Sustainable Production and Consumption

Biophysical boundaries set the framework for the world's production system and consumption patterns. In order to reach the targets set out in the Paris Agreement, the world must be climate neutral by 2050. In the same year, the Earth's population is estimated to reach ten billion – two billion more inhabitants than in 2021. This population increase will mainly take place in low-income countries, where new generations of consumers are striving to raise their standards of living. Today, the nations with the highest incomes account for a large majority of the world's consumption, as well as the significant negative social and environmental impact that follows this. Sustainable production and consumption, therefore, are central to sustainable development. Resource-efficient production solutions that take into account both people and the environment, at all levels, as well as solutions that focus on changing consumer behavior, are crucial for a sustainable future.

About the Program

Within the program area Sustainable Production and Consumption, Axfoundation develops practical solutions to tackle global and local sustainability challenges within various industries. Together with partners, we address social, climate related and environmental issues to drive producers, trading companies and customers towards sustainable business models and behaviors. Axfoundation’s ambition is to inspire change, spread good examples and drive initiatives that have a transformative potential. Traceability, knowledge development and digitalization define the work in our Sustainable Production program. On the consumption side, business modeling, store inventory and customer behavior are important components.

Axfoundation develops practical solutions for sustainable production and consumption.

Axfoundation develops practical solutions for sustainable production and consumption.

Awareness raising and sustainable value chains

Axfoundation initiates and runs projects in collaboration with actors throughout the value chain. Together with companies and their suppliers, we run initiatives that have an added benefit and long-term impact. Our work is steered by the theory of change, that knowledge is power and that it can contribute to gradual improvement. Through digital training initiatives aimed at growers, workers and employees, we raise awareness on worker’s rights, as well as on COVID-19. Migrant workers, particularly women, are especially vulnerable, which is why we make special efforts to build capacity in these groups.

MOVE aims to empower migrant workers in global supply chains through digital training.

MOVE aims to empower migrant workers in global supply chains through digital training.

A reduced ecological footprint

Axfoundation contributes to reducing pressure on ecosystems in the production chain. We do this, among other ways, through initiatives that raise the minimum standards in agriculture and reduce the climate footprint of production processes. In some of our investments the entire value chain is involved, like in the project for sustainable rice cultivation in Pakistan. In other initiatives, we gather actors in the same industry, such as in the Swedish Soy Dialogue, which Axfoundation has hosted since 2018. A commonality in our projects is that they can be scaled up. Since we believe in the power of example, we are happy to share solutions and the lessons that we have learnt.

To improve working conditions and increase the income of small-scale farmers, Axfoundation runs a project in collaboration with Axfood, the rice supplier RolRyz and several rice processing companies in Pakistan.

To improve working conditions and increase the income of small-scale farmers, Axfoundation runs a project in collaboration with Axfood, the rice supplier RolRyz and several rice processing companies in Pakistan.

Sustainable offerings

Axfoundation is an independent non-profit organization, but at the same time our proximity to the companies within the Axel Johnson Group, one of the Nordic region’s largest groupings in trade and services, gives us the opportunity to quickly test innovative solutions in fast-paced pilot schemes, challenge existing business models and lead by example that the sustainable solution is also commercially viable. Sustainable consumption starts much earlier than the shopping cart. Retail has both the responsibility and opportunity to guide its customers to make the right choices. This can take place through various initiatives in a physical or digital store, to steer the customer towards sustainable choices — like for example by issuing a climate receipt for food purchases.

Axfoundation, online food retailer Mat.se and RISE has developed a climate reciept to nudge customers towards climate-smart choices through a climate labelling at product level.

Axfoundation, online food retailer Mat.se and RISE has developed a climate reciept to nudge customers towards climate-smart choices through a climate labelling at product level.

Sustainable customer choices

A deep understanding of different customer segments’ preferences, trigger points and types of behaviors is central to effectively steer customers towards sustainable consumption habits. Axfoundation consults with customers and examines their attitudes and behaviors to understand the key to unlocking new habits. This could be about examining which policy instruments that customers would tolerate, or even demand to shop sustainably.

Axfoundation examines, among other things, consumers' views on policy instruments.

Axfoundation examines, among other things, consumers' views on policy instruments.

Results

In Axfoundation’s Progress Report 2020 Act to inspire & inspire to act, we share an extract of successful results from the program – but also examples of times when things didn’t go quite as planned. Because to innovate sustainable solutions and achieve transformative change, we need to have courage to fail.

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