Rethinking consumption


Scientists examine sustainability instruments and policy strategies


Buying products and services is part of most people’s everyday life. Yet only rarely do environmental issues and social considerations play a part in these purchasing decisions. In many areas high-quality sustainable alternatives are already available, but their market share is small and demand for them modest. Policies that have attempted to change this have not yet achieved the hoped-for success. Why is this so, and what policies and strategies could achieve more in future? These questions are now being addressed by seven European research partners with the coordination of the Öko-Institut in the project “EUPOPP – Policies to Promote Sustainable Consumption Patterns”.

“Policy instruments need to be more effective in changing consumers’ behaviour and thus helping the environment”, explain Regine Barth and Dr. Bettina Brohmann of the Öko-Institut, joint managers of the cross-disciplinary project. They add with conviction: “Our findings will give policy-makers, consumers and other decision-makers new ideas for ways in which consumption can be made more sustainable for people and for the environment, both at European level and globally”. To this end the project partners are critically examining previous sustainable consumption strategies, developing new strategies on the basis of trend analyses and presenting them for discussion in stakeholder workshops and elsewhere. The focus is on the clusters surrounding housing and food.


Öko-Institut e.V., Darmstadt Office
Regine Barth
Coordinator, Environmental Law & Governance Division
E-mail Contact

Dr. Bettina Brohmann
Energy & Climate Protection Division
E-mail Contact

Additional information

Eupopp – Policies to Promote Sustainable Consumption Patterns
Funded under the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union; Period: August 2008 to July 2010. Project coordination: Öko-Institut e.V.; project partners: National Consumer Research Centre, Finland (; University College London (; Baltic Environmental Forum (; ecoinstitut Barcelona (; Institute for Social-Ecological Research, Frankfurt ( and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (


A project flyer in English can be downloaded from the Internet here: