WBCSD's Vision 2050 is for 9 billion people to be able to live well, within planetary boundaries. Today there are 7 billion people on the planet. Middle-class footprints (approximately 2 billion people currently) in developed and emerging markets are similar. People living on what is considered a middle-class income locally have access to similar things globally—a vehicle, a bigger home, a ‘richer’ diet, home appliances and holidays.

By 2030, a further 3 billion middle-class consumers will have entered the global market, all of them understandably aspiring to live as comfortably as the middle-class lives today.

Our global society already consumes about 60 billion tonnes of ores, minerals, fossil fuels and biomass per year. If global population reaches 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets will be required to sustain just our current lifestyles.

That’s why our Sustainable Lifestyles work program is focused on identifying transformative combinations of products and services that enable more sustainable lifestyles. We believe that achieving this requires three separate lines of effort:

  1. Identifying lifestyle activities that result in the most significant environmental and social impacts;
  2. Improving and scaling up corporate efforts to develop products and services that are capable of enabling more sustainable lifestyles; and
  3. Inspiring people to engage with, and aspire to, more sustainable lifestyles made possible through collaborations and transformative innovations.