Environmental Impact of Urban Consumption Patterns: Drivers and Focus Points

Pradip P. Kalbar*, Morten Birkved, Michael Zwicky Hauschild, Simon Kabins, Simon Elsborg Nygaard

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    The purpose of our study is to analyse how urban lifestyles impact on the environment to offer knowledge based inspiration for effective environmental policies relating to contemporary Danish consumption patterns. The application of a Personal Metabolism (PM) coupled Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach supported by cluster analysis facilitated the identification of consumption-related clusters based on central demographic and life style parameters such as income, diet, transport, and age. The environmental performance of the assessed consumption patterns were calculated in a full life cycle perspective and covering all relevant environmental impacts both on midpoint and endpoint levels by applying the ReCiPe 2008 Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) methodology. The results of the contribution analysis revealed that climate change, particulate matter, human toxicity, fossil depletion and ionizing radiation contribute most to the three endpoints covered by ReCiPe 2008. Results of cluster analysis indicated that demographic parameters such as income level and age of the respondents has a strong influence on the environmental impacts. The influence of lifestyle aspects such as choice of diet, use of private car and household size was also investigated. These three parameters were found to significantly influence the consumption related environmental impacts of urban Danish residents. Overall our study identify drivers and focus points of consumption and provides a contemporary picture of Danish urban consumption-related environmental impacts.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
    Pages (from-to)260-269
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Personal metabolism
    • Sustainable consumption
    • Resource consumption
    • Life cycle assessment
    • Sustainability assessment
    • Urban consumption

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