Our scope for action
We all live and go about our activities on a single planet, whose population continues to grow. By 2030, an estimated eight billion people will live on earth – that’s 16 per cent more than in 2014. All of them want the necessities of life. While stagnating birth rates in many European countries and other industrialised nations are leading to ageing societies and declines in working populations, birth rates in the developing and emerging countries are climbing. In the search for employment and a place to live, large numbers of people are moving to urban centres. Since 2009, the majority of the global population has lived in towns and cities, and this process of urbanisation is continuing. Meanwhile, less developed areas are becoming deserted.
Due to worldwide population growth and changing living conditions caused, for example, by migration or access to education, demand for resources is rising steadily. We are already using 1.5 times the Earth’s carrying capacity, meaning its ability to produce resources and absorb pollutants. According to calculations by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), by 2030 we will actually need two planets. Our consumption and the resulting waste are exhausting finite resources, inhibiting the regeneration of renewable resources like soil, air, oceans and water, as well as depleting biodiversity.
But life always involves the use and consumption of goods. With this in mind, we need solutions that enable waste avoidance and ensure the long-term availability of water, fertile soil, intact natural environments and the goods necessary for life. These solutions are aimed at rendering both products and consumption ecologically and socially responsible.