Education for Sustainable Consumption

What is ESC?

The following description of Education for Sustainable Consumption has been developed by a range of experts in a number of fields. It is the description used in the publication Here and Now!


“Education for Sustainable Consumption (ESC) aims at providing knowledge, values and skills to enable individuals and social groups to become actors of change towards more sustainable ways of living. The objective is to ensure that the basic needs of the global community are met, quality of life for all is improved, inefficient use of resources and environmental degradation are avoided.

ESC is therefore about providing citizens with the appropriate information and knowledge on the environmental and social impacts of their daily choices, as well as workable solutions and alternatives. ESC integrates fundamental rights and freedoms including consumers’ rights, and aims at empowering citizens for them to participate in the public debate and economy in an informed and ethical way.”

The basic learning outcomes of ESC can be defined as attitudes, knowledge, skills and behavior leading to:

  • Critical awareness
  • Ecological responsibility
  • Social responsibility
  • Action and involvement
  • Global solidarity.

Education for Sustainable Consumption is a subset of, and contributes to, Education for Sustainable Development. See more information on Education for Sustainable Development and the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014 (UNDESD) led by  UNESCO.


Also see a PERL document outlining aspects of Education for Sustainable Consumption (ESC):

Here and Now! Education for Sustainable Consumption

Here and Now! has been developed by UNEP and the  Marrakech Task Force on Education for Sustainable Consumption led by Italy, in collaboration with the  UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and Hedmark University College.

It was authored by Victoria W. Thoresen, and peer reviewed by a range of experts.

Here and Now! contains a road-map of recommendations to implement ESC and also a core core curriculum.