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June 2019

Dear SCORAI Community, We're in the midst of an active and productive spring for many members in this community. Over the past month, SCORAI members have hosted and participated in over six conferences focused on questions related to consumption and sustainability, including the following: 
  • Critical Issues in Science Technology and Society Studies in Graz, Austria May 6-7
  • Britain After Brexit: How to Redesign the UK's role in Sustainable Development in Cambridge UK, May 9
  • The European Geography Conference at the National University of Ireland, Galway, May 15-18
  • Business Opportunities in Advancing Sustainable Lifestyles in Greater Boston, University of Massachusetts, Boston, May 16
  • Beyond GDP: International Experiences, Canada’s Options in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, May 23-24
  • Rewriting the Rules: Designing an Economy for the 21st Century in
    Cleveland, Ohio, May 27-29
  • Energy Research and Social Science Conference in Tempe Arizona, May 27-31
Please read on for reports from several of these conferences, as well as updates about sustainable consumption in the news, upcoming conferences and recently released publications by our members. 

-Liz and Halina

Rounding out the SCORAI Leadership Team with our 11th Advisory Board Member


The SCORAI Executive Board is very pleased to announce Prof. Gus Speth as the latest member of the  Advisory Board. With Gus on board, we think that the Advisory Board is complete. Of course we remain open for new members in the future, but for now we will close this process. You can view the biographies of all executive and advisory board members on the SCORAI website here.
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Gus Speth served on the faculty of the Vermont Law School as Professor of Law from 2010 to 2015. He now serves as a Fellow at the Tellus Institute, the Democracy Collaborative and the Vermont Law School. He is Co-Chair of the Next System Project at the Democracy Collaborative.  In 2009 he completed his decade-long tenure as Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  From 1993 to 1999, Gus Speth was Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the UN Development Group.  Prior to his service at the UN, he was founder and president of the World Resources Institute; professor of law at Georgetown University; chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality (Carter Administration); and senior attorney and cofounder, Natural Resources Defense Council. He is the author, co-author or editor of seven books. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale University in 1964 with a BA in Political Science, and subsequently earned a MLitt in Economics from Oxford University in 1966 as a Rhodes Scholar and his JD from the Yale Law School in 1969. After law school, he served as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black. Speth and his wife Cameron split their time between central Vermont and coastal South Carolina.

Sustainable Consumption in the News

Much shorter working weeks needed to tackle climate crisis – study
The Guardian
UK workers must move to nine-hour week if carbon levels do not change, says thinktank Autonomy. Read the SCORAI Listserve discussion that stemmed from this report here.

NextGen Voices: Science-inspired sustainable behavior
Science Magazine
Editors asked young scientists this question: How has your awareness of science inspired you to adopt more sustainable and environmentally friendly behavior? Respondents from around the world described scientific concepts, images, and research from a range of fields that inspire them to make environmentally friendly decisions and model sustainable behavior for others, in both their personal and professional lives. 

Look to Our Traditions: Achieving SDGs
Deccan Herald
"In this world of finite resources, where it has become crucial to identify and innovate a new and restorative economic model for the world, traditional knowledge and ideas in combination with research and innovations are the best way ahead. The role of each citizen in owning the responsibility towards our planet and encouragement by the government will form the two main pillars of sustainable development the world is striving to achieve."


Species extinction not just a curiosity: our food security and health are at stake
UN Environment
"Our food systems, nutrition, health, clean air, climate, and freshwater depend on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems—an interdependent web of animal, plant, fungal and bacterial life. For instance, without pollinators—insects, birds and other animals who are pushed out of agricultural lands through the use of pesticides and insecticides—many of the foods we know and love would disappear. And as a recent report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) shows, the human impact on the natural world is accelerating: entire populations of species are being lost faster than ever before."

ENERGISE Living Lab materials available online

The ENERGISE Team has been developing the online tools and user community for scaling up ENERGISE Living Labs. The online tools and a step-by-step description of the ENERGISE Living Lab process are available at http://www.energise-project.eu/livinglabs. The aim of the online tools is to serve everyone interested in doing practice-based interventions in their own contexts. The tools provide step-by-step guidelines for preparation, implementation, monitoring, closing up and assessing initiatives. The guidelines, as well as the data collection templates, are free for everyone to use and modify for their own purposes. Join the online community for everyone interested in energy use, sustainable energy initiatives and energy cultures, on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ENERGISEdiscussion/
Calls for Papers 

The (in)justice of community-based initiatives
In this issue of Justice spatiale/ Spatial Justice we seek to explore the use of community in pursuing environmental, cultural, and social aims and objectives can be more or less just. Rather than discussing ‘community’ as an idea or concept, still less attempting to define it, we wish to see papers that look to the potential for, or counterproductive uses of, community to achieve justice. Here we see justice in the round – most commonly justice in this area of research is framed as environmental justice, and can also be broadened out to notions of climate justice. The journal is bilingual and papers can be submitted in either French or English. Full papers will be accepted up until the August 31, 2019. Papers will then be peer-reviewed, before an expected publication date of early 2020. 

Energy efficient cities of today and tomorrow
A special edition of the journal Energies is proposed, welcoming both conceptual and empirical study papers on energy efficient cities of today and the future. Papers involving energy or greenhouse gas simulation and modeling are likewise welcomed. The following list of topics is in no way exhaustive, but is intended to inspire the authors’ writing: Low-energy/low-carbon city concepts; Energy solutions for low-carbon urban areas; Low-energy/low-carbon urban ecosystems; Energy-efficient urban transitions; Sustainable urban living; Drivers and barriers for low-energy/low-carbon solutions; Energy system changes in urban communities. The guest editors are: Prof. Dr. Jukka Heinonen, Assistant Prof. Dr. Sanna Ala-Mantila, Dr. Ortzi Akizu-Gardoki https://www.mdpi.com/journal/energies/special_issues/Energy_Efficient_Cities_2019#info
Reports from Recent SCORAI Workshops

Workshop Report: Business Opportunities in Advancing Sustainable Lifestyles in Greater Boston, May 16, 2019
 
SCORAI, in collaboration with UMass Boston Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness (SERC) organized this workshop at UMass Boston. The aims of the workshop were to raise awareness among variety of stakeholders about the role of consumption in addressing climate change; to bring together a variety of organizations and people already working in specific areas (e.g., housing, mobility, food, consumer goods, leisure); to support and promote innovative business models and practices aiming to reduce consumption while improving wellbeing; and to identify high impact areas, actions and indicators for Greater Boston area.

The workshop was the first in its kind in the Boston area and attracted 28 participants from many constituents. Vesela Veleva, Philip Vergragt and Halina Brown opened the workshop and provided aims and context. Speakers from the City of Boston, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental protection, and from various businesses provided a lot of interesting inputs on city climate action plans, recycling, buildings, food, and measuring consumers’ carbon footprints. Four break-out groups on transportation, buildings, leisure and food, and consumer products held lively discussions stimulated by a set of questions about opportunities, barriers, and policies; and reported back to the plenary. There is a lot going on but we need to work further on coherence and focus in order to make real progress. A video of the main presentations will be released shortly on the SCORAI website.

Not surprisingly, the role of consumption, consumers, and consumerism in addressing climate change is rather new in the context of Cities. C40, a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change that supports cities to collaborate effectively, share knowledge and drive meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change, has introduced Consumption-based emission inventories in a report, and is in the process of piloting how cities can implement consumption-oriented policies and practices. Businesses large and small become more aware of the role they could play in implementing new services, and telecommuting and work-life balance for their workers. We are in an early stage of exploring these opportunities and relationships. This workshop was a first step, and will be followed by other activities in the coming year culminating in the SCORAI 2020 conference in June 2020 in Boston. We hope that other cities and constituencies in North America and beyond will be inspired and organize similar events.

For more information, please contact Vesela Veleva, Vesela.Veleva@umb.edu or Philip Vergragt, pvergragt@outlook.com.
 
Workshop Report: Beyond GDP: International Experiences, Canada’s Options, May 23-24, 2019
 
SCORAI was the co-sponsor of a workshop on “Beyond GDP: International Experiences, Canada’s Options” hosted by the Centre for the Study of Security and Development at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The event included 20 presentations of very high
quality by leading international and Canadian researchers and practitioners working in the field of wellbeing and sustainability measurement, including a keynote talk by John Helliwell, lead author of the World Happiness Report. There was a full audience of 85 people, including academics, individuals working in government and non-governmental organizations, private-sector consultants, and members of the general public. The ideas presented covered a range of views, including different approaches to wellbeing measurement, as well as a distinction between reformist approaches aiming to use new indicators for “better policy” and more transformative approaches seeking a “new economy” (including moving beyond the growth paradigm and the consumerism that goes with it). Among the initiatives discussed were: the OECD’s new report on beyond-GDP measurement, New Zealand’s Living Standards Framework and wellbeing budget, the use of new indicators in budget-making in Europe, Bhutan’s GNH, efforts to apply wellbeing measurement to policy evaluation within government in Canada, promotion of a new cultural narrative in Nova Scotia, and the new global movement for a wellbeing economy. More information, including slides from presentations, is available on the workshop website.  Video recordings of talks will be uploaded in the days ahead.
 
Workshop Report: Consumption Corridors: Exploring Concepts and Implications, hosted by SCORAI Europe at the University of Geneva, April 16-18, 2019


 
The link between planetary boundaries and social justice towards “sustainable wellbeing” (Gough 2017) is a growing field of research and policy. This relates to the notion of “consumption corridors” (Di Giulio and Fuchs 2014), or a minimum and maximum consumption standard, which would allow individuals to live a satisfactory life without impeding others from doing the same - across the globe and for future generations. The workshop kicked off with a keynote talk by Prof. Ian Gough on the distinction between necessities and luxuries, which was discussed by Prof. Doris Fuchs who highlighted the structural challenges involved in any attempt at a sustainability transition, in what she termed "dysfunctional democracies". Within the workshop, we explored the question of how to bridge protected needs and consumption corridors (Di Giulio and Defila), as well as the concept of Universal Basic Services as a promising approach towards ensuring a bundle of satisfiers, including health and education, but also transport and communications (Coote). Other papers dealt with the question of how to identify opportunities for change in a system, towards maximizing satisfiers that require the least material and energy inputs (Steinberger et al). Another conceptualizing the notion of satisfiers as social practices, thus evolving a social practice approach towards the normative goal of wellbeing (Anantharaman and Sahakian). Among the more promising ways forward: lower limits are seen as a necessity, with the view to social justice; the idea of upper limits was seen compelling, in relation to consumption practices specifically, and more and more public debates are emerging around upper limits; the need to engage in societal discussions and experimentations around needs and capabilities is seen as promising, as opposed to desires (Guillen-Royo); and the importance of grappling with habitual practices in earnest, or the stickiness of everyday life and existing institutional and infrastructure arrangements. The book of abstracts will be available on the SCORAI Europe website

We are grateful to the following entities for their support: The Swiss National Science Foundation; the Institute of Environmental Governance and Territorial Development and the Faculty of social sciences at the University of Geneva; and the LILI project financed by the The Leverhulme Trust , coordinated by Julia K. Steinberger at the University of Leeds.

Organizers and hosts: Marlyne Sahakian and Katia Vladimirova, University of Geneva (UNIGE)
Co-organizers: Julia Steinberger, University of Leeds and visiting professor at UNIGE; Manisha Anatharaman, St Mary’s College and visiting professor at UNIGE; Antonietta Di Giulio, University of Basel. If you are interesting in joining in these debates and discussions, please contact marlyne.sahakian@unige.ch.
 
Upcoming Conferences
Listed in chronological order, from coming-soon to farthest out on the horizon.
International Conference on Enhancing Consumer Awareness
Prospects for Advancing Consumer Rights Protection on Traditional and Digital Markets
Katowice, Poland
June 16-18, 2019

On June 6-18, 2019, University of Economics in Katowice, Poland, will host an International Conference on Enhancing Consumer Awareness. The conference organizers are extremely interested in including Sustainable Consumption as a session or a track in the conference program. SCORAI members are strongly encouraged to submit abstracts. Halina Brown, SCORAI co-founder and board member will give a keynote address. The topic of sustainable consumption is rapidly emerging among researchers in Poland, and this conference is an opportunity to give it a stronger foundation.  
 

THE 2019 CONFERENCE ON COMMUNICATION AND ENVIRONMENT IN VANCOUVER
Waterlines: Confluence and Hope through Environmental Communication
The 15th biennial Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE) University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
June 17-21, 2019

The conference will bring together scholars, practitioners, artists, students and concerned citizens from around the world to share research, good practices, experience, and stories in order to help foster more effective, inspiring, ethical, and hopeful environmental and sustainability communication. We have chosen communicating water - Waterlines - as the theme of the conference. Water connects with many environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest relating to energy production and distribution, land use, climate change, forestry, mining, development, and recreation. 

 

IST 2019: Accelerating Sustainability Transitions
Building visions, unlocking pathways, navigating conflicts
Ottawa, Canada
June 23-26, 2019
 
The theme of IST 2019 – Accelerating sustainability transitions – seeks to address this challenging context by encouraging researchers and practitioners to examine obstacles to transitions processes and strategies to speed up the transformation of systems of production and consumption. It points to the importance of visions — of improved mobility systems, agricultural and food systems, buildings, cities and rural communities – to coordinate efforts and mobilize change. Raises the challenge of mapping out concrete pathways that can link the present with desirable futures. And emphasizes navigation of the inevitable conflicts that accompany any serious efforts at societal change. This 10th Anniversary event will mark the first time the IST conference has been held outside Europe. It will provide an occasion to highlight the achievements of international transition studies, to introduce researchers who are not yet familiar with transitions literatures to this vibrant community, and to explore complementarities with related research perspectives and approaches.
 

Societal ever-expanding requirements have led to global competition for resources, and wealth being concentrated in a few hands. Dramatic societal crises and environmental conflicts emerge both in the South and in the North. The growth narrative builds on a very important belief: the idea that if we consume and possess more, we will be happier. However, from farmers’ protests in Delhi to buy nothing days, people stand against the present growth narrative and demand a different way of life that does not associate consumption with happiness. This year the summer school will focus on the concrete responses that degrowth can give, and aims to prepare the next policy makers, activists, and academics to discuss degrowth alternatives. We will explore the various sources of degrowth, and their need to be integrated. The summer school will bring visions of degrowth in different sectors such as housing, transport, food, low-tech and energy, building new exciting stories. We also aim to practice horizontally governance and take account of all important perspectives, be it from the grass-roots or from policy makers. We believe that a stable collaboration, trust, and coordination between activists, practitioners and researchers leads to mutual learning towards a new path of socio-ecological transformations and inspiring narratives.
 
4th international Global Research Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption on Transforming Production and Consumption: Bridging Sustainability Research with Policy and Practice
Hong Kong
June 26-29, 2019 

 
This conference actively explores the following four themes for research and practice: Asian Perspectives and Priorities in SCP, Imagining Sustainable Futures and Transforming Cultures, Sustainable Lifestyles and Livelihoods and Smart, Circular, Sustainable Urbanization.

We are also exploring these themes through a number of cross-cutting topics: politics and democracy, civic engagement and knowledge transfer, gender, and social justice. A full description of the conference can be found here: https://grf-spc.weebly.com/hong-kong-2019.html. The GRF conference is also an opportunity to interact with policymakers and practitioners including the SWITCH to Green Initiative. We warmly welcome you to Hong Kong to strengthen the community of researchers and practitioners engaged in research on the worldwide transition to sustainable production and consumption systems. 

 
COMMUNICATING RESEARCH ON SUSTAINABILITY AND GLOBAL CHANGE
The Potsdam Summer School 2019 is calling for applications now!
Potsdam, Germany
August 20-29, 2019

The 2019 Potsdam Summer School (PSS) will explore the importance of science communication in order to find effective ways of communicating highly relevant topics in the field of sustainability and global change. With its overarching theme – “Connecting Science & Society – Communicating Research on Sustainability and Global Change – this year’s Potsdam Summer School will continue the transdisciplinary and interactive event series that has been held annually in Potsdam, Germany since 2014. The summer school will provide its participants with a comprehensive look into theories and methods of science communication. They will be engaged in discussions and group works and will be provided with tools to develop effective communication strategies. The aim is to bring together talented early-career scientists and young professionals operating in the private sector, governmental agencies and non-governmental organisations from many different parts of the world to discuss frontier (research) questions on future sustainable development. We also aim to train science communication ambassadors eager to engage with various sectors of the public back in their home countries. Our goal is to improve science awareness and help to develop informed opinions and enhance the transferable skills of current researchers.
from Alexander von Humboldt’s KOSMOS to today’s Global Challenges:
Navigating the Sustainability Transformation in the 21st Century
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
August 28-30, 2019

 
This conference will provide a landmark for today’s great challenges towards sustainability. A critical and constructive debate on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be the focal point. The IRI THESys and the Geography Department are delighted to announce the opening of the Call for Contributions and kindly invite you to submit your contributions from all disciplines. Please hand in an abstract (max. 250 words) and register for the conference online at https://www.kosmos.hu-berlin.de/de/conference-contributions/registration-abstract-submission/ until 28th February 2019.
 
Brazilian Academy of Management Meeting 2019
Track: Marketing and Society
Mackenzie University, Sao Paulo, Brazil
October 2-5, 2019

The theme of "Marketing and Society" lies in the field of Macromarketing, a field that is part of the non-interactive-non-economic perspective of marketing schools, which emerged from the 1960s onwards. Devotees to this field are dedicated to promoting a marketing systemic approach, to support strategies and policies for social well-being. The main purpose of the topic is to discuss the numerous aspects related to the effects of marketing on society, analyzing both the positive aspects and the dysfunctions and problems inherent to this relationship. This track recommends submissions related, but not limited to, the following issues: Marketing and Society, Macromarketing, Transformative Consumer Research, Sustainable Consumption, Vulnerable consumers.
EcoCity World Summit 2019
Vancouver, Canada
October 7-11, 2019

This is a biennial event that happens on a different continent and represents one of the world’s longest running and most influential conferences on building sustainable cities. The theme of the upcoming Summit is “Socially Just and Ecologically Sustainable Cities” based on the International Ecocity Standards (www.ecocitystandards.org) that address many issues pertinent to sustainable modes of production and consumption. Specifically, the program committee would like to ensure that the conference provides a forum for conversations on sustainable lifestyles and behaviours. This conference represents an opportunity to bring together a dynamic group of stakeholders, beyond the usual subjects. It links city building professionals (architects, planners, engineering) with ecologists and social scientists who are interested in tracking and managing the urban metabolism of cities to enable people to live within global ecological carrying capacity.
 

The 19th ERSCP-- Circular Europe for Sustainability: Design, Production and Consumption
Barcelona, Spain
October 14-19, 2019

 
The European Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production (ERSCP) is one of Europe's most remarkable conferences in its field and has taken place periodically since 1994. ERSCPs favour discussions about the key issues in sustainable consumption and production; the exchange of thoughts, knowledge, experiences and SCP proposals; and the creation of a European (also worldwide) community of research and practice in sustainable consumption and production. The main goal of the ERSCPs is to encourage discussion amongst stakeholders involved in sustainable consumption and production: businesses, public institutions, universities, institutes and research centres, NGOs, SMEs, professional associations, decision-makers, etc.
 

ENERGISE Final Conference: Addressing energy demand challenges through practice-based living lab approaches: Implications for policy, planning and practice
Barcelona, Spain
October 15, 2019

The final conference of the SCORAI Europe affiliated ENERGISE project promises to be an interesting and engaging event, which will provide a space for policy-makers, practitioners, academics and businesses to discuss issues and solutions around the event theme ‘Addressing
energy demand challenges through practice-based living lab approaches: Implications for policy, planning and practice’. This special one-day event will be held in conjunction with the European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production ERSCP 2019 conference, which takes place from 15-18 October 2019.
The draft programme is available now.
Attendance is free, but please register at this link.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us,
Frances Fahy, on behalf of the ENERGISE project team

Full Conference Information

Berlin International Week (BIW): Sustainability and Responsibility in the 21st Century
at Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin (HWR)
Department of Cooperative Studies (Campus Lichtenberg)
November 1-10, 2019

• Seminars, lectures and discussion about sustainability, responsibility and sustainable innovation
• Project work on a real-life challenge brought in by companies and other organizations to
contribute to one of the sustainability goals
• International teachers from different parts of the world

Organizers are seeking a seminar lecturer on "Microeconomic Foundations of Sustainability, Responsibility and Ethics". Potential topics include: conception of man in economics, ethics and economics, market failures and dilemmata, distributional justice, and new political economy and interest groups.

Registration open through August 30, 2019

Paradigms, Models, Scenarios and Practices for more Sustainability
University of Clermont Auvergne (UCA), Clermont-Ferrand, France
December 4-6, 2019

While the notion of sustainability continues to be associated with the Brundtland Report (1987) and the concept of sustainable development, it is increasingly seeking to emancipate itself in order to provide a representation of the world that is consistent with the aspirations of the moment. Everything must be sustainable; agriculture, food, natural resources, biodiversity, water, energy, cities, territories, tourism... At the risk of falling into overkill and excess, our social model must be part of a strong sustainability and refuse any compromise with possible cover-ups (we can mention here green growth, green washing, decoupling or even the latest creation, sustainable innovation).

The call for papers intends to use these facts and expectations to question the paradigms, models, scenarios and practices that embody this thirst for sustainability. As curious as it may seem, subjects such as renewable energies, participatory democracy, organic farming and eco-cities did not wait to be driven by the wave of sustainability to claim certain practices or propose alternative representations. As a result, one may wonder what meaning should be given to the very idea of sustainability and the representations it conveys.

Proposals for papers in English or French must include a summary of 350 to 500 words, a title, the names of the authors and their institutions, their emails. Deadline of Abstracts: Proposals must be received by June 30, 2019
Sustainable Consumption & Social Justice in an Urbanizing World
 4th International SCORAI Conference
Northeastern University, Boston MA, USA
June 10-12, 2020
This international conference will convene scholars and practitioners to focus on sustainable consumption as it relates to urban issues and social equity.
  • 3 day event in the heart of Boston
  • High-profile keynote speakers
  • Diverse transdisciplinary research presentations
  • Practitioner workshops
  • Local field trips
  • Convenient and affordable on-campus accommodation available
Call for expressions of interest in hosting 20th ERSCP Conference 2021
 
The ERSCP conference (European Roundtable of Sustainable Consumption and Production) is an important part of the society’s service to the SCP community. After the successful 18th ERSCP 2017 in Skiathos, Greece, and the forthcoming 19th ERSCP in Barcelona (14-19 October 2019) having attracted more than 300 abstracts, we invite Expressions of Interest to host our next conference which is due to take place in Autumn 2021. Proposals from countries where the ERSCP has not yet taken place are particularly encouraged. Proposals (2 pages maximum) can be submitted to info@erscp.eu and should include:
  • an outline of the prospective local organising committee and its institutional background
  • main persons in charge of content and organisation
  • the proposed timing and location of the conference
  • an indication of the premises to be used (e.g. University facilities or otherwise)
  • proposed main conference topic and title, sub-themes, supplemented by a short explanation of the reasons of the proposed topic and its linkages with subthemes
  • indicative costs e.g. for travelling from main airport, hotel and registration fee.
The local organising committee will be supported by an experienced International Advisory Board. The deadline for proposals is on June 22, 2019, 23.00 hr CET. After the deadline the board of the ERSCP Society will evaluate the proposals received. The successful proposal will be announced at the ERSCP 2019, which is held 14-19 October in Barcelona with the theme “Circular Europe for Sustainability: Design, Production and Consumption”, see: http://erscp2019.eu/ Details of previous conferences can be found at: http://www.erscp.eu/events/past-erscp-conferences

More information on the ERSCP can be found at www.erscp.eu  and questions can be sent to info@erscp.eu. For more information you can contact Jaco Quist (Chair, j.n.quist@tudelft.nl ) or Frances Fahy (General Secretary, frances.fahy@nuigalway.ie).

Recent Publications

What can we learn from consumption-based carbon footprints at different spatial scales? Review of policy implications in Environmental Research Letters

Juudit Ottelin, Sanna Ala-Mantila, Jukka Heinonen, Thomas O (Tommy) Wiedmann, Jack Clarke and Seppo Junnila.

Current climate change mitigation policies, including the Paris Agreement, are based on territorial greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting, which neglects the understanding of GHG emissions embodied in trade. As a solution, consumption-based accounting that reveals the lifecycle emissions, including transboundary flows, is gaining support as a complementary information tool. The purpose of this systematic review, which covers more than 100 studies, is to reflect the policy implications of consumption-based carbon footprint studies at different spatial scales. The motivation for the review was to investigate whether the unique consumption perspective leads to similarly unique policy features. We found that various carbon pricing policies are the most widely supported policy instrument in the relevant literature. However, overall, there is a shortage of discussion on policy instruments, since the policy discussions focus on policy outcomes, such as behavioral change or technological solutions. Shift of discussion towards policy instruments would be helpful from the policy makers perspective.

Urban Food Sharing : Rules, tools and networks
Policy Press, Bristol

Anna R. Davies

This book explores the history and current practice of food sharing. Illustrated by rich case studies from around the world, the book uses new empirical data to set an agenda for research and action. The book will be an important resource for researchers, policy makers and sharing innovators to explore the impacts and sustainability potential of such sharing for cities. This book explores the history and current practice of food sharing. Illustrated by rich case studies from around the world, the book uses new empirical data to set an agenda for research and action. The book will be an important resource for researchers, policy makers and sharing innovators to explore the impacts and sustainability potential of such sharing for cities. For more information please check out SHARECITY's latest blog post: http://www.transformingsociety.co.uk/2019/05/16/come-dine-with-us-urban-food-sharing-in-the-21st-century/

"A promising and original contribution to studies on the socio-technical processes that underpin urban food system transitions to sustainability….innovative and timely."
-- Rositsa T. Ilieva, Urban Food Policy Institute, City University of New York

"This smart book helps us to recognize how destructive the commodification of food has been and the social isolation it has fostered given that all human life requires food to survive."
-- Nik Heynen, University of Georgia

Book Review: 
Managing without growth: slower by design, not disaster, 2nd ed. by Peter A. Victor, Cheltenham and Northampton, MA, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019

Reviewed by: Halina Szejnwald Brown

Since “The Limits to Growth” was published in 1972 significant advances have been made in understanding and modeling of the economy and ecological systems; in particular, the concept of planetary boundaries has been introduced in 2009 by Rockström and Steffen. But much less progress has been made in the understanding whether slow- or no-growth economy can be attained while providing for human and societal well-being. This is largely the result of the politisation of the debate. The de-growth advocates point out to the increasingly unequal distribution of the fruits of growth, and frame the debate as an issue of social justice, built-in capitalist excesses, power and ecology. The pro-growth advocates focus on the great benefits that growth has brought to societies in the past three centuries, human ingenuity through technological innovation, the potentially disastrous consequences of no-growth, and on defending the free market economy. Each side sees the other as intellectual, political and ideological adversaries. Under these conditions it is very difficult to have an open and balanced debate. And yet Victor’s book accomplishes just that. Written in a crisp, clear, concise style, almost totally free of jargon, deeply grounded in data, and superbly referenced, the book is a must-read for those who want to form their own informed opinion about this subject, with or without economic edu- cation. Starting with the historical origins of the concept of economic growth, Victor covers a very wide multidisciplinary territory. 
 
Special Issue: The roles of users in low-carbon transport innovations: Electrified, automated, and shared mobility
Transportation Research

Editors: Jonn Axsen, Benjamin Sovacool

For this special issue, editors solicited interdisciplinary articles on what they identify as the “big three” innovations or possible revolutions in mobility on the horizon: electric vehicles, shared mobility and ride-sharing, and automated or autonomous mobility.
The Effectiveness of Providing Pre-Purchase Factual Information in encouraging more Environmentally Sustainable Product Purchase Decisions: Expert Interviews and a Rapid Evidence Assessment

http://www.wrap.org.uk/providing-pre-purchase-information

This report explores the existing evidence about the effectiveness of providing factual information (including content, source and format) on the environmental sustainability of a product, and its impact in influencing consumer (individual and organisational) buying decisions.

New SCORAI Affiliates

A warm welcome to 5 new SCORAI affiliates who have joined us during the past month, bringing our total membership to 1132 individuals.
  • Meike Bruckner
  • Linzy Liu
  • Vivien Franck
  • Rafael Postpischil
  • Vaishali Kushwaha

Updated SCORAI Mission Statement


SCORAI (Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative), founded in 2008, is an international knowledge network of researchers and practitioners committed to advancing sustainability by focusing on societal patterns of consumption. SCORAI recognizes that technological innovation alone is insufficient to achieve sustainability; changes are required in societal institutions, cultures, and economic systems. SCORAI’s mission is to facilitate a transition to a more sustainable society by generating knowledge that impacts discourse and supports change agents.






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