5e. Sustainable Consumption and Consumers

Track Chairs

Goals and Objectives of the Track 

Sustainable consumption has been recognized as an integral part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and can be defined as “the use of services and related products, which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimizing the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle of the service or product so as not to jeopardize the needs of further generations”.

Sustainable consumption is concerned with identifying, agreeing and meeting the needs for a prosperous life, equitably and within systems boundaries. It is concerned with how such needs are met through forms of consumption such as ownership, sharing and collaboration or indeed how they are avoided or forgone through rejection, abstinence or anti-consumption mindsets and actions.

Representing belated responses to the warning of IPCC 5th and now 6th Assessment reports, 2020 and 2021 has seen a rush of countries and organizations committing to net zero target. Setting aside concerns over the meaning and applicability of ‘net zero’, there are significant implications for consumer from these promises as organizations seek to take meaningful action towards them.

The effects of the Covid pandemic continue to be felt. It is against this backdrop the Sustainable Consumption and Consumer track seeks research and evidence-based reviews and reflections around the theme of ‘turning promises into meaningful action’.

Specific topics of interest are: 

  • Consumer understanding and trust in net-zero targets. 
  • Consumer understanding and attitudes toward highly contested ‘business as usual solutions such as Hydrogen, Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage and Offsetting 
  • Implications for governments, corporations, brands or products not setting such targets or doing so and failing to act.
  • Consumers’ response to forms of action aimed at meeting targets, including product scarcity, restrictions on availability, rationing, reformulations, product deletions etc.
  • Examination and exploration of boycotts, boycotts and other forms of consumer activism motivated by perceived lack of action on targets. 
  • Legal protection from false and misleading environmental claims and advertising 
  • With consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic ongoing, retrospective analysis of what lasting changes are being seen, what was built back better, or where expected and observed changes slipped back into old habits and practices as lockdowns and restrictions lifted.

To provide ongoing support for research into ongoing sustainable consumption themes, we also welcome contributions in the following areas:


Sustainability product policies and future development; Clean technologies / cleaner production; 
Sustainable product design, Eco-Design of products / Design for sustainability; Decoupling and dematerialization; Eco-innovation: Innovation in environmental goods and services; Integrated product policies; Internalization of environmental and social costs; Eco-efficiency; Incentives for development and acquiring of sustainable products.


Advances in Sustainable Consumption & Lifestyles; Consumer engagement and environmental communication; Sustainable Lifestyles and Education; Emergence of post-consumerist lifestyles; 
Impact of the economic crisis on consumption practices; Social practices research related to sustainable consumption; Cooperating for increasing sustainable provisioning opportunities; Social innovation to facilitate sustainable consumption; De-growth as a pathway for sustainable consumption; Impact of Social movements on sustainable consumption

Prospective consumer response to initiatives related to sustainable consumption (right to repair, taxation on aviation that would lead to increased price of flying, limiting carbon emission of car fleet, etc.).


Consumers and stakeholders’ information; Producer responsibility; Product environmental certification; Product eco-labelling and social labelling; Sustainable Public Procurement; Ethical investment and consumption; Marketing and sustainable consumption; Analysis of consumer preferences and attitudes. 


Consumption and sustainable cities; Sustainable/Smart Cities and Communities; Sustainable Building and Construction; Sustainable Food Consumption and Food Waste Prevention; Sustainability and the transformation of agro-food systems; Sustainable Tourism, including ecotourism; Sustainable mobility. 


Performance economy; Sharing Economy; Collaborative consumption; Product-As-Service; Product-Service-Systems and their implication for sustainable consumption. 


Carbon and water footprint; Life cycle thinking, Life Cycle Assessment, Life Cycle Costing, Material flow analysis, Social life cycle assessment; Product and services sustainability indicators.

Length and content of the proposed abstract to the track

Each proposed abstract (in connection to an area pointed out above) of between 300 and 500 words (including all aspects),

  1. shall be best organized (without headlines) along usual structures (e.g. intro/method/findings or results/ discussion/conclusions)
  2. does not need to, but can include references
  3. shall provide in a final section
    a. to which SDG(s) and SDG-target(s) their proposed abstract especially relate to (e.g. “SDG+Target: 14.1.”).
    b. a brief indication how the proposed contribution relates to the topic of the Conference “Half-way through Agenda 2030Assessing the 5Ps of SDG(people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership)

Abstracts which do not outline points 3.a.) AND 3.b.) might be considered less relevant in the Review.

Potential publication channels

With regard to potential publications, depending on the number and quality of contributions, diverse publication opportunities will be envisaged.