Sustainable consumption - towards action and impact

Start/Stop Date:
06–08 Nov 2011
University of Bern
Focus Areas:
Sustainable consumption
Type of Event:

The scientists of the inter- and transdisciplinary research programme «From Knowledge to Action – New Paths towards Sustainable Consumption», funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education since 2008, invite the international and interdisciplinary scientific community to present and discuss new research findings on sustainable consumption. The conference will take place in Hamburg, European Green Capital 2011.

In modern societies, private consumption is a multifaceted and ambivalent phenomenon: It is a ubiquitous social practice and economic driving force, yet at the same time its consequences conflict with important social and environmental sustainability goals. Finding paths towards "sustainable consumption" has therefore become a major political issue. But, despite considerable knowledge about the unsustainability of current consumption patterns and in spite of numerous initiatives in the field of consumer information, a general trend towards sustainable consumption is not recognisable.

Focussing on consumer behaviour, its social and cultural embeddedness, and its interdependencies with economic, physical and political frameworks, the international conference will provide a platform for an in-depth interdisciplinary debate on questions such as:

  • What are the key psychological, socio-cultural, economic and physical factors that influence consumer behaviour? Which conditions facilitate or inhibit sustainable consumption?
  • What are the most promising ways to promote the transformation of consumption patterns towards sustainability? Which designs and mixes of policy instruments are effective? How can consumer initiatives, public policy, and business strategies be coordinated to enhance sustainable consumption?
  • What are the impacts of different consumption patterns on sustainability and how can they be assessed?
  • What theoretical and methodological research approaches are adequate to produce robust knowledge on sustainable consumption?

The call for papers will be issued in late February 2011.

For more information