Sustainable Consumption

Global conferences as well as daily experience point out, that sustainable development will not be achieved without suitable developments towards more sustainable consumption patterns.

To reach those numerous actors have to fulfil their tasks

  • politicians on all levels: global, regional, national and local as well as
  • stakeholders along the product chain: designer, producer, retailer, consumer, service provider and the “end of product life” management

Many aspects must be taken into account. As a matter of principle, sustainable consumption needs to be sustainable in all four dimensions of sustainability. It should be environmentally sound, socially just, economically efficient and enhancing institutional equity. Unfortunately, for most of these aspects neither concepts nor data are available.

Most efforts have be made concerning the environmental aspect of sustainable consumption, analysing the main environmental impacts, the driving forces behind and the potential influence of consumers. For this behalf indicators have been developed that are capable of guiding consumer decision towards an environmentally improved consumption pattern, without neglecting the fact that in the majority of instances consumers are just one amongst a series of influential actors.

SERI research takes the challenge of the broad issue of sustainable consumption into account. It deals with the different consumption areas where households can make a difference, analyse past and future trends, develops orientation for the actors along the product chain as well as inquire the global structures shaping modern consumption opportunities.

Publications on sustainable consumption



Globalization and Sustainable Household Consumption

Household Energy and Water Consumption and Waste Generation - German Case Study

Consumption and the Environment in Europe: Trends and Futures

Visualisation of consumptive behaviour on the basis of material intensity

Sylvia Lorek


Have a nice day - Your SERI-Team.

last update 20-Okt-2005