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 23: Step across the border: knowledge brokerage for sustainable consumption

Gerd Scholl

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


This chapter explores the question of how one can enhance the impact of research on policy making for sustainable consumption. Policies aiming to foster more sustainable consumer behaviours have lately become more prominent, at international, European and national level. At the same time, researchers from a variety of disciplines have undertaken major efforts to analyse the factors that both prevent and drive the proliferation of sustainable consumption patterns. However, there is reason to believe that the existing body of scientific evidence goes largely underutilized in the design, implementation and assessment of sustainable consumption policies. Therefore recent calls for more evidence-based policy making (e.g. Campbell et al. 2007; European Commission 2010) are valid for this policy domain as well. In order to better understand the science–policy gap in sustainable consumption this chapter starts off with an overview of relevant policies and research endeavours. It then discusses the factors that shape this gap and concludes that distinct efforts are needed to bridge it.

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