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Sustainable goods

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Publication date2011
Host publicationReadings and cases in sustainable marketing: a strategic approach to social responsibility
EditorsClare D'Souza, Mehdi Taghian, Michael J. Polonsky
Place of PublicationPrahran, Vic.
PublisherTilde University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780734610850
Original languageEnglish


The extant literature overwhelmingly concludes that our current consumption practices are unsustainable. Therefore, it is imperative that we act immediately and that we do it with the collective global participation of government, NGOs, businesses and consumers. To help gain a multifaceted understanding of the environmental impacts for all product stages, the ‘strong sustainability model’ and the lifecycle assessment process provide effective measurement and analysis tools. This chapter provides a theoretical overview of these tools and, in so doing, identifies both stakeholders and issues that impact upon our ability to deliver sustainable product development. The participation of each stakeholder is clearly evident. Firstly, as product choices are often constrained by the availability of environmentally friendly products, designers, manufacturers, distributors and other relevant service sectors (e.g. retailers, waste management organisations) are urged to create products that have a longer lifespan and are easily disposed of safely by consumers. Secondly, consumers are required to change and/or alter their consumption behaviour. In particular, social marketing campaigns may help to change consumer attitudes and behaviour and subsequently help to bring about a paradigm shift whereby sustainability rather than consumerism is the ‘new cultural orientation’. The ‘cradle-to-cradle’ approach adopted throughout this chapter would enable society members to live more sustainable lifestyles and help maintain our planet for longer.