiba-Parana (Brazil), RCE Grand Rapids (USA), RCE Graz-Styria (Austria), RCE Greater Sendai (Japan), and RCE Western Jalisco (Mexico).


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Copyright information

© Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science, United Nations University, and Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger A. Petry
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zinaida Fadeeva
    • 2
  • Olga Fadeeva
    • 3
    • 4
  • Helen Hasslöf
    • 5
  • Åsa Hellström
    • 6
  • Jos Hermans
    • 7
  • Yoko Mochizuki
    • 2
  • Kerstin Sonesson
    • 5
    • 8
  1. 1.Luther College at the University of ReginaReginaCanada
  2. 2.United Nations University Institute of Advanced StudiesYokohamaJapan
  3. 3.Delft UniversityDelftThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Intern of UNU-IASLeeuwardenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Teacher EducationMalmö UniversityMalmöSweden
  6. 6.Environment DepartmentCity of MalmöMalmöSweden
  7. 7.European RCE-CommunityGeleenThe Netherlands
  8. 8.RCE SkåneMalmöSweden

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