Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Sustainable Consumption

Handbook of Research on Sustainable Consumption

Edited by Lucia A. Reisch and John Thøgersen

This Handbook compiles the state of the art of current research on sustainable consumption from the world’s leading experts in the field. The implementation of sustainable consumption presents one of the greatest challenges and opportunities we are faced with today. On the one hand, consumption is a wanted and necessary phenomenon important for society and the economy. On the other, our means of consumption contradicts many important ecological and social long-term goals. Set against this background, the Handbook aims to offer an interdisciplinary overview of recent research on sustainable consumption, to draw attention to this subject and to encourage discussion and debate. In 27 chapters, leading authorities in the field provide their expertise in a concise and accessible manner.

Research on sustainable consumption: introduction and overview

Lucia A. Reisch and John Thøgersen

Subjects: economics and finance, behavioural and experimental economics, economic psychology, environment, ecological economics, environmental sociology


Research on sustainable consumption (SC) sets out to understand (and promote) the types of consumption behaviours that are conducive for a sustainable development. While deeply embedded in the fields of consumer research, environmental and ecological economics as well as psychology, many more disciplines and research fields have profoundly contributed to the advancement of the field in recent years, among them: environmental sociology and its perspective of social embedment of individual behaviour in social settings and contexts; behavioural economics and its empirically based acknowledgment of consumer biases, heuristics and context dependencies; the political sciences and their view of the consumer as an active citizen consumer; applied philosophy and its theoretical insights regarding the ethical core of the concept; sustainability marketing and its expertise on how to convey the message to consumers and on how to make sustainable consumption attractive; innovation studies and their view on consumers as co-innovators and co-producers; systems analysis and its unescapable reference to the complexities and interconnectedness of the ecological, economic and social systems in which consumption takes place; and historical studies that remind us of the roots of sustainable consumption and its interdependencies with cultural and technological pathways.