The Academy of Sustainable Lifestyles | UNEP

The UNEP Sustainable Lifestyles team focuses its efforts on the Sustainable Lifestyles Academy, a set of educational tools to train young people, youth intermediaries, influencers and UNEP staff engaged in capacity building on the transition to sustainable lifestyles. This project contributes to “Global Opportunities for SDGs” (GO4SDGs) which aims to accelerate the progress needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda, in particular for SDG 12 (Sustainable consumption and production) and SDG 8 (Decent work and savings green). The Academy contributes to the deployment of tools and services to strengthen the capacity of countries and regions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular the “Empowering Youth for Sustainable Lives” component.

The Academy currently supports three different workstreams to spread the science behind lifestyles: a self-paced learning module, a partnership with business schools, and an online gaming platform available on demand. By applying a “human lens” to sustainability, he hopes to empower people to question their aspirations and make better choices to meet their needs.

Learning module on sustainable lifestyles

The self-paced module on sustainable lifestyles uses ideas and messages from the United Nations Staff College online course “Circular Economy and the 2030 Agenda” and research from Hot or Cool and UNEP. The module will last three hours and will be open to the public in early 2023. Its content will be overseen and enriched by global and regional experts to ensure its quality and relevance. A call for a first cohort will be launched at the end of the year.

My Sustainable Living Challenge

My Sustainable Living Challenge (MSLC), launched on World Environment Day 2022, is a fun, curated online learning platform that promotes behavior change through learning and action. For every question answered and action taken, newcomers to sustainable living learn to live better and lighter. They can play alone or in a team to “feed” their digital tree which grows as their actions progress. The game is backed by experts who review, monitor and interact with players. New versions of the game are expected next year based on interest from regions and organizations to cover participants and costs.

Ongoing work with business schools

The UNEP Sustainable Lifestyles team has a 3-year strategic partnership with ESCP Business School which focuses on co-creating a sustainable living theme within the Master (MSc) program in Entrepreneurship and sustainable innovation, which aims to prepare entrepreneurs to develop the necessary new business models. In 2022, generic programs, resources and lessons learned will be available. In July 2023, ESCP and UNEP will organize the second “Developing Curricula in Sustainability Entrepreneurship: Progress and Prospects” bringing together 15 higher education institutions and business schools from around the world.

Norma A. Roth