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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16 May 2016

So Called 'Smart Cities'

In the race to build our so-called ‘smart cities’, Joe Blakey asks if they could be smarter about inequality in his latest blog post.

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4 April 2016

Flooding, Consumption and the Normality of Everyday Life

‘Flooding, Consumption and the Normality of Everyday Life’ latest blog by SCI PhD student Patrick Gould weaves together reflections on climate change, disruption, time, consumption, normality and the circular economy, with current research and business and policy responses.  Read it here

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8 March 2016

International Women’s Day - Why Gender Matters in Energy Consumption Research

To mark International Women’s Day, Sherilyn MacGregor presents the case for why gender matters in energy consumption research, read her latest blog 'Go Ask ‘Gladys’: Why Gender Matters in Energy Consumption Research'.

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  • ManchesterSCI
    Mike Hodson to give plenary lecture 'Restructuring and Re-making Urban England' at Critical Perspectives on Urban Infrastructure Workshop 1 week 5 days ago
  • ManchesterSCI
    SCI Honorary Prof Harvey presents The sociogenesis of climate change: Eating more meat & the China-Brazil connection 1 month 3 days ago
  • ManchesterSCI
    Jennifer Smith Maguire talks to @ManchesterSCI on Making tastes making markets: cultural intermediaries, China, wine 1 month 1 week ago