February 2020 Newsletter
A Note from the Newsletter Editors:

As we begin this February, we're very pleased to note the breadth and quality of sustainable consumption research and activism underway  within our community. In an effort to better follow the activities of members and support connections among initiatives happening around the world, we are working to improve our member database.  Please take this opportunity to click on the link to "Update Subscription Preferences" at the bottom of this newsletter and note your current affiliation(s) and research interests.

Also, in the effort to bring more widespread visibility to SCORAI's work, we're pleased to announce that Halina (U.S.), Robert Orzana (Germany), Charlotte Jensen (Denmark) and Ashley Colby (Uruguay) have formed a team of SCORAI blog editors. If you would like to post a personal reflection or some other piece of creative work please mail it to editorial team:;;;  We encourage everyone to check out recent blog articles here and share within your networks:

Read on for announcements about conferences coming up this year-- including our 4th International SCORAI Conference coming up in June, with opportunities for participation in both Boston and Stockholm. On behalf of the conference organizing team, we are are thrilled with the high quality of the abstract submissions, and we are very excited for a provocative and impactful conference. You'll also find in this issue many updates on recent publications in the field and opportunities to contribute to a wide range of special issues.

--Halina and Liz
Register Now
SCORAI Conference June 10-12, 2020
Northeastern University, Boston  I  KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
Pre-Conference: We are inviting early-career researchers and practitioners working on sustainable consumption to an intense 2-day pre-conference held immediately prior to the 2020 conference at Northeastern University (June 8-9, 2020). The pre-conference will explore sustainable consumption as a field of transdisciplinary convergence research, establish networking and mentoring structures, and provide opportunities to receive in-depth feedback on ongoing research projects. The deadline for applications is February 10th. Those interested my apply here.

Travel Scholarships: SCORAI members are welcomed to apply for a limited number of travel scholarships designed to encourage diverse perspectives from the Global South and others traditionally not well-represented at academic conferences. Total funding support to be distributed depends upon fundraising outcomes. Applications are due by March 2, 2020. Those interested may apply here.

Broadening Participation: To support efforts to diversify the voices heard at the SCORAI 2020 conference and to amplify a conversation about activism for sustainable consumption, please donate here.
News and Opinion on Sustainable Consumption
EU urged to adopt ‘sustainability charge’ on meat: ‘Pricing has been kept artificially low for far too long’
31 January 2020 in Food Navigator
By Flora Southey

The European Parliament is due to consider a proposal to increase the price of meat across the bloc, which not-for-profit TAPP Coalition says is designed to ‘reflect it environmental impact’.

Go Ahead, Be Materialistic. You Might Just Save the Planet.
23 December 2019 in the New York Times
By Bianca Vivion Brooks

Rekindling our love of things may be the key to saving the planet. When we purchase things we value from both an ethical and sentimental standpoint, we are more likely to preserve them even when they are defunct or no longer in vogue. Building a culture of sustainability requires a level of collective satisfaction — to love what we have without the insatiable desire for more and to repair what we own without the convenience of casual abandonment.

Focusing our carbon budget on satisfying fundamental needs
15 November 2018 in Phys Org
By The Norwegian Inst. of Science and Technology

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sent a clear message to the world with its last report, issued in early October in South Korea: the world needs to act immediately to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The report says that human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) need to fall by about 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, and by 100 per cent by 2050.

Can ‘living well’ stop climate change?
20 December 2018 in Physics World
By Kate Ravilious

Humanity has just 10 years to turn things around. The most recent IPCC report says that we need to reduce anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030 or else be locked into a warming scenario that none of us wants to see. So, what to do? The answer, according to a new study, requires a fundamental change in society. It lies in satisfying human needs like happiness and health instead of focusing on economic growth.
Updates from Members and New Initiatives
See below for updates on new projects, opportunities to contribute to special issues, and upcoming events
ASU Hosts Sustainable Consumption and Purchasing Workshop

Arizona State University (ASU) hosted its first sustainable consumption and purchasing workshop in Fall 2019. The event brought together faculty and students across ASU to share ideas about sustainable consumption and purchasing research, to strategize about opportunities for collaboration, and to elevate the group’s collective efforts. The workshop was co-organized by a team of five professors, led by Nicole Darnall (Associate Dean of the School of Sustainability) and the Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative (Stuart Brettschneider and Justin Stritch), as well as Tyler DesRoches and Daniel Fischer of ASU’s School of Sustainability. To learn more about ASU’s Sustainable Consumption and Purchasing Research Network, contact Nicole Darnall (
PhD position available: 
Making Waste History? Innovation for sustainable consumption
A new PhD position is available in the 3S research group and co-supervised by members of the Waste Team at Norfolk County Council. Due to start in October 2020 this position offers full funding for home and EU students and would be based in the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA, Norwich, UK. Tom Hargreaves and Gill Seyfang are the academic supervisors on the project entitled: ‘Making Waste History? Innovation for sustainable consumption’. The PhD will research the challenge of ‘Making Waste History’ recognizing that this will demand  transformative innovation in both the systems that uphold contemporary ways of living (e.g. food, housing, transport etc.) as well as the related social practices that make up normal everyday life (e.g. shopping, holidaying, and employment). This PhD project will develop and test an innovative conceptual approach which recognizes that innovation in systems and innovation in practices are fundamentally interconnected, and will apply it to the pressing sustainability challenge of making waste history.  For more information about this position and how to apply see here (
Film: The Best of Both Worlds
Note from producer, John De Graaf: This new film on the subject of cohousing, THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, had an overflow world premiere in California June 18 and is now available from Bullfrog Films, where Faye Duchin has kindly written a review.  Philip Vergragt has provided an endorsement on the website: where you can see a trailer, and comments from Bill McKibben, Gus Speth, Annie Leonard, Vanessa Timmer and many other advocates of sustainable consumption.  I'd love to show the film in your community, or encourage you to use it on your own.  It makes a strong case for community living for both happiness and sustainability. 
Please check it out! Thanks! -- John 
New Research: Fuel and transport poverty in the UK’s energy transition (FAIR)

Fuel and transport poverty in the UK’s energy transition (FAIR) project examines the intersections between fuel and transport poverty, and low carbon energy transitions, in the United Kingdom (UK). Fuel poverty has been defined as the inability to secure materially- and socially-necessitated energy services, such as heating a home or using appliances. Transport poverty is the enforced lack of mobility services necessary for participation in society, resulting from the inaccessibility, unaffordability or unavailability of transport. The core aim of the project is to understand how the intersection of energy and transport system decarbonisation may influence fuel and transport poverty across space and time, underpinned by the assertion that some people and places may become vulnerable as a result of decarbonisation. Its research objectives are to: (a) Systematically examine who and where is presently vulnerable to both fuel and transport poverty in the UK, to what extent, and why; (b) Unveil how such vulnerabilities change and shape the UK’s energy transition (including efforts to alter household and transport energy demand), and thus how the patterns and prevalence of fuel and transport poverty may shift during transition processes; and (c) Propose how low carbon energy and transport transitions can be developed so that they promote a more just society. This project is part of the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS) and funded for 3 years (2020-2023). Partners and researchers include:
  • Dr Mari Martiskainen, University of Sussex
  • Professor Stefan Bouzarovski, University of Manchester
  • Dr Debbie Hopkins, University of Oxford
  • Dr Kirsten Jenkins, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Paul McKenzie, University of Ulster
  • Dr Neil Simcock, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Professor Benjamin Sovacool, University of Sussex
  • Dr Giulio Mattioli, TU Dortmund University, Germany
  • Jennifer Dicks, Cambridge Econometrics
  • Hector Pollitt, Cambridge Econometrics
  • David Weatherall, Energy Saving Trust
  • Elaine Berry, Energy Saving Trust
  • Maria McLean, Energy Saving Trust
  • Chaitanya Kumar, Green Alliance
For more details and to follow updates, go to:
SHARECITY research project announces the launch of
SHARE IT - The SHARECITY Sustainability Impact Assessment Toolkit

SHARE IT is a free resource which will can help food sharing initiatives estimate, communicate and improve their sustainability impacts. If your venture is engaged in the practices of growing, cooking, eating or redistributing food, it is having an important impact by tackling particular environmental, economic, political and social issues. SHARE IT will support you to determine the extent of these impacts and communicate them through a customizable sustainability impact report FOR FREE. Check it out at: https:\\shareit.sharecity.ieYou can get in touch via if you would like more information about SHARE IT.
Call for Submissions: Special Issue of Sustainability,  "Prospects and Challenges of Sustainable Public Purchasing"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 May 2020

Special Issue Editors: Prof. Nicole Darnall; 
Prof. Justin M. Stritch; Prof. Stuart Bretschneider of Arizona State University
The public sector represents the largest single buyer of goods and services worldwide (World Bank Group, 2016), accounting for more than 17 percent of global GDP. Even at the local level, public sector purchasing has enormous economic impact. For instance, in the U.S. alone, local governments purchase $1.72 trillion of goods annually (U.S. Census, 2016), which accounts for between 25 percent and 40 percent of all tax dollars collected (Coggburn, 2003). Collectively, these purchases generate environmental impacts that are nine times greater than the impacts associated with managing the public sector’s buildings and fleets (Tangherlini, 2014). However, only recently has the public sector begun to implement more broad-sweeping sustainable purchasing (or procurement) policies.

For this Special Issue, we welcome scholarly papers that advance our understanding of how governments and other public sector organizations (e.g., public schools, universities, the military) are advancing sustainable purchasing. We encourage submissions that address, but are not limited to, the following topics and questions:
  • Broader Concerns Related to Sustainable Public Purchasing
  • Sustainable Purchasing and Organization Mission, Culture, Leadership, and Structure
  • Motivation to Adopt Sustainable Public Purchasing
  • Public Sector Collaborations Around Sustainable Purchasing
  • Information Access about Sustainable Purchases
  • Sustainable Public Purchasing Outcomes
For author guidelines see:

For additional information, visit
Special Issue Call for Papers: Travel Behaviour and Society, "Long-distance travel: between social inequality and environmental constraints"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 April 2020

Guest Editors:
Giulio Mattioli, Research Fellow, TU Dortmund University, Dortmund, Germany. Email:; Frédéric Dobruszkes, Lecturer, Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium. Email:; Joachim Scheiner, Professor, TU Dortmund University, Dortmund, Germany. Email:; Zia Wadud, Associate Professor, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK. Email:

Long-distance passenger travel – whether domestic or international – accounts for a small share of trips, but a large and growing share of travel distances and greenhouse gas emissions. Global CO2 emissions from commercial aviation increased by 32% in just five years (2013-2018), with the effect substantially magnified by non-CO2 emissions and other climate-forcing impacts of air travel. As climate change rises up the public and political agenda, this is drawing increasing attention. Yet our understanding of long-distance travel is limited in at least three respects. First, an accurate assessment of levels and trends in long-distance travel remains difficult, as it is challenging to capture in household surveys, and has traditionally been overlooked in favour of everyday travel within urban areas. Second, the social, economic, lifestyle and environmental drivers of this travel demand segment remain under-researched, although we know that non-work and leisure activities play an important role, as do several broad social trends (e.g. transnationalism, migration, ICT, changing nature of work, individualisation, ageing). Finally, more knowledge is needed on policy approaches to curbing long-distance travel demand.

Guidelines for manuscript submission can be referred to When submitting your manuscript, please choose “VSI: Long-distance travel” for “Article Type”. This is to ensure that your submission will be considered for this Special Issue instead of being handled as a regular paper. All inquiries regarding this call for papers should be directed to the managing Guest Editor, Dr Giulio Mattioli ( Prospective submitters are encouraged to get in touch to make sure that their paper is within the scope of the special issue.
Special Issue Call for Papers: Marketing Communications and Sustainability
Submission deadline: 15 March 2020

Editorial Information:
Prof. Sunil Sahadev, Professor of Marketing, Salford Business School, University of Salford, UK; Dr. Sidharth Muralidharan, Associate Professor of Advertising, Tremlin Advertising Institute, Southern Methodist University, Texas, USA; Dr. Pallavi Singh, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, UK 

With renewed concern among both individual consumers and marketers about sustainability and ecological issues, sustainability is now well and truly a ‘megatrend’ (Mittelstaedt et al 2014). Recent instances of global protest events like the ‘school climate strike’ and ‘extinction rebellion’ testify to a greater awareness about climate change issues proliferating among the general public. The urgency to act and the significant threat posed by climate change are acutely felt across a large segment of the population. It is clear that a new generation of ecologically conscious consumers are emerging who feel a greater yearning to act urgently alas the time to bring back the planet to ecological normalcy may slip out soon. There is widespread evidence for change in consumption patterns with greater consumer interest for sustainable consumption like veganism or promotion of environmentally friendly packaging.

The role of marketing communication in propelling this significant change in attitude and behaviour is undeniable. Sustainability marketing and by extension, communication has evolved over the past decade and has become more persuasive and impactful. Greater use of social media platforms, more accurate identification of the target audience, very impactful message structures, creative content development and well calibrated message delivery have all contributed to the greater impact of sustainable marketing communication. While marketing sustainability and communication of sustainability related topics have seen significant research attention over the years, important topics and ideas that have emerged over the past decade require renewed attention and exploration.

Potential contributors should feel free to contact the co-editors with any questions. For submission guidelines and details please follow the link:
Call for Papers: "Sustainable consumption and quality of life: towards integrating consumer policy strategies for improved life quality"
Deadline for Submission of Abstracts: 31 March 2020

From the very beginning, the contemporary concept of sustainable development has been strongly associated with concern for the quality of life. Therefore it is crucial for people to understand how important relationships between consumption, lifestyle, quality of the environment and quality of life are. Governments should also encourage society to a more sustainable lifestyle by implementing political and economic mechanisms. The problem of sustainable consumption is nowadays so important that the UN has included this issues into 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development as the Goal 12 – Sustainable consumption and production. As the introduction to this Goal states: Since sustainable consumption and production aims at “doing more and better with less,” net welfare gains from economic activities can increase by reducing resource use, degradation and pollution along the whole life cycle, while increasing quality of life.

Based on these premises, it seems reasonable to prepare a study that would cover its scope the issue of sustainability in consumption seen through the lens of our life quality perspectives. The publication will therefore be a review of the current state of knowledge in this area, it will include variety of theoretical and practical aspects (e.g. best practices). The interdisciplinary and international group of authors can guarantee that it will contain an solid overview of achievements, problems and challenges occurring in this area.

The Handbook "Sustainable consumption and quality of life: towards integrating consumer policy strategies for improved life quality" will be published as a further volume of the "World sustainability Series" (, and is the leading and most successful peer-reviewed book of Springer as one of the top publishing houses for scientific releases. Accepted submissions have witnessed a high-level publication output in the frame of scientific references.

Expressions of interest, consisting of 200 words abstract which must contain the full names, institutional and contact details of the authors (no abstracts will otherwise be considered) should be sent to Dr Aleksandra Machnik at the following e-mail address:
Upcoming Conferences
Listed in chronological order, from coming-soon to farthest out on the horizon.

7th International Society for Industrial Ecology – Asia Pacific Conference
15th Asia Pacific Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production

23 – 25 February, 2020 | Cebu Island, The Philippines

The theme of this conference is Science-Policy Interface towards SDG 12. Full information is available at: The integrated event of the 7th ISIE-AP7 and APRSCP15 will be a unique combination and rare opportunity for science-policy interface in Asia Pacific concerning sustainability. The event will showcase Asia Pacific talent in scientific knowledge and appropriate policy options for the regional condition through interactive dialogue among scientists and government officials under one roof. ISIE was founded in 2001 in Leiden, with “Science of Sustainability” as its core competence; while the ISIE-AP events have been organized by the active Asian members to meet the regional dynamism. The APRSCP was founded in 1997, with support from UNEP, UNIDO, ADB, USAID, EU, and more specifically the NCPCs.

The roundtable has gone through historical path of two major transformation in Asia Pacific; (1) from cleaner production to SCP/RECP & Circular Economy; and (2) from CP project implementation to SCP policy to science-policy interface. The event promises to facilitate participation of scientists and national governments / LGUs to work hand-in-hand in improving the regional SDG roadmap based on scientific debate.

2020 Wellbeing Conference
March 18 - 21, 2020 | Luxembourg
This international conference will bring together leading scholars to discuss the quest for better lives. Economists traditionally advocated economic growth as the foremost policy goal, but now even economists often challenge this view. The discussion remains open, indeed flourishes, with more contributors than ever. How do we promote well-being? What are the best policies? What is the role for civil society?

Keynote speakers are John de Graaf, journalist from Seattle, Washington, Stefano Bartolini University of Siena, Andrew Oswald, University of Warwick, and Carol Graham, University of Maryland and Brookings Institution.

4th EMES-Polanyi International Seminar "From the great transformation to the eco-social transition. New solidarities in action"
March 19 - March 20, 2020 | EHESS, Paris, France
The ultimate purpose of this seminar is to bridge different fields of research focused on understanding transformative change, in particular that of sustainability transitions, alternative economies, social innovation and social movements. The main hypothesis underlying the seminar is that in order to address contemporary societal challenges and their intersections, there is a strong need to explore the relationship between the concepts of transformation and transition across different research traditions. Academic papers able to bridge and combine sustainability transitions with social and solidarity economy are particularly welcome. Specialized expertise on Polanyi is not a requirement. In the spirit of Polanyi, the aim is to break through disciplinary boundaries and consider multiple epistemological perspectives on how economies are and can be (re-)embedded in their societal and political context, and to critically deliberate societal uncertainties that cast a shadow over democracies as well as emerging practices aimed at strengthening them. The deadline for abstract submissions has been extended to January 8, 2020.

ICTA-UAB International Conference 2020 on Low-Carbon Lifestyle Changes 
May 6-8, 2020 | Barcelona, Spain

This conference will explore the role of changing lifestyles in climate change mitigation. We invite contributions that investigate the drivers and impacts of different lifestyles as well as how low-carbon lifestyles can be promoted through public policy. The conference will take place in It will feature three keynote speeches from Angela Druckman, Lorraine Whitmarsh, and Céline Guivarch, as well as a public debate in Barcelona on May 7.  

We encourage contributions from any field of knowledge that addresses the topic of lifestyle changes along one of the three conference themes (Drivers, Impacts, and Policies). Interested participants should submit a 250-word abstract by January 15th 2020 via Participants will be notified of acceptance on February 15th 2020. Contributions can be presented orally or as a poster. Remote participation is also possible. Outstanding papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in a special issue on lifestyle changes. 

Registration will be open from February 15th to March 10th 2020 via The standard attendance fee for the three-day conference is 100 €. A discount in the fee will be available to those who have limited financial means and those who will travel to the conference without taking a plane. For remote participation there will be no conference fee. 

DeGrowth Vienna 2020
May 29 - June 1, 2020 | Vienna, Austria
Contemporary societies face unprecedented ecological, social and economic crises that call for an immediate and radical transformation of the dominant, growth-dependent mode of production and living. Degrowth, as a social movement and a burgeoning academic field of research, has focused on conceptual discussions, concrete utopias and case studies for a social-ecological transformation. What is missing, however, is an in-depth discussion on the strategies to achieve such a transformation.

2020 Actionable Science for Urban Sustainability (AScUS)
June 3-6, 2020 | Segovia, Spain

The 2020 Actionable Science for Urban Sustainability (AScUS)—pronounced 'ask us'—(un)conference emphasizes the urgent need for the production of actionable and multidisciplinary knowledge to tackle urban sustainability challenges across the globe. It will serve as a convergence platform for researchers and practitioners of all backgrounds (from political science and psychology to architecture and engineering) focused on the development of actionable and scalable solutions and their transfer to implementers. This event will be held at IE University, Segovia, Spain, from June 3 to 6, 2020.  The abstract submission site is now open. Here is the link:  You can find more information through from the conference website:

Sustainable Consumption & Social Justice in an Urbanizing World
 4th International SCORAI Conference
June 10-12, 2020 | Boston, MA & Stockholm, Sweden

This international conference will convene scholars and practitioners to focus on sustainable consumption as it relates to urban issues and social equity. With growing social and racial inequities and widening disparities among and within communities, patterns of consumption are shifting as are notions of “sustainable consumption”. In an increasingly urban world where climate disruptions are exacerbating vulnerabilities of all kinds, there is growing acknowledgement of a need for systemic changes to alter societal expectations of resource use and consumption patterns.  At the same time, a consumer culture continues to perpetuate inefficient, resource-intensive practices that contribute to environmental destruction of all kinds. As corporate interests profiting from extractive, high-consumption, oppressive practices are strategically resisting change, coalitions of activists and advocates are advancing incremental and transformative change in different places at different scales. Learn more and register here:
Community Economies 2020 Summer School
Methods for a Postcapitalist Politics
June 6-12, 2020 | Bolsena, Italy
The week long program is an opportunity to engage with the methods and practice of community economies research. The week includes an in-depth look at the founding concepts and tools of community economies approaches, and an exploration of examples of how these ideas are being put into practice by artists, activists, community groups and scholars. There will be opportunities to experiment with community economies methods. With a balance of short talks from community economies experts, practice-based workshop sessions, and field excursions the course will lead participants through an engaging and creative program. The course will be run by Katherine Gibson with members of the Community Economies Collective (Oona Morrow and Kevin St Martin) and Punti Di Vista (Sabrina Aguiari). For more information, visit:
Sustainability Research and Innovation Congress 2020
June 14-17, 2020 | Brisbane, Australia

The Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2020 (SRI2020) will be a unique gathering to connect those at the forefront of sustainability science, innovation, funding, communication and implementation across sectors and disciplines. SRI2020 will be the first of a congress series that will be the home for sustainability knowledge and practice around the world. SRI2020 will provide unprecedented opportunities for career development, active participation and learning. With a particular focus on pollinating ideas and solutions across the Global South and Global North, from early-career to those in senior positions, SRI will be the incubator and home for sustainability in 2020 and beyond. The link to register is here:
International Workshop on the Sharing Economy (IWSE)
1-3 July, 2020 | Barcelona, Spain

The workshop is organised by the Faculty of Economics and Business of the Open University of Catalonia, UOC. Organizers look forward to receiving abstract submissions by 15th March 2020. The sharing economy is arguably coming of age. As well as becoming an increasingly consolidated phenomenon in itself, research on the topic also represents an increasingly consolidated knowledge base. This ever-dynamic field, however, is still faced with a number of conceptual, methodological and empirical challenges that are increasingly complex and are perpetually shifting. Instructions for abstract submissions are available at -economy-barcelona-2020.html
International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) 26th Annual Conference: Sustainability in Transforming Societies
15-17 July, 2020 | Budapest, Hungary

The Budapest conference will aim at identifying the most important trends in today's societies happening either as a result or parallel to the environmental and social crises we face in both developing and developed countries. The conference will explore the sustainability implications of these large scale changes, including, but not limited to shifts in demographics and the polarization evident in many societies; the impacts of rapid technological innovation including the digitisation of the economy; the shifting centres of economic power and the spread of new business models, as well as resulting changes in lifestyles. The urgency of the need to understand how these changes interact with a need for a more sustainable society has been emphasized by the UN Environment's sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO). The report published in Spring, 2019 concluded that recent, unsustainable production and consumption patterns and inequality, combined with increases in the use of resources lead to the deterioration of our Planet's health at unprecedented rates, which has serious consequences, in particular for poorer people and regions. The deadline for abstract submission has been extended to the 15th of January, 2020. Further information here:
11th International Sustainability Transitions Conference
“Governance in an Era of Change – Making Sustainability Transitions Happen”

August 18-21 2020 | Vienna, Austria

Call for submissions here
European Parliament has declared a climate emergency, following a number of countries and local communities worldwide. Proposals for a “Green New Deal” have been advanced on both sides of the Atlantic, seeking broad-based support. Calls for “just transitions for all” constitute an integral part of the Paris Agenda and the Green Deal proposed by the President of the European Commission. These and other recent developments create the impression that there is a growing realization of the necessity of immediate and profound systemic change, in order to tackle the manifold global crises of our times. However, business-as-usual and one-size-fits-all approaches won’t be successful in providing the most effective and suitable multi-level and place-based actions, policies and governance approaches that will substantially boost transitions in this respect. 

Against this background, the call for IST 2020 “Governance in an Era of Change – Making Sustainability Transitions Happen” invites researchers to put these developments into perspective. Following up on last year ́s focus on “Accelerating sustainability transitions”, we specifically invite contributions that address structural issues and causes for current challenges together with the design and implementation of transformative governance and policies for systemic change. Contributions may want to shed light on issues such as the role of the state, the role of non-state actors (e.g. intermediaries, social movements) or new forms of governance tackling multiple, interacting, and potentially overlapping transitions. We also welcome contributions that address the challenges and opportunities of “just transitions”, including e.g. tradeoffs between different sustainability objectives.  Abstracts should be submitted by 31 January 2020.
8th World Sustainability Forum
September 14-19 2020 | Geneva, Switzerland

WSF2020 is an international scientific conference coordinated by the MDPI Sustainability Foundation, under the patronage of the University of Basel, the University of Geneva and  the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN).

SCORAI Europe is happy to announce an official partnership with the 8th World Sustainability Forum, taking place in Geneva from September 14 to 19, 2020. Members will be able to avail of a 20% discount on registration fees. A session stream relevant to sustainable consumption topics will be proposed, and information on paper, poster and other contributions can be found online at: For further information on SCORAI involvement, please contact the co-organizers for SCORAI Europe, or

For the World Sustainability Week (WSW) in Geneva, we seek proposals for sessions, and for presentations of papers and posters on sustainable development that are policy-relevant, change-oriented, and inter- or trans-disciplinary. Submissions should aim to foster research, networking, and debates in science and technology, the life sciences, and the social sciences, as well as fruitful exchanges between academia and the public, civic, or private sectors.
British Institute of Energy Economics (BIEE) 2020 Conference
Energy for a Net Zero Society

September 22-23 2020 | Blavatnik School of Govt, Oxford, UK

BIEE’s Oxford Conference is a biennial research conference that seeks to understand the drivers of change in energy, both positive and negative. The conference is aimed at energy analysts, researchers, strategy and policy thinkers from all backgrounds, including industry, academia and research organisations, government, the finance community, NGOs and consultancies. BIEE conferences are renowned for the quality of their speakers, for their open, productive discussion and debate and for the diverse range of participants. They  provide a forum for sharing new thinking and ideas from across the sector. It is the mix of people and perspectives that makes this conference distinctive. The deadline for abstract submissions is March 3, 2020. For further details, including full call for papers, abstract submission and to register your interest in attending, please see the conference web page:

Publications by Members

The misallocation of climate research funding

Indra Overland, Benjamin K. Sovacool

Energy Research and Social Science

The window of opportunity for mitigating climate change is narrow. Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require rapid and deep alteration of attitudes, norms, incentives, and politics. Some of the key climate-change and energy transition puzzles are therefore in the realm of the social sciences. However, these are precisely the fields that receive least funding for climate-related research. This article analyzes a new dataset of research grants from 333 donors around the world spanning 4.3 million awards with a cumulative value of USD 1.3 trillion from 1950 to 2021. Between 1990 and 2018, the natural and technical sciences received 770% more funding than the social sciences for research on issues related to climate change. Only 0.12% of all research funding was spent on the social science of climate mitigation.
Food For Free: From Food Waste to Healthy Meals

Vesela Veleva and Leona Smith

SAGE Publishing

Food waste is a major problem around the world and especially in the United States where the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 31% of food is lost at the retail and consumer levels, while 11.8% of U.S. citizens face food insecurity. This case focuses on Food For Free, a small nonprofit company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which takes surplus food (which would otherwise be thrown out) and creates healthy meals for people in need. The idea for the company emerged in 1981 when a group of friends realized that local meal programs were struggling to provide fresh food for people in need, while supermarkets were throwing away large amounts of food they could not sell. This led to launching an organization which can “bridge the gap between waste and want.” Food For Free’s most innovative program is the Family Meals, which began in 2014 in a partnership with Harvard University after the company realized that it was legal to donate cooked food. Food For Free leverages volunteers to prepare the meals, which are sent to schools and community colleges. Its growing list of donors includes many universities, hospitals, and corporations in Massachusetts. The case examines what has enabled its success and the challenges it must overcome in order to scale up operations and meet the needs of its “endless recipients.” The overall goal of the case is to introduce the problem of food waste and the business opportunities in food rescue, the importance of supportive policies, innovation, and strategic partnerships for creating a successful business model, and the challenges faced by small companies aiming to scale up operations. The company’s Executive Director Sasha Purpura would like to know what the best strategy is to expand its network of corporate donors, given its constraints in terms of space, funding, and transportation.  
Connecting global emissions to fundamental human needs and their satisfaction

Gibran Vita, Edgar G Hertwich, Konstantin Stadler and Richard Wood

Environmental Research Letters

While quality of life (QOL) is the result of satisfying human needs, our current provision strategies result in global environmental degradation. To ensure sustainable QOL, we need to understand the environmental impact of human needs satisfaction. In this paper we deconstruct QOL, and apply the fundamental human needs framework developed by Max-Neef et al to calculate the carbon and energy footprints of subsistence, protection, creation, freedom, leisure, identity, understanding and participation. We find that half of global carbon emissions are driven by subsistence and protection. A similar amount are due to freedom, identity, creation and leisure together, whereas understanding and participation jointly account for less than 4% of global emissions. We use 35 objective and subjective indicators to evaluate human needs satisfaction and their associated carbon footprints across nations. We find that the relationship between QOL and environmental impact is more complex than previously identified through aggregated or single indicators. Satisfying needs such as protection, identity and leisure is generally not correlated with their corresponding footprints. In contrast, the likelihood of satisfying needs for understanding, creation, participation and freedom, increases steeply when moving from low to moderate emissions, and then stagnates. Most objective indicators show a threshold trend with respect to footprints, but most subjective indicators show no relationship, except for freedom and creation. Our study signals the importance of considering both subjective and objective satisfaction to assess QOL-impact relationships at the needs level. In this way, resources could be strategically invested where they strongly relate to social outcomes, and spared where non-consumption satisfiers could be more effective. Through this approach, decoupling human needs satisfaction from environmental damage becomes more attainable.


The Environmental Impact of Green Consumption and Sufficiency Lifestyles Scenarios in Europe: Connecting Local Sustainability Visions to Global Consequences

Gibran Vita, Johan R. Lundström, Edgar G.Hertwich, Jaco Quist, Diana Ivanova, Konstantin Stadler Richard Wood

Ecological Economics

The sustainability transformation calls for policies that consider the global consequences of local lifestyles. We used stakeholders' visions of sustainable lifestyles across Europe to build 19 scenarios of sufficiency (net reductions) and 17 of green consumption (shift in consumption patterns). We applied Environmentally Extended Multi-Regional Input-Output analysis to model scenarios by assuming widespread adoption of the proposed lifestyles changes. Finally, we estimated the domestic and foreign implications for land, water, carbon and human toxicity potential. We distinguish the options with most potential from those that are seemingly fruitless or present backfire risks. While our method allows for testing a large number scenarios under a consistent framework, further work is needed to add robustness to the scenarios. However, we do find a range of indicative results that have strong potential to contribute to mitigation efforts. Services: We find that a local and sharing service economy has a maximum reduction potential of 18% of the European carbon footprint (CF). Clothing & Appliances: Sharing and extending lifetimes of clothes and devices could diminish CF by approximately 3%. Transport: Reducing motorized transport by remote work and active travel could mitigate between 9 and 26% of CF. Food: Vegan diets could spare 4% of the land and reduce up to 14% of CF. Bio-economy: Switching to biomaterials and bioenergy tend to reduce carbon and toxic emissions at the risk of increasing water and land use. Housing: Passive housing and decentralized renewable energy reduces carbon emissions up to 5 and 14%, respectively. We characterize the sensitivity of our results by modelling income rebound effects and confirm the importance of deterring expenditure in resource intensive goods.

A Broader Social Science Research Agenda on Sustainability: Nongovernmental Influences on Climate Footprints

Stern, Paul C. and Thomas Dietz

Energy Research and Social Science

Vandenbergh and Gilligan's book Beyond Politics and their essay in this issue open up a broad and under-explored agenda of research to inform efforts to limit climate change. They focused largely on understanding how companies and other non-governmental entities can be important agents of change. We sketch the implications non-governmental action for research as well as how such research can underpin action. A focus on opportunities across the life cycles of goods and services that provide for human needs and wants points to four key questions for research. We also note key challenges for social science research, including involving researchers from areas of social science that have been little involved previously in research on limiting climate change. We hope these arguments can contribute to a more robust and generalizable social science that can make greater contributions to limiting climate change. We encourage fellow social scientists to pursue the research questions we raise.

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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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