Sustainable Consumption

One of the key tasks on the path towards sustainable development is to make our consumption patterns lighter on resources and the environment. Sustainable consumption patterns will not be brought about on the supply side alone, nor solely on the demand side. Nor will enabling framework conditions suffice. What is needed is strategic cooperation: If all stakeholders work in the same direction and make sustainability their guideline, it will be possible to bring about sustainable consumption patterns over the long term.

We develop strategies for sustainable consumption that are both generic and address specific “areas of need”. Our scientists develop policy strategies, advise companies and formulate concrete guidance for consumer behaviour. Using a broad range of methods such as material-flow analyses, scenarios, life-cycle assessment, eco-efficiency analyses and risk assessment, we identify where there is potential for action and elaborate recommendations. We help stakeholders cooperate. We assist the players in industry, politics and administration, associations and common-interest groups in implementing strategies for sustainable consumption.

Research priorities

Policy strategies and instruments 
Consumer information
Green procurementGreen procurement in Germany
Green procurement internationally
Product and system innovations 
Environmental and sustainability labelling 
Consumer behaviour and motivation 
Societal transformation towards more sustainability
Integrated product assessment