April 2021 Newsletter
Welcome to April's SCORAI Newsletter! 
Thank you to everyone who submitted announcements about upcoming events, recent publications, and opportunities to contribute to ongoing sustainable consumption research and activism. This month, in the spirit of spring and new beginnings, I'd like to start a new practice of opening each SCORAI newsletter with a short quote or piece of art that is connected to our collective work. The line below is from Mary Oliver's poem "Invitation" and was stitched by Diana Weymar, founder of the Tiny Pricks Project. I've been inspired by this project's commitment to celebrating traditional crafts as a form of creative dissent. Is there a quote or piece of art that resonates with you in working toward transformative changes in the economy, institutions, and culture for sustainability? Please feel free to share and we will feature in a future newsletter.
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SCORAI Webinar Series:
 Sustainable Consumption and Lifestyles

Monday April 19, 10-11am ET

Lucie Middlemiss: Energy poverty in the energy transition: understanding and addressing the under consumption of energy during a low-carbon transition in Europe
Energy poverty, or the inability to access adequate energy services, is a topic of rising interest in Europe and beyond. Energy poverty is ultimately a question of under consumption: in this field we document the lives of people living below the poverty line in wealthy nations, people who are unable to heat, cool, cook, travel or use appliances to a satisfactory level, which then has detrimental impacts on health and wellbeing. Understanding energy poverty is critical in the context of the ‘energy transition’, as a low-carbon energy system will likely have negative effects on the energy poor unless they are directly addressed in planning for the future. This is likely to result in negative political consequences for the environmental movement. In this seminar I will profile the work I have done in this area in recent years, ranging from research into the lived experience of energy poverty, to critical evaluation of policy responses, as well as more recent direct engagement with policy in the Netherlands, as co-author of a white paper making specific recommendations to the Dutch government. I will profile a socially systemic approach to this problem: understanding and addressing energy poverty requires us to think about the unintended consequences and knock-on effects of policy in a number of domains (health, housing, social). I will also argue for the importance of the lived experience as a site for monitoring the problem, and understanding its complexity.

Dr. Lucie Middlemiss is Associate Professor in Sustainability and co-Director of the Sustainability Research Institute, at the University of Leeds in the UK. She wrote the first textbook on Sustainable Consumption (Routledge, 2018), and has research interests in sustainable consumption, energy poverty and participation in sustainable development. Her research on energy poverty brings together qualitative insights into the lived experience (including the first paper to use this term in 2015), with critical policy analysis (notably a critique of English policy in this area in 2017). She is motivated by connecting deep understandings of energy consumption in daily life, with planning, measuring, monitoring and decision-making by policy-makers and practitioners. In more recent work, she has led a team conducting secondary qualitative analysis of lived experience data (2019 and 2020), resulting in insights into the importance of social relations in energy consumption (see also 2020 in Nature Energy). She was also part of a team which produced a white paper on energy poverty for the Netherlands in 2020: translating state of the art academic thinking on this topic into concrete policy recommendations.

Upcoming Webinar in the Series:
  • May 10, 2021: Karl Theidemann, Soil4Climate
  • June 14, 2021: SCORAI Global book project
Watch previous webinars from this series, including Duncan Crowley's March webinar on "Community-led Ecocity Transformations" at
Sustainable Consumption in the News
Should We Block the Sun? Scientists Say the Time Has Come to Study It.
The New York Times | by Christopher Flavelle | March 25, 2021
The National Academies recently released a report asserting that the United States must study technologies that would artificially cool the planet by reflecting away some sunlight, citing the lack of progress fighting global warming. Other climate policy researchers including Jennie Stephens, director of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University and co-chair of the 2020 SCORAI International Conference, say that geoengineering research takes money and attention from the core problem, which is cutting emissions and helping vulnerable communities cope with the climate disruptions that are already happening: “We need to double down on bigger transformative changes,” Dr. Stephens said. “That’s where the investment needs to be.”

Sustainable consumption: A big gap between consumer attitude and intent?
Observer Research Foundation | by Rohan Saha | April 2, 2021
The author of this brief article draws connections between several recent high-profile reports to show ways in which concerted efforts towards changing consumption patterns are complementary to efforts focused on improving agricultural production.

[Book Review] Imagining a Different Economy
The Los Angeles Review of Books | by Paul W. Gleason | March 22, 2021
Gleason reviews Charles Camic’s new biography, Veblen: The Making of an Economist Who Unmade Economics, writing that "Veblen’s ideas and life are worth recalling, especially now. During his lifetime (1857–1929), he had a front-row seat as the American economy took something like its current form, evolving from an agrarian into an industrial and eventually a financialized economy." The review provides fascinating insight into Veblen's work and that of other American Economists of his era, and highlights potential lessons to be drawn from his exploration of an alternative economic system.
Spotlight on Future Earth’s Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SSCP) Knowledge-Action Network (KAN)

Future Earth’s Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SSCP) Knowledge-Action Network (KAN) is a global network of researchers and practitioners interested in ways that systems of sustainable consumption and production can be created, nurtured and contribute to a more sustainable world. The SSCP KAN works to advance a more systemic approach to SCP, and to encourage and enable an urgent transformation in theory and practice to SCP systems.  Visit our page Home | Future Earth, where you can read more about the events we are hosting and the work that we do in our working groups.

We published our inaugural  Research and Engagement Plan in 2018 SSCP_Final-REP-6_22_18.pdf (, and work continuously on consolidating and updating it through our efforts carried out in the KANs working groups. Currently, we have six working groups: SCP in Cities; Communicating Sustainable Consumption (WgCoCo); Global Value Chains, Circular Economy, Political Economy of SCP, and Social Change Beyond Consumerism. Each of these working group published a scoping paper, and is actively publishing papers, organizing webinars, and developing research and action initiatives.

One of SCORAI's goals is to strengthen relationships with other networks and organizations working on the connection between sustainability and consumption. Each month we are  highlighting one such organization/network in each of our monthly newsletters. If you would like to to introduce your network to SCORAI members we invite suggestions for next month's "Spotlight" organization.
Featured Publication:
Sustainable Lifestyles After Covid-19

By Fabián Echegaray, Valerie Brachya, Philip J. Vergragt, Lei Zhang

Forthcoming: April 23, 2021, Routledge Press

This book takes an in-depth look at Covid-19-generated societal trends and develops scenarios for possible future directions of urban lifestyles. The book will fill a major gap on how Covid has and continues to affect our lifestyles by closely following impacts on 10 different domains of daily life, in addition to full chapters covering changes with regards to home, cities, and communities. The book begins by keeping track of trends that have accelerated, decelerated or surged as unexpected innovations. A special chapter identifying future scenarios helps to understand what may lie ahead in terms of behaviors and social practices. Read the full book launch announcement here:

Drawing on examples from Brazil, China, and Israel, and with a particular focus on cities, this book explores the short and long-term changes in individual consumers and citizen behavior as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. On the basis of extensive market and opinion research data, aggregate data, observational evidence, and news reports, the authors provide a detailed account of the transformations that have occurred as a result of a triple shock of public health emergency, economic shutdown, and social isolation. They also examine which of these behavioral changes are likely to become permanent and consider whether this may ultimately promote or restrain sustainable lifestyle choices.

Innovative and timely, this book will be of great interest to students, scholars, and professionals researching and working in the areas of sustainable consumption, urban and land use planning, and public health.

"This book is a compelling dive into the implications of the unfolding coronavirus pandemic and an exploration of its long-term effects on society and our lifestyles. In tracing these patterns across several countries, the authors note the striking similarities in the impacts on our daily lives including from an increasingly virtual world. They reveal conflicting evidence that these trends are leading to more sustainability; however, the authors conclude that there is a key role for policymakers in enabling a transition that supports lifestyles grounded in health, justice, and planetary and community wellbeing."
-- Vanessa Timmer, Executive Director, OneEarth, Vancouver, Canada; Senior Research Fellow, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Calls for Contributions and Submissions
Invitation to Join: Global Sustainable Futures, Progress through Partnership Network

Established by the STRN Network in 2020, the network materialised out of the need to connect Global South with Global North and to co-address the challenges of sustainable futures through constructive partnerships. Currently, our network comprises of 140 coordinators from 49 countries. The group is inclusive and accessible for academics from any discipline who want to enable sustainable transitions for future generations in line with Sustainable Development Goals and we aim to forge connections outside of academia with other stakeholders such as government, community groups and business.

Specifically, this network aims to:

  • Develop an innovative research platform
  • Bring early career researchers interests along with senior/experienced researchers
  • Forge Global South and Global North connections
  • Foster Urban and Rural connections
  • Deepen connections between Early Career and Senior researcher perspectives
  • Improve interlinkages and synergies between 17 SDGs within academia and in sustainability practice.

Please fill this form if you are interested in joining the group.

Special Issue in Sustainability: "Transition towards Sustainable Urban Settlements"

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021

The current globalized world has generated massive trade exchanges between nations. This exchange of goods and services tends to be polarized between developed and developing countries, and between rural and urban areas. The consumption-oriented lifestyles in developed countries, especially in the cities or urban areas within, means that these areas are dependent on resources from outside their boundaries, both from rural areas as well as from other countries.

The current globalized consumption system has proven to be unsustainable due to its uneven social impacts, economic crises and environmental impacts, materialized, for instance, in ever-proceeding climate change and consequent biodiversity loss. Therefore, especially in the last decade, several social movements, research groups or policy makers, have underlined the need for a rapid transition towards sustainable models based on socio-ecological resiliency and even self-sufficient systems.

This special issue aims to capture the novel proposals for achieving restructured, resilient and sustainable cities, based on, for example, energy sovereignty, low carbon emission systems and circular economy. We would like to open a discussion in analyzing the following: current existing low impact exemplary cities, pathways to 1.5 degree warming compatible living, theoretical modelling of energy-efficient urban environments, and simulations of sustainable urban environments and their dialog with other areas. Also, contributions to contemporary urban sustainability concepts discussing the relationships and interdepency between different sustainability aspects, especially ecological and social, are welcomed.

Likewise, this special issue opens a discussion about the roles between developed and non-developed countries to better understand energy and other consumption dependency dynamics. In this context, the calculation of footprints (e.g. carbon footprint, energy footprint, water footprint, social footprint, etc) will allow to quantify the hidden consumptions that developed cities and countries are outsourcing to less regulated nations, and the respective environmental and social impacts of this consumption. The main goal is to share the responsibility of the generation of socio-environmental impacts in order to start out on the path to avoiding them.

We propose as a reference the following topics in order to guide the authors and trigger a better-orientated discussion of the scientific works that could partake in this challenge:

  • Low-energy/low-carbon cities;
  • Energy transition in low-carbon urban areas;
  • Low-energy/low-carbon urban ecosystems;
  • Footprint assessments of all aspects of sustainability;
  • 1.5 degree warming compatible living;
  • Resilient urban area modelling;
  • Sustainable cities;
  • Drivers and barriers for low-energy/low-carbon solutions; and
  • Socio-ecological sustainability in cities.

Papers presenting research results with sound academic contributions and high societal impact potential are particularly welcomed.

Guest Editors
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ortzi Akizu-Gardoki
Prof. Dr. Jukka Heinonen
Assistant Prof. Dr. Sanna Ala-Mantila

Full Submission Guidelines:

Special Issue in Sustainability: "Behavioral Economics and Sustainable Public Policies"

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 May 2021

The world is facing major issues to ensure the future of our environment, and humans are as much part of the problem as they need to be part of the solutions. Acknowledging people as part of the ecosystem, public policies need to be grounded on empirical evidence about how people actually behave in order to be able to present more sustainable solutions and interventions. Human environments are not simple predictable rational machines, but rather systems usually characterized by high levels of uncertainty and change. In fact, behavioral economics, as an area of research that tests the classic rational assumption by identifying consistent behavioral patterns, has continuously shown how humans systematically violate these classical assumptions. Understandably, research in behavioral economics and sustainable public policies has gained more and more attention over the last few years, identifying concrete implications to policy design. In this Special Issue, we encourage authors to submit reviews, meta-analyses, conceptual models, and empirical studies aiming to present recent advances in this emerging field, namely by identifying how responses and attitudes toward specific environmental policies differ from those predicted by standard theory.

Guest Editors
Dr. Ana Rita Farias
Dr. Joana Reis

Full Submission Guidelines:
Special issue in Sustainability: Biosociality from a consumer culture perspective

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021

An acknowledgement of the problematic human role in the contemporary anthropocene era rests on the dethroning of humanity as a species outside and beyond the biological. On a more situated level, an understanding of the bio-social anthropos is a precondition for understanding the modes of human desires, seductions and aberrations. The complexity of life and the complexity of the human condition is the starting point for a consumer research agenda and an approach to consumer culture, that can cope with the obvious global challenges to sustainability we are facing.

As noted by Descola in his book The Ecology of Others, foreshadowed by Guattari in The Three Ecologies, and explored by Harraway in When Species Meet, the relationship between humans and the global biome is paradigmatic of the challenges of, and the challenges imposing themselves on humanity in this century. For Descola, a non-exhaustive list of these challenges would include “climate change, the erosion of biodiversity, the multiplication of transgenic organisms, the exhaustion of fossil fuels, the pollution of fragile environments and of large urban centers, the accelerating disappearance of tropical forests and coral reefs, all have become issues of public debate at the global scale and fuel the disquiet of numerous inhabitants.” In this special issue of Sustainability, we invite reflections on the relationship between consumer culture and biosociality in the face of  these and related challenges.

Biosociality as ontology and epistemology addresses the challenges imposed on the vision of sustainable consumption by the current tendency to reduce the cultural, psychic and biological consequences of consumer culture to predominantly if not exclusive a human affair. Furthermore, it reformulates the enduring attitude-behavior gap between consumers’ oft-stated desire for more sustainable consumption and the reality of their behavior in a new way, as a problem related to the systemic misconstrual of the relationship between human economic behavior and the biome. Finally, a biosocial perspective offers an alternative that recognizes the necessity of resource circulation in any imaginable economic system.

This special issue of Sustainability calls for an exploration of a simultaneous acknowledgement of the sociality of the biological and the biologicality of the social without recourse to flawed, universalizing genetic reductionisms. We invite investigations and conversations addressing the possibility of a biosocial renewal of thought in consumer culture theory and ensuing reflections on a more sustainable consumption system against the ecological precarity which consumer capitalism produces. As indicated, biosocial renewal is defined by the contingent extension of the principle of sociality to other living beings, and the recognition that all living beings are in communicative relations with significant others in their environment and between whom resources circulate in value co-creation processes.

Guest Editors
Søren Askegaard
Eric Arnould
Dominique Roux

Full submission guidelines:
Upcoming Events
Listed in chronological order, from coming-soon to farthest out on the horizon.
6th Network of Early Career Sustainability Transitions (NEST) Conference
8-9 April 2021  | Sofia, Bulgaria

The Network of Early Career Researchers in Sustainability Transitions (NEST) organises every year a conference to allow early career researchers in sustainability transitions to exchange, share their work and broaden their perspectives. The 6th NEST conference team is happy to share its call for abstracts which you can access here : . The conference will be held in Sofia on the 8th and 9th of April. This year's theme focuses on transition pathways.

Abstracts are expected by 15th of December at
Launch Event Webinar: Cambridge Sustainability Commission on Scaling Behaviour Change
13 April 2021  | Virtual Event

Tuesday 13 April - 16.00 - 17:30 CET, Register here:
  • Opening remarks from Professor Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Professor in Earth System Science, University of Potsdam.
  • Brief outline of the key findings from the Cambridge Sustainability Commission on Scaling Behaviour Change by lead author Professor Peter Newell, University of Sussex.
  • Panel discussion between Cambridge Sustainability Commissioners:
    • Dr. Lewis Akenji, Hot or Cool Institute 
    • Dr. Stuart Capstick, University of Cardiff
    • Dr. Manisha Anantharaman, Saint Mary's College of California
    • Professor Juliet Schor, Boston College
  • Audience Q&A with panellists
Sustainable Consumption and Care
20-21 May 2021  | National University of Ireland, Galway

SCORAI Europe is convening a two-day workshop in Galway, Ireland. The workshop will begin after lunch on the 20th May 2021 and conclude with lunch on 21th May 2021. There are still some places left for participants interested to serve as discussants or note takers. The work of both rolls will be included into the workshop proceedings.

The purpose of the workshop is to delineate and differentiate the interplay between sustainable consumption and care. We are interested in care in the context of sustainable consumption as well as in sustainability in the context of care. The good life and well-being are put centre stage and we are interested in how we can maintain, continue and repair the world in order to life a good life.

Full workshop details and call for papers:
4th PLATE Conference
26-28 May 2021  | Virtual Conference

The 4th Conference on Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE) will now take place as a virtual conference from 26th to 28th May 2021. Using a dedicated digital platform, PLATE 2021 will continue in the tradition of the previous events in creating a multi-disciplinary forum for researchers, practitioners and educators who are passionate in understanding and reacting to the influence of product lifetimes on the environment.
In addition to the presentations by delegates, the virtual format will include live keynote presentations, on-line discussions, video-chats, coffee breaks and networking space and even a social programme. This is a fascinating time to be working on this topic. The European Green Deal is promising to adopt an industrial strategy that will intensify the focus on product lifetimes. The resource-intensive sectors of electronics, textiles, construction and plastics are the subject of particular interest in the pursuit of the circular and carbon neutral economy. Business models based on usage rather than ownership are promised to shift consumption away from short lived products.

Full conference information here:
Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021
12-15 June 2021  | Brisbane, Australia & Virtual Event

The Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021 (SRI2021) is the world’s first transdisciplinary gathering in sustainability – it will be a space of fierce advocacy for sustainability scholarship, innovation, collaboration and action.

This annual event unites global sustainability leaders, experts, industry and innovators to inspire action and promote a sustainability transformation. For the first time, the Congress will launch as a hybrid event with a diverse and innovative online program alongside onsite participation. In addition to the 100+ sessions available throughout the day and night, thanks to the global reach of SRI and partners, the SRI2021 Online Package includes exclusive events and services, starting as soon as February 2021.

SRI is a joint initiative of Future Earth and the Belmont Forum. Australia, who hosts the Congress in 2021, has a unique role to play in the global community as a conduit between the Global North and the Global South, indigenous peoples and traditional sustainability practices. The local hosting consortium, led by Future Earth Australia and CSIRO, features academia and government partners from Brisbane and the State of Queensland to meet the breadth of the SRI2021 agenda.

Full conference information here:
International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) 27th Conference
13-15 July 2021  | Mid Sweden University Virtual Conference

This online conference covers sustainability in relation to all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the virtue of the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. It aims to investigate the most current trends and implications for the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development in the Global North and Global South.

The ISDRS2021 conference will therefore explore transformative challenges and necessary systemic changes towards sustainable development in the light of the SDGs and COVID-19 including, but not limited to general ideas and specific approaches related to:
  • environmental, social and economic drivers, state and perspectives and their interrelations with stakeholders, population, products, processes, innovation and technologies;
  • protection and use of the environment, to social resilience, education and equality, and to economic production and consumption pattern, and
  • the fitness for purpose of and integration among SDGs, also in the light of a post 2030 agenda and the UN 2050 Vision of “Living in harmony with nature”.
The latest UN SDG Progress Report 2020 from July 2020 indicates that before the COVID-19 pandemic, progress remained uneven and that the world was not on track to meet the Goals by 2030. It further shows that this crisis did not sparse any of the SDGs, but effected particularly social ones by reversing several positive trends and even increasing several inequalities within and between countries. The report’s progress summary for the 21 SDG targets with a 2020 deadline indicates that only three of them are fully achieved or fully on track to being achieved, and emphasis the wide lack of these achievements regarding biodiversity (p. 60f).

To this end, we invite a wide range of contributions from those taking a critical stance of the SDGs,  those identifying positive impacts of the SDGs and those providing additional solutions to incremental or holistic sustainability challenges. Discussions will be organised along the traditional tracks of the conference based on the topic groups of ISDRS and special tracks with local perspectives, all related to the overall conference theme. Additionally, prominent keynote and plenary speakers from all around the world will address challenges in science and practice related the overall theme of the conference.
20th European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production 
8-10 September 2021  | Graz, Austria

With the 20th Roundtable, the conference returns home to its birthplace. In 1994, the 1st Roundtable was held in Graz with the support of the City of Graz and the Ministries of Innovation & Technology and Environment, and already had 300 visitors. In the meantime, numerous countries have hosted the other 18 events.

The goal of reducing global warming to +1.5°C requires us to reduce not only the greenhouse gas emissions caused by our direct activities (heating, cooling, mobility, electricity production, etc.), but also the emissions that have already been generated outside the usual limits of consideration through our consumption – as it were, stuck in the products. This “emission backpack” contained in the products is almost as large as the direct emissions.

While many countries, regions and cities have developed strategies to reduce local emissions, there is often no plan to reduce the emissions contained in the purchased products. erscp21 will consider both aspects: the possibilities to reduce the emission of climate-relevant gases during production as well as to reduce upstream emissions by changing consumer behavior. It will be essential that cities – where already more than half of the world’s population lives – and economic sectors reduce emissions, adapt to climate change, and take resilience measures. Changing consumption behavior will be an important issue in building a closed cycle economy, especially urban closed cycles including the forced utilization of local resources.

The 2021 conference is organized by “StadtLABOR” a SME working on Innovations for Urban Quality of Life (, in cooperation with the ERSCP Society ( ERSCP stands for the European Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production, a society that organizes and promotes activities in the field of Sustainable Consumption and Production. Part of this are a series of conferences in the field of Sustainable Consumption and Production and Cleaner Production since 1994.

Full details:
Energy and Climate Transformations: 3rd International Conference on Energy Research & Social Science
13-16 September 2021  | University of Manchester, United Kingdom (Renold Building)

The International Conference on Energy Research and Social Science is the premier global forum for exploring the nexus of energy and society.

The conference will highlight and explore the grand societal challenges arising at the interface of global energy transformations on the one hand, and ongoing climate mitigation and adaptation efforts on the other. It will offer a vibrant and innovative forum for presenting and discussing cutting edge research on the movement towards a low carbon future as it relates to reconfigurations in energy policies, infrastructural landscapes, socio-technical systems, and social practices.

Full conference information here:
26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)
1-12 November 2021  | Glasgow, Scotland

The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP26.

In 2015, in Paris, world leaders committed to a historic agreement to tackle climate change. They agreed to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 ℃ above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the rise to 1.5 ℃. 

They also agreed to step up efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to make finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development. By completing and implementing the Paris Agreement we can show that the world is able to work together to tackle this crucial challenge. 

And by uniting behind a green recovery from coronavirus, which creates sustainable jobs and addresses the urgent and linked challenges of public health, climate change, and biodiversity loss, we can safeguard the environment for future generations.

Almost 400 young people aged between 18 and 29 from the 197 member-countries of the UNFCCC will meet in Milan from 28 – 30 September 2021, to elaborate concrete proposals on topics that affect the negotiation process of Pre-COP26 in Milan and COP26 in Glasgow.

Books by Members

The Sustainability Communication Reader: A Reflective Compendium

Editors: Weder, Franzisca, Krainer, Larissa, Karmasin, Matthias (Eds.)


This textbook seeks for an innovative approach to Sustainability Communication as transdisciplinary area of research. Following the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which are intended to transform the world as it is known, we seek for a multidisciplinary discussion of the role communication plays in realizing these goals. With complementing theoretical approaches and concepts, the book offers various perspectives on communication practices and strategies on an individual, organizational, institutional, as well as public level that contribute, enable (or hinder) sustainable development. Presented case studies show methodological as well as issue specific challenges in sustainability communication. Therefore, the book introduces and promotes innovative methods for this specific area of research.

The publication includes a chapter by Georgina Guillen, Philip Vergragt and Daniel Fischer: "Communicating Sustainable Consumption." Abstract: The increasing growth of consumption indicates that communicating the need to transition towards more sustainable lifestyles has so far been ineffective. Therefore, it is necessary to reorient communication efforts in ways that allow to more effectively create, identify, validate, and share conditions to enable all societal actors to shift towards sustainable consumption patterns. The conditions to do so pertain to power relationships, ethics, culture, infrastructure and economics; all connected by the inherent notion of wellbeing, fulfillment of human needs, and sufficiency. This chapter discusses the particular challenges and potentials of communicating sustainable consumption. It is based on an extensive scoping process by an international working group that aimed at summarizing the current state of research on communicating sustainable consumption and the development of an agenda for future research and practice in this field. This chapter presents some of the key insights from this work.

Former SCORAI Board member Jeffrey Barber has also a chapter:  “The challenge of imagining sustainable futures: Climate Fiction on Sustainability Communication."

Sustainable Consumption, Production and Supply Chain Management: Advancing Sustainable Economic Systems

New Horizons in Operations and Supply Chain Management series

Paul Nieuwenhuis, formerly Co-Director, Centre for Automotive Industry Research and Electric Vehicle Centre of Excellence, Cardiff University

Daniel Newman, Senior Lecturer, Cardiff Law School, Cardiff University

Anne Touboulic, Associate Professor in Operations Management, Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham, UK

Edward Elgar Publishing

This incisive book integrates the academic fields of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) as a framework for challenging the current economic paradigm and addressing the significant ecological and environmental problems faced by the contemporary business world.

Articles by Members

Information, attitudes, and consumer evaluations of cultivated meat

Chad M. Baum, Stefanie Bröring, Carl-Johan Lagerkvist

Food Quality and Preference

Fast-moving developments for cultivated meat make it crucial to wrestle with prospective challenges and thereby lay the groundwork for a viable commercial market. Despite ample attention to issues of naming and regulation, the effect of information provision on consumer attitudes and evaluations has received less interest, even as claims (positive and negative) about cultivated meat increase in scope and complexity. Accordingly, we employed a 2x2 experimental design with information treatments varying by valence and complexity to explore if information provision influenced purchasing evaluations by way of attitudes. Using a sample of 617 German consumers, we found that whether information accentuated the risks or benefits of cultivated meat had a fundamental impact on explicit attitudes and purchasing evaluations, but not implicit attitudes. The role of complexity was however more nuanced, with an impact only on explicit attitudes and when risks were accentuated. Moreover, using mediation analysis, we revealed that implicit and explicit attitudes serially mediated the relationship between information provision and purchasing evaluations, thereby affecting the overall effectiveness of information. In sum, the findings underscore the importance of implicit and explicit attitudes (as well as food technology neophobia and prior knowledge) for evaluation processes of consumers, along with how disentangling the respective effects of valence and complexity of information enables the development of more effective and tailored messaging approaches.

Certification label and fresh organic produce category in an emerging country: an experimental study on consumer trust and purchase intention

Eluiza Alberto de Morais Watanabe, Solange Alfinito, Luisa Lourenço Barbirato 

British Food Journal

Organic food consumption is growing, increasing the need for studies investigating the importance of organic certification labels in emerging countries. The research aims to identify the influence of certification labels and fresh organic produce categories (greenery, vegetable or fruit) on consumer trust and purchase intention. An online experimental survey 3 × 3 was administered among 349 Brazilian consumers. Certification label and fresh organic produce category were designated as independent variables and manipulated to explore consumer trust and purchase intention. The authors performed a multivariate covariance analysis (MANCOVA) to analyze the data. Results show that the certification label does not directly affect the dependent variables. It acts as a moderator and indirectly affects both consumer trust and purchase intention. Moreover, depending on the fresh organic produce category considered (greenery, vegetable or fruit), consumer trust changes. Sociodemographic characteristics, age and household income are also important. Finally, the greater the purchase frequency (the main predictor of the model), the greater the purchase intention and consumer trust. The study contributes to deepen and expand studies involving organic food and to pave the way for future studies that aim to investigate the importance of certification labels of organic foods for consumers.


The incoherence of sustainability literacy assessed with the Sulitest

Colin Kuehl, Aaron C. Sparks, Heather Hodges & Eric R. A. N. Smith 

Nature Sustainability

Improving sustainability knowledge has long been central to international efforts to achieve sustainable development. In response to these efforts, which are formalized in Target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, a global group of scholars and practitioners, in cooperation with the United Nations, designed and fielded the ‘Sulitest’, a survey tool that assesses sustainability knowledge in a variety of contexts. The Sulitest has been taken by over 160,000 individuals across 63 countries. Despite its substantial use, there is little systematic analysis of the data or the test itself. We analyse the Sulitest using both exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, common techniques for identifying latent components within observed data. The Sulitest was designed to measure knowledge within four themes; however, this architecture is not supported by the data. Analysis suggests there is no coherent structure of sustainability knowledge. We urge caution to policymakers and educators when using the Sulitest as a diagnostic tool for assessing sustainability knowledge.
We're very pleased to welcome 12 new SCORAI members who joined the network since our March newsletter, bringing our organization's total membership to 1337 individuals.
  • Tom Llewellyn, Shareable, Canyon CA, United States of America
  • Gio Peter, CES, Coimbra, Portugal
  • Jordi Sole, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • Renata Martins, FGV EAESP, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Ryota Wong, Yale-NUS, Singapore, Singapore
  • Masatoshi Yokota, Tokyo University of Science, Chiba, Japan
  • Mark Gorgolewski, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
  • Claudia Laviolette, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada
  • Dirk van der Woude, Flevoland, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Rebecca Collins, University of Chester, Chester, United Kingdom
  • Praneeta Mudaliar, Ithaca College, Ithaca NY, United States of America
  • Marie Claire Brisbois, University of Sussex, Brighton , United Kingdom


SCORAI (Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative) is an international knowledge network of researchers and practitioners committed to building a flourishing and ecologically-sound society by changing the way we consume. We advance research, disseminate knowledge, impact policies and support campaigns. SCORAI recognizes that technological innovation alone is insufficient to address climate change and environmental threats. Therefore we support transformative changes in the economy, institutions and culture.

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