Fostering and Communicating Sustainable Lifestyles

This report provides an analysis of sustainable lifestyle initiatives and engagement strategies to make tangible change in the way people live their daily lives.      


Fostering and Communicating Sustainable Lifestyles and the UN Environment, aim to increase stakeholders’ understanding of sustainable lifestyles and accelerate the widespread adoption through effective communication. The report outlines key strategies, engagement initiatives and guidance to consider when developing a sustainable lifestyle.


Definition of a sustainable lifestyle:

A “sustainable lifestyle” is a cluster of habits and patterns of behavior embedded 
in a society and facilitated by institutions, norms and infrastructures that frame individual choice, in order to minimize the use of natural resources and generation of wastes, while supporting fairness and prosperity for all. (Akenji et al.) Paraphrased from: Akenji, L, H. Chen et al. (2016). A framework for shaping sustainable lifestyles: Determinants and Strategies. United Nations Environment Programme. 

4 Step Strategy:  Principles of Success Sustainable Lifestyles

STEP ONE: Understand Audiences

Stakeholder-Focused: Engage in relevant ways oriented around people, build trust and promote actions linked to a sense of place.

STEP TWO: Set Goals

Better Living: Focus on aspirations and be clear about the problems. Place a greater emphasis on how lifestyle choices lead to a better life.

Impact: Set clear goals and demonstrate sustainability results.

STEP THREE: Determine Strategies

Systemic: Highlight the systemic structures that enable sustainable lifestyles.

Dynamic Life Changes: Take advantage of life stages and transitions.

Diversity: Illustrate the range of diversity of sustainable lifestyle.

Collective Action:  Engage people by illustrating that a sustainable lifestyle goes beyond individual action. Connect individual actions to larger system shifts.

STEP FOUR: Measure and Respond

Responsive: Learn and adapt to changing conditions.

Link to Download 

Related resources

Related Resources