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.

Chapter 6: Sustainability marketing

Ken Peattie

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


Within any consumer society, most of what we consume will have been marketed to us. Not just the goods and services that we associate with the notion of ‘consumption’, but also the public services we use, the charities we patronize, the politicians we vote for, the places we visit and even the institutions and ideas that we think of as part of our society. There will be exceptions to this, such as when people grow their own food, make their own furniture or entertainment, or generate their own energy. In poorer countries, consumption on a self-sufficiency and barter basis outside the formal economy may be the norm for many citizens. Within consumer economies however our consumption is facilitated and influenced by marketing thinking, processes and practices, and for that reason marketing sometimes takes the blame for the unsustainable nature of our consumption (Kjellberg 2008). Despite this, marketing can play a pivotal role in developing more sustainable systems of production and consumption within our societies in future (Belz and Peattie 2012).

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