A most helpful interview with Alexandra Davidsson, the Secretary General at the Swedish Association for Responsible Consumption

We are excited to learn more about the great work by the Swedish Association for Responsible Consumption. Thank you so much for your time Alexandra! Can you tell us more about the Association?

The Swedish Association for Responsible Consumption aims to inspire and help people make more sustainable consumption choices.

The research is clear: we do not get happier from owning more stuff. Nor can the planet afford for us to continue to consume the earth’s natural resources at the pace we are doing now. We must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions from 10 tonnes to less than 1 tonne per person per year, before 2050, in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. That can feel impossible, and is probably the reason why as many as 46 percent of Swedes suffer from climate anxiety. After the UN’s climate panel IPCC released its report on what is needed to meet the 1.5-degree target, knowledge has increased about what a global rise in temperature can lead to and also the realization that we all need to change our consumption behavior.

Despite this, e-commerce is increasing significantly year after year. You can reach all the world’s gadgets directly from the sofa today, just a click away. Thoughtful purchases? You wish. Returning or exchanging an item is simple – we send back a third of everything we buy online. Sometimes it is sent abroad to be repackaged, which leads to both waste and unnecessary transport.

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Naturvårdsverket, estimates that approximately 60% of greenhouse gas emissions are a result of household consumption. Medveten Konsumtion (The Swedish Association for Responsible Consumption) is a non-profit NGO, based in Stockholm operating throughout Sweden, aiming to raise awareness about the impact of consumption on the environment, health and those who work in the industries. 

Many consumers want to make sustainable decisions, but don’t know how. At the same time, we also see that Earth’s Overshoot Day continually happens earlier every year. Overconsumption is problematic and very real in our culture. We aim to raise awareness across the entire spectrum of consumption – food, travel, living, home, investments. For some handy and practical tips, check out our “Advice” section here.

Why is this a meaningful cause for you?

The climate crisis and decline of natural habitats, as well as social sustainability, is really the major issue of our time. It is clear that what is good for the planet is also good for people. We see this clearly with air pollution, for example. That is why it is not only for the sake of saving natural habitats, endangered species and precious nature that we need to work towards a more sustainable world. What I really like is that at the Swedish Association for Responsible Consumption we work through inspiration, solutions and tools, not pointers and shaming, to create change. We believe a main driver for sustainable change is attitude and behavioural change. So we start with individuals.

What is next for you? What are some of your personal goals?

The future is really exciting for us at the Swedish Association for Responsible Consumption! Our main goal is to create and spread awareness of alternatives to overconsumption, which we will continue to do going forward. For one, we are focusing more and more on circular economy. For example we were a part of building the global movement #circularmonday in 2018 and 2019, and we are happy to see it growing on its own now. We are very proud of our impact through that. We have continued to explore and spread circular consumption in other projects, just recently we started a new online course for individuals. The course aims to inspire consumers to become circular consumers. It has taken off very well and become quite popular already after only one round. The past year going through the pandemic has been hard on us, like so many others. Therefore we are currently working to develop our brand platform and increase revenue through membership and campaigns. Of course we will continue to work for a more sustainable world in many different ways in the coming year. We are very excited to see how 2021 will turn out and have high hopes!

How can people contribute or participate?

The best way for anyone to support us is to follow us on social media, where you find us as the Swedish Association for Responsible Consumption. We are on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Youtube. Follow us there to participate in our community of sustainable consumers. You can also become a member, which is available on our website responsibleconsumption.se

We are also available for talks, lectures, webinars or workshops if you wish to learn about something more specific for your organisation or workplace. Contact us for more details and lets discuss how we can best help you!

Find out more about Medveten Konsumtion

Medveten Konsumtion (The Swedish Association for Responsible Consumption) is a non-profit NGO, based in Stockholm operating throughout Sweden, aiming to raise awareness about the impact of consumption on the environment, health and those who work in the industries. As an NGO we have a unique position of confidence and objectivity in the eyes of the consumers. We have a responsibility to spread awareness towards a more sustainable, fossil free lifestyle. As such we are not here to sell stuff, but to have an impact, which is our main objective.

This is part one of a two-part interview with Alexandra. Continue reading part two here:

Alexandra Davidsson

Alexandra Davidsson
Foto: http://www.greenpix.se Daniel Söderberg

One of Sweden’s most exciting sustainability talents, Alexandra has been selected as 33 under 33 by the “Aktuell Hållbarhet” magazine, is ranked #24 of 100 Greenest Board Members by Fairforce, and is ranked as one of the Female Leaders of the Future 2020 by Sweden’s professional organization for executives.

In Alexandra’s current role as a member of the Board of Directors and the Secretary General at the non-profit Swedish Association for Responsible Consumption, she is working towards raising awareness on how consumers can make more sustainable and circular choices. Some of the Association’s most notable events have reached over 74 million people and 23 countries in 2019. She is also an active member of the Board of Advisors at Smart Up Accelerator as well as Borås Science Park, a Mentor at Unreasonable Group, and a part of the global impact network Top Tier Impact.

With 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector, Alexandra has held over 500 lectures on topics such as Circular Economy, Sustainable Consumption, Gender, and Human Rights. Her expertise in part comes from her previous work with the United Nations in New York, the UN World Food Program in Rome, and a EU-funded project called ”Young Ambassadors for Human Rights”. Her experiences are complemented by her Master’s degree in Global Studies and Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

Recognized as a thought leader, Alexandra is an advocate for value-based leadership, and is a diplomatic, inspiring PR-persona. She has extensive experience with national media (TV, radio, newspapers etc) and is a well-versed representative.