Sustainable Consumption Institute

Consumption is a hugely powerful force.

The sustainability challenges we face stem largely from an explosion in consumption, and the corresponding exploitation of finite resources. To successfully respond to these challenges, we must now radically reduce the resource intensity of everyday lives.

This may mean consuming less, or it could mean consuming differently. Either approach requires big leaps in our understanding and our actions – not simply how we produce and distribute goods and services, but how we organise our societies, government policy, and our lives.
Our mission at the Sustainable Consumption Institute is to bring insight and clarity to a key part of the sustainability challenge: the role of consumption.

We take original insights from the Social Sciences, insights that often challenge orthodox thinking, and subject them to critical empirical scrutiny. This, we believe, is essential for advancing fundamental understandings about processes of consumption and social change.
Our approach to research is one that develops novel methodologies for addressing key research questions, including the use of a wide range of data and comparative methodologies that recognise sustainable consumption is an international challenge.

Through an ambitious research programme we tackle head-on the scale and urgency of societal responses required to address sustainability – responses that require collaboration between a wide-range of stakeholders, including businesses and policy-makers, who can both benefit from and contribute to our research.

Welcome to the SCI.

    - Professor Dale Southerton, Director SCI

23 April 2014

Towards sustainable consumption: start by reframing the questions

Sustainable consumption is all too often framed in terms of individuals’ choices. The social practice perspective offers an alternative model, argue Dr Daniel Welch and Dr Nicola Spurling.

Read the full blog

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17 April 2014

Back to the future; the recurring patterns of flooding in the UK

Flooding is not new in Britain, with major floods recorded throughout history. But with predictions of climate change suggesting such deluge conditions may become more common, Dr Anna Carlsson-Hyslop argues that policymakers must heed some important lessons from the history of flooding.

Read Anna's blog

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14 April 2014

SCI Seminar Series

The next Seminar in the series will be given by Professor Frans Berkhout,  Professor of Environment, Society and Climate in the Department of Geography at King’s College London, entitled 'Co-design and co-production of knowledge: the new engagement agenda in science'.  For further information please visit our Events page.

Read more

  • ManchesterSCI
    Read SCI's Dan Welch & Nicola Spurling's blog 'Towards sustainable consumption: start by reframing the question' at 1 day 15 hours ago
  • ManchesterSCI
    Read SCI’s Anna Carlsson-Hyslop blog ‘Back to the future; the recurring patterns of flooding in the UK’ 1 week 17 hours ago
  • ManchesterSCI
    Frans Berkhout to give next SCI Seminar - 'Co-design & co-production of knowledge: the new agenda in science' 1 week 3 days ago

Key research areas

Understanding consumer choices, habits and routines and how they can become more sustainable

Accelerating sustainable innovation in products, services and systems

Exploring alternative framings of sustainable consumption and the politics underpinning them

Developing novel methodologies to advance the evidence base on sustainable consumption