NFGL Jönköping asks: Are you a responsible consumer?

NFGL Jönköping asks: Are you a responsible consumer?
The team from NFGL Jönköping. Photo: Ehsanul Kabir
The NFGL Local Network in Jönköping tackled a tricky corner of the sustainability discussion recently with a panel discussion on responsible consumption. Network chair Anup Banerjee shares what they learned.

Living in a life surrounded by the blessings of modern innovations, how often do we think of our responsibility towards a sustainable consumption pattern?

Do we really care about the ecosystem that we belong to? How can we face the challenges and take actions both individually and collaboratively?

With these questions in mind, NFGL Jönköping partnered with SSA, a student organization working to promote sustainability among the students of Jönköping University, to organize an interactive “Panel Discussion on Responsible Consumption” on November 23 at Jönköping University.

Two faculty members, Dr. Adele Berndt and Dr. Mark Edwards from the university’s business school, joined us on the panel, which was moderated by a representative from SSA. We organised the discussion an open event, attracting and audience of more than 50 students, including a few Ph.D. researchers.

The panelists onstage. Photo: Ehsanul Kabir

The event started with an introduction session of both organisations.

On behalf of NFGL Jönköping, I addressed the audience and introduced them to our organisation and activities so far.

I also reflected upon why this topic is related to the thematic areas that NFGL works for and why this is important for us to discuss.

Then SSA took the lead and engaged the audience in an interactive discussion pointing to some major sustainability concerns such as fast fashion, food waste, and water pollution – all of which poste massive threats around the world.

The audience was then shown a couple of related videos and given time for open discussions. After this session, we started our key segment – the panel discussion.

A participant poses a question to the panelists. Photo: Ehsanul Kabir

We started with asking the panelists about how to define responsible consumption and why discussing it is important for us.

Dr. Berndt defined the term as conscious consumption and said that it happens when consumers are aware of the consequences of their consumption behavior, and thus makes the right decision.

As an example, she discussed how buying local can be regarded as a responsible behavior as it keeps the local production value chain alive.

On the other hand, Dr. Edwards urged us to explore our own personal values to better understand the term “Responsible Consumption”. According to him, consuming responsibly can be ensured when we are true to our core values and act like an authentic person that cares about the surrounding ecosystem.

As the discussion continued, topics such as the circular economy, greenwashing, and sustainable production were discussed. There was spontaneous participation from the audience in this discussion and together with the panel members, they tried to explore how to envision a sustainable future ahead and what responsibilities millennials should be aware of in doing so.

 Fika and mingle. Photo: Ehsanul Kabir

Following the panel discussion, we had a mini quiz on responsible consumption and its consequences around the world. The top two scorers were awarded amazing gift cards.

At the end of the formal event, we joined a fika and mingle session with the audience and the panel members. The fika was served with organic and local selections and used reusable mugs for coffee to skip using paper cups.

We would like to thank both the Swedish Institute for its generous financial support and SSA for the strategic partnership.

We believe this event was successful in contributing to the issue and inspiring students like us in being more aware of our way of consuming goods and services.

NFGL Jönköping looks forward to organising more events like this in the weeks and months ahead.