Search type

Sustainable Consumption Institute

Solar panels.

Our approach

Understanding sustainable consumption requires focus on how people live, how they acquire, appreciate, use and dispose of goods and services, and how innovations can promote a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Challenging orthodox thinking

Our researchers undertake interdisciplinary social scientific analysis of the processes of production and consumption, within a diverse range of scales and contexts:

  • international
  • national
  • urban
  • sectoral
  • organisational
  • community.

We use a range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, from large-scale surveys and time-use analysis to participant observation and historical research.

Much of our work is comparative in nature, of societies, cultures, social groups and sectors. We believe that such analysis is critical for identifying the most important processes that lead to, or hinder, societal change.

We challenge orthodox thinking on sustainable consumption and production by looking beyond individual actors, such as the consumer or the firm. We examine the ways such actors interact and how these interactions configure societies.

Communicating our work

We regularly communicate our research findings and insights to a range of audiences, through:

  • academic journals
  • blogs
  • books
  • exhibitions
  • policy consultation
  • policy notes
  • public debates
  • stakeholder reports
  • the media
  • workshops.

We actively engage with businesses, policy-makers and civil society organisations, striving to inform wider public debate.

"Our research is at the forefront of innovative approaches to the issues of social and technological change that are central to the challenges of sustainability."

Dale Southerton / Director, SCI