Thinking ahead regarding sustainable consumption: Evaluation and advancement of measures and instruments

In early 2016, the German Federal Government has adopted the National Programme on Sustainable Consumption which lists 172 measures for how Germany wants intends to achieve more sustainable consumption patterns. The programme substantiates the German Sustainability Strategy and shall make a key contribution towards Germany achieving the internationally agreed upon Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – especially SDG #12 promoting sustainable production and consumption patterns.

In this light, the German Environment Agency has commissioned the Oeko-Institut in collaboration with ConPolicy, the Technical University of Berlin and Prof. Dr. Lucia Reisch (Copenhagen Business School and Zeppelin University) to evaluate the measures proposed in the National Program on Sustainable Consumption and to make recommendations for how the programme can be developed further.

During the project period of three years, a framework for the evaluation is developed, which is used to conduct an ex-ante evaluation of the full set of measures included in the National Programme, and an in-depth ex-post evaluation of selected measures as well as an examination of the program as a whole. Moreover, the project analyzes how an interplay of “soft” and “hard” measures can be used in order to foster sustainable consumption more effectively. The acceptance of such approaches is examined using case studies and focus-group interviews. Based on the interim results, policy recommendations are developed on how the national program can be advanced – involving feedback from various stakeholder groups.