Household Sustainability

July 2017

As the world moves ever closer to “greener” business and lifestyle practices, households have become a central focus in sustainability trends. Homeowners are turning to smart-home technologies for cost-savings, taking out “green loans” to improve their dwelling’s energy efficiency, and creating opportunities for companies in areas like sustainable furniture and circular business models. This Strategy Briefing aims to analyse and highlight sustainability themes for households.

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Households are becoming greener

 A multitude of factors are creating greener households, aside from a greater goodwill towards sustainability. The rise and rise of single-person homes and urbanisation is helping to expand sustainable resources and streamline the focus on eco products. Improved facilities in emerging markets are helping to create cleaner footprints and modular apartments offer sustainable housing.

Energy efficiency is being adopted by homes as a cost-saving device

With rising energy prices in most countries, households are turning to energy-efficient products as a cost-saving device. Penetration of energy-efficient CFL and LED light bulbs has risen in advanced economies like the USA, while smart-home tools like thermostats have developed into a lucrative market.

Rapid urbanisation and mega cities challenge sustainability

The rapid expansion of household numbers in emerging markets, in some cases creating newly-formed mega cities, is a major challenge for sustainable households. Obstacles include unsustainable pressure on state infrastructure and resources, rising urban poverty, housing shortages, and overcrowding.

Start-ups and state schemes drive energy efficiency

States are encouraging homes to be more sustainable by offering “green loans” – financing at below-market rates for energy-efficient households. Meanwhile, start-ups like the UK-based Azuri are helping low-income, off-grid homes in emerging markets gain access to renewable energy resources.

Opportunities lie in sustainable home goods and electronics recycling

Retailers able to offer sustainable household goods with attractive designs are being embraced by a growing cohort of environmentally-conscious consumers. Households are also demonstrating growing demand for services aimed at recycling electronics, as used mobile phones and tablets pile up at home.


Key finding
The world is becoming greener as emissions fall, renewables rise
Consumers are embracing sustainable lifestyles

Greener Households

Single-person homes and urbanisation drive greener homes
Improved facilities in emerging markets enable cleaner living
Modular housing offers more affordable, sustainable housing

Embracing Energy Efficiency

Light-bulb trends highlight move to household efficiency
Energy cost-savings enhance appeal of smart-home products
Western markets lead in energy efficiency indicators
However, urban surges and new mega cities provide challenges

Sustainability Case Studies

Green loans: Energy-related home financing on the rise
Bambeco: E-tailing in sustainable lifestyle trends
Azuri: Leveraging the sun for households in rural Africa
Electronics recycling: Circular business models offer opportunities


Better infrastructure and demographic trends drive green living
Households are embracing energy-efficient standards and tech
Case studies show a dynamic space for sustainable solutions


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