Collaborative consumption in Southeast Asian cities: Prospects and challenges for environmental sustainability

Collaborative consumption businesses offer an alternative to conventional consumption, by providing shared access to goods, or by offering a service to replace the need for material goods. This presents an opportunity to reduce the environmental impacts of household consumption, through reduced resource use and waste. Often referred to as “the sharing economy”, this business phenomenon has attracted significant attention due to its rapid growth and potential for social, economic and environmental impacts. To date there have been few academic studies on the topic, and these have primarily focused on collaborative consumption in high-income countries. With claims that shared-access and service businesses can offer a more sustainable consumption alternative, their use in rapidly developing regions such as Asia is significant for sustainable development. In this research, I use an interdisciplinary approach to examine the sustainability prospects and challenges for collaborative consumption businesses in three cities in Southeast Asia - Bangkok, Manila and Hanoi. In the seminar, I will present a synthesis of findings regarding sustainability issues, institutional barriers and enablers and the potential for policy interventions to foster sustainable outcomes.

About the speaker

Monique’s research combines environmental and social sciences to study the multi-dimensional field of sustainable consumption and production. She is a PhD scholar at the Fenner School and has a background in environmental engineering, water resources and political economy. She has worked in urban sustainability research at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS since 2007. Prior to her PhD studies, Monique’s research focused on integrated resource planning for water, sanitation and energy systems.