GOVERNANCE CONSUMPTION ECOSYSTEM SERVICES GLOBALISATION
SUSTAINABILITY INDICES URBAN SUSTAINABILITY GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

Consumption, Sustainability and Well-being
There is an urgent global need to re-evaluate our consumption patterns in a more sustainable direction. The environmental impacts of consumption and the urgency to transform the ways global elites and rich countries consume have been given relatively little attention in the research or politics of sustainability. The efforts to reduce the levels, patterns and impacts of consumption within the framework of the dominant economic growth paradigm have fostered a huge difference and over simplification in the theory and policies of sustainable consumption. For most of its brief history, research and policies have been dominated by rational choice theory, market economics and technology positivism. The Centre is engaged with innovative research and new theoretical developments in sustainable consumption, including perspectives from social practice theory and the relationship between consumption and well-being in wealthier, developed countries.

Consumption Economics
The United States is a consumption-based economy and a consumption-driven society. Neither fact is necessarily good or bad. It is the way the United States has operated for the last century. The issues at hand are whether it can sustain high rates of consumption in an ever changing geopolitical and economic environment, and what are the consequences if it were reduced. Consumption is an economic function that is defined as the value of all goods and services bought by consumers. Leading economists determine the performance of a country in terms of consumption level and consumer dynamics. The underlying theory of a consumption-based economy is that progressively greater consumption of goods is economically beneficial.
However, increasing research has pointed toward production, not consumption, as the true source of wealth. Production uses resources to create goods and services that are suitable for use or exchange in a market economy. If the United States desires a healthy economy, it will need to create the conditions under which producers (businesses as opposed to governments) can accelerate the process of creating wealth for others to consume and finance, relating, future production.

International Comparison of Consumption
According to The World Bank in 2013, the United States is the largest and most conspicuous consumption-based economy in the world. It leads the world with 71% consumption as a percent of US gross domestic product (GDP, the sum of all goods and services produced in the US by Americans). Other Western economies average about 60%. Emerging economies average around 35%. China, as true with many developing countries, depends on government-funded investment to encourage economic expansion. Chinese households consume an expenditure of 34% where government investment is approximately 54%. Most of its government investment comes from the Chinese government via large state-owned corporations that are granted easy access to capital for development of factories, real estate and infrastructure.
     GOVERNANCE
     CONSUMPTION
     ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
     GLOBALISATION
     SUSTAINABILITY INDICES
     URBAN SUSTAINABILITY
     GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE
HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
ENVIRONMENT INTERDISCIPLINARY SOCIETAL STUDIES
INSTITUTIONAL COLLABORATION




HONG KONG
CONSUMPTION INFOGRAPHIC




















WORLD BANK, 2013 CONSUMPTION PERCENTAGE OF GDP