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UPDATED: August 12, 2015
UNEP Welcomes Sustainable Consumption Week in China
By Huang Wei

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has welcomed the 2015 Sustainable Consumption Week, which kicked off in China on August 8 under the theme of "Green Life, Consume with Wisdom."

The adoption of sustainable practices and lifestyles in the world's second largest economy could have a positive environmental impact on a global scale, said a news release published on the UN website on August 10. Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of UNEP, also expressed his support via Twitter.

In the press release, UNEP pointed out that China now holds the position of a global manufacturing hub and is already the world's largest consumer of primary materials, such as fossil fuels and metal ores. But with increasing affluence and a rapidly growing middle class, it has also become the world's second largest private consumer market, with household expenditure growing from around $554 billion in 2000 to over $3.4 trillion in 2014, according to the World Bank.

According to Chinanews.com, the two-week event aims to raise awareness about sustainable consumption, to change current consumption patterns, to promote environmentally conscious purchasing decisions and  to create policies that will enable responsible consumption.

Several recognizable brands, both global and Chinese have leant their names to this effort, including GOME, Wal-Mart, Vanguard, IKEA and H&M. Overall, more than 600 chain stores all over the country will participate in the project. The activities for the week will focus on sustainable food sources, energy efficient appliances and eco-friendly labeling.

The attractions prepared by organizers include media events, on-site demonstrations, educational quizzes on sustainable consumption, and a "Sustainable Seafood Festival." In addition to drawing public attention to eco-labels and sustainable brands, the week will also highlight China's low-carbon retail solutions and launch a sustainable seafood approved ingredient list.

(Reporting from New York City)

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