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You Are What You Sell

6 November 2007


Sustainable Development Commission publishes advice on product roadmapping to tackle climate change, resource depletion and poverty

Businesses can help to tackle the global challenges of climate change and poverty through the products and services they sell, says the Sustainable Development Commission. In a booklet published today (Tuesday 6 November), the Commission offers practical advice on how facing up to the social and environmental impact of products throughout their lifecycle can improve businesses' competitive edge, as well as benefiting people and the planet.

You are what you sell - Product Roadmapping: Driving Sustainability provides a practical introduction to the concept of product roadmapping to assess and minimise the negative impact of products and services. It outlines how businesses and government can work together to deliver sustainable solutions, and how taking account of the entire lifecycle of products makes good business sense by saving money, improving reputation, and allowing access to new markets.

The booklet contains:

• A 12-point sustainability health-check for businesses, covering product development, manufacture, transport, product use and disposal, as well as the wellbeing of people involved in supply chains
• A toolbox of policy interventions for government and business to drive change
• A list of useful web links for further advice and information

Alan Knight, Products and Retail Commissioner at the Sustainable Development Commission, said:
"If all six billion people on earth lived a European lifestyle, we would need over two and half planets' worth of resources to support us.

"Everything we consume has a story behind it - whether it's an embarrassing catalogue of inefficient consumption of raw materials, thousands of miles of carbon-intensive transport and worker exploitation, or a positive story of responsible supply chain management.

"Focusing on the lifecycles of individual products and services using a roadmapping approach can help promote positive decision-making to resolve conflicting priorities, and identify solutions in areas such as reducing waste and carbon, or improving labour conditions. It also makes good business sense. A responsible approach to products and services can save money, attract customers and drive innovation to keep pace with a fast changing world."

» Download You are what you sell - Product Roadmapping: Driving Sustainability


Notes to Editors
The Sustainable Development Commission is the Government's independent advisory body of on sustainable development, made up of 18 Commissioners chaired by Jonathon Porritt.

For more information and interviews, contact Rhian Thomas on 020 7270 8539 / 07793 544 162, or email rhian.thomas@sd-commission.org.uk

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