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

SCI Newsletter

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11 December 2014

‘Food for Thought’ Workshop

November saw the Households, Retailers and Food Waste Transitions Project host an international workshop, bringing together leading social scientists in the field with policymakers and representatives of third sector organisations and UK supermarkets.

Read Dan Welch's blog here

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21 November 2014

SCI PhD Studentships

The SCI are now accepting applications for PhD studentships, the deadline for applications is the 26 January 2015.

For further information click here

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6 November 2014

Sustainable Consumption and Behaviour Change

In our latest blog Alan Warde argues that the dominant template of consumption behind most approaches to ‘behaviour change’ is flawed, leading to ineffective policy interventions.  Read the full blog here

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Our research

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