New publication

The Practice of Eating presents a sociological analysis of food consumption. Using examples of the routine and conventional ways in which foodstuffs, meals, and tastes are woven together in socially acceptable ways, Alan Warde proposes new concepts and new understandings, inspired by recent developments in theories or practice, to capture the essence of the mundane yet complex activity of eating.

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

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

SCI Newsletter

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21 March 2017

Planet 50:50? Linking labour and environment this International Women’s Day

In our latest blog Sherilyn MacGregor talks about the connections between feminist goals for gender equality and environmentalist visions of a green economy

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12 January 2017

Turning Climate Governance Upside Down - latest SCI blog

In our latest blog post, Joe Blakey reports on the final SCI seminar of 2016, delivered by Professor Harriet Bulkeley, who asked “can we govern the climate”

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14 December 2016

Congratulations to Frank Geels who joins the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency

Frank Geels has been invited to join the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency (EEA). 

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  • ManchesterSCI
    Latest SCI blog ‘Following the Action: An Approach for Studying the Coordination of Practice’ 1 day 14 hours ago
  • ManchesterSCI
    RT @ENPWageningen: Lecture by Alan Warde from @ManchesterSCI on the Practice of Eating in upcoming EnvGov-Seminar - April 20, 12:00! https:… 1 day 16 hours ago
  • ManchesterSCI
    RT @EverydayAllie: New practice theory methodologies blog - studying coordination by Jo Mylan and Dale Southerton @ManchesterSCI https://t.… 1 day 16 hours ago