Recently, we asked the subscribers to the SCORAI listserv to suggest publications from the past decade or so which reflect major developments of the field of Sustainable Consumption. The responses we received were in the form of individual papers, reports and bibliographic lists. The list below is a pared down version of these submissions. Since sustainable consumption is a multidisciplinary field of scholarship and practice, we did not try to group them by topic; and since arranging them alphabetically did not make sense either, we settled on chronology as the organizing principle, choosing 2008 as a start: the year of founding of SCORAI.
There was no set of criteria for selection, no advisory committee, no decision tree. There was only one guiding principle: to capture the richness of the multiple perspectives which comprise the body of knowledge about the structure and functioning of consumer society, the forces that allow it to maintain and reproduce itself, and promising pathways for transitioning beyond it. The list is but an echo of how the field developed. Some of you will be unhappy with what is in it, and what is not. This is however a living list: please keep sending us more suggestions on what should be added to it.
The chronological arrangement of the bibliography also highlights the temporal evolution of the field: from the early emphasis on individual consumer behaviors, consumer culture, marketing and behavioral change; to a more systemic thinking about drivers of consumption, including institutions, social practices and technological change; to examining consumption from the angle of human well-being; to quantifying the link between consumption and greenhouse gas emissions; to recognizing the role of economic growth, political power and the financialization of the economy; to acknowledging the issues of equity and social justice in a transition to more sustainable consumption.
“Through the Eye of a Needle: An Eco-Heterodox Perspective on the Renewable Energy Transition,” by Megan Seibert and William Rees. Energies, 14(15): 4508 (2021) (www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/14/15/4508/htm).
Building the bridge between Protected Needs and consumption corridors, by Antonietta Di Giulio & Rico Defila (2021). Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, 17:1, 117-134, DOI: 10.1080/15487733.2021.1907056 www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15487733.2021.1907056
Hamburg Climate Futures Outlook 2021. Assessing the plausibility of deep decarbonization by 2050, by Detlef Stammer; Anita Engels; Jochem Marotzke; Eduardo Gresse; Christopher Hedemann; Jan Petzold (eds.); 2021. Cluster of Excellence Climate, Climatic Change, and Society (CLICCS). Hamburg, Germany. www.cliccs.uni-hamburg.de/results/hamburg-climate-futures-outlook/documents/cliccs-hamburg-climate-futures-outlook-2021.pdf
Global redistribution of income and household energy footprints: a computational thought experiment, by Oswald Y, Steinberger JK, Ivanova D, Millward-Hopkins J (2021). Global Sustainability 4, e4, 1–13. doi.org/10.1017/sus.2021.1
Urgent need for post-growth climate mitigation scenarios, by Hickel, J., Brockway, P., Kallis, G. et al. Nat Energy 6, 766–768 (2021). doi.org/10.1038/s41560-021-00884-9
1.5 °C degrowth scenarios suggest the need for new mitigation pathways, by Keyßer, L.T., Lenzen, M. Nat Commun 12, 2676 (2021). doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22884-9
Sahakian M, Rau H, Grealis E, et al. (2021) Challenging social norms to recraft practices: A Living Lab approach to reducing household energy use in eight European countries. Energy Research & Social Science 72: 101881. www.sciencedirect.com/
Lewis Akenji, Magnus Bengtsson, Viivi Toivio, Michael Lettenmeier, Tina Fawcett, Yael Parag, Yamina Saheb, Anna Coote, Joachim H. Spangenberg, Stuart Capstick, Tim Gore, Luca Coscieme, Mathis Wackernagel, Dario Kenner. 2021. 1.5-Degree Lifestyles: Towards A Fair Consumption Space for All. Hot or Cool Institute, Berlin. 2021.
ISBN 978-3-98664-001-9 (Print/paperback); ISBN 978-3-98664-002-6 (PDF)
Project Drawdown Project Drawdown
Anastazija Dimitrova, Preparedness of Young People for a Sustainable Lifestyle: Awareness and Willingness Sustainability 2021, 13, 7204. doi.org/10.3390/su13137204
Fabián Echegaray, Valerie Brachya, Philip J. Vergragt, Lei Zhang, Sustainable Lifestyles after Covid-19 Sustainable Lifestyles after Covid-19 – 1st Edition – Fabián Echegar (routledge.com) (Routledge)
Daniel Fischer, Julia-Lena Reinermann, Georgina Guillen-Mandujano, C. Tyler DesRoches, Sonali Diddi, Philip J. Vergragt (2021) Sustainable Consumption Communication: A Review of an Emerging Field of Research, J. Cleaner Production 300: 126880 doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.126880
Lorenz T. Keyßer et al, 1.5 °C degrowth scenarios suggest the need for new mitigation pathways. Nature Communications. 12, 2676 (2021). … Related article with summary.
Manu Mathai et al. The Political Economy of (Un)Sustainable Production and Consumption: A Multidisciplinary Synthesis for Research and Action. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 2021 (Vol 167) doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2020.105265
Peter Newell et al, Changing our ways? Behaviour change and the climate crisis The report of the Cambridge Sustainability Commission Cambridge-Sustainability-Commission-on-Scaling-behaviour-change-report (2).pdf
Jefim Vogel et al Socio-economic conditions for satisfying human needs at low energy use: An international analysis of social provisioning www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378021000662?via%3Dihub
“Econ 101- In Need of Sustainability Transition”, by Inge Røpke. Ecological Economics 169: 106515-106527. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800919309413 . For a PDF copy please contact the author firstname.lastname@example.org
Consumption-based carbon accounting: sense and sensibility, by Arnold Tukker, Hector Pollitt & Maurits Henkemans (2020) Climate Policy, 20:sup1, S1 S13, DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2020.1728208 www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14693062.2020.1728208
Providing decent living with minimum energy: A global scenario, by Joel Millward-Hopkins, Julia K. Steinberger and D.Rao Yannick Oswald. Global Environmental Change 65: 102168 (2020). www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378020307512
Akenji, L., 1.5-Degree Lifestyles: Targets and options for reducing lifestyle carbon footprints Institute for Global Environmental Strategies Aalto University and D-mat ltd. 15_Degree_Lifestyles_MainReport.pdf.
Cohen, M. J. (2020). ’New Conceptions of Sufficient Home Size in High Income Countries: Are we Approaching a Sustainable Consumption Transition? Housing, Theory and Society, 1 31. www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14036096.2020.1722218
Ian Gough Universal Basic Services: A theoretical and moral framework Ian Gough-UBS.pdf
Kalaniemi, S., Ottelin, J., Heinonen, J., & Junnila, S. (2020). Downscaling consumption to universal basic income level falls short of sustainable carbon footprint in Finland. Environmental Science & Policy, 114, 377-383. doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2020.09.006
Ivanova, D., Barrett, J., Wiedenhofer, D., Macura, B., Callaghan, M., & Creutzig, F. (2020). Quantifying the potential for climate change mitigation of consumption options. Environmental Research Letters, 15(9), 093001. doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab8589.
Jackson, T. (2020). ‘Wellbeing matters: Tackling growth dependency’. An economy that works: Briefing Paper 3. Report for the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Limits to Growth February.
Mattioli, G., Roberts, C., Steinberger, J., & Brown, A. (2020). The political economy of car dependence: A systems of provision approach. Energy Research & Social Science, 66, 101486. doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2020.101486 .
Millward-Hopkins, J., Steinberger, J., Rao, N., & Oswald, Y. (2020). Providing decent living with minimum energy: A global scenario. Global Environmental Change, 65, 102168. doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2020.102168
Daniel Rosenbloom Why carbon pricing is not sufficient to mitigate climate change—and how “sustainability transition policy” can help Opinion: Why carbon pricing is not sufficient to mitigate climate change—and how “sustainability transition policy” can help | PNAS
SAMAK: A JUST GREEN TRANSITION SAMAK-climate-and-nature-report-ENGLISH-SHORT-VERSION-FINAL-260121.pdf
Sorrell, S., Gatersleben, B. & Druckman, A., (2020). ‘The limits of energy sufficiency: A review of the evidence for rebound effects and negative spillovers from behavioural change’. Energy Research & Social Science, 64, p.101439. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629620300165
SITRA: Pathways to 1.5-degree lifestyles by 2030 Pathways to 1.5-degree lifestyles by 2030 – Sitra
Spaargaren, G. (2011). ‘Theories of practices: Agency, technology, and culture. Exploring the relevance of practice theories for the governance of sustainable consumption practices in the new world-order’. Global Environmental Change 21, 813-822.
Stern, P. C. (2020). ‘A reexamination on how behavioral interventions can promote household action to limit climate change’. Nature Communications, 11(1), 1-3. www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-14653-x
Vita, G. et al (2020). ‘Happier with less? Members of European environmental grassroots initiatives reconcile lower carbon footprints with higher life satisfaction and income increases’. Energy Research & Social Science, 60, 101329. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2214629619302944
Thomas Wiedmann Scientists’ warning on affluence Nature Communications Reducing consumption-Steinberger-Wiedenman.pdf
Anna Coote UNIVERSAL BASIC SERVICES: THEORY AND PRACTICE UBS-Anna Coote.pdf
Dubois, G., Sovacool, B., Aall, C., Nilsson, M., Barbier, C., Herrmann, A., & Dorner, F. (2019). ‘It starts at home? Climate policies targeting household consumption and behavioral decisions are key to low-carbon futures’. Energy Research & Social Science, 52, 144-158. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629618310314
Hayward, B. & Roy, J. (2019) Sustainable living: bridging the North-South divide in lifestyles and consumption debates. Annu.Rev.Environ.Resour 44:157–75 doi.org/10.1146/annurev-environ-101718033119
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Aalto University, and D-mat ltd. (2019). 1.5-Degree Lifestyles: Targets and Options for Reducing Lifestyle Carbon Footprints. Technical Report. Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Hayama, Japan.
Isenhour, C., Martiskainen, M. & Middlemiss, L. (Eds.) (2019) Power and Politics in Sustainable Consumption Research and Practice. London: Routledge-SCORAI Studies in Sustainable Consumption.
Jackson, T. and Victor, P.A. ‘Unraveling the claims for (and against) green growth’ Science, 22 November 2019: science.sciencemag.org/content/366/6468/950
Sylvia Lorek, Joachim H. Spangenberg Energy sufficiency through social innovation in housing,. Energy Policy 126, (2019), 287-294. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0301421518307493?via%3Dihub
Mont, O. (2019). ‘Introduction to A Research Agenda for Sustainable Consumption Governance’. A Research Agenda For Sustainable Consumption Governance, 1-17. doi.org/10.4337/9781788117814.00008 .
Patrick Schröder, et al Advancing sustainable consumption and production in cities – A transdisciplinary research and stakeholder engagement framework to address consumption-based emissions and impacts, Journal of Cleaner Production 213: 114-125 doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.12.050
Spangenberg, Joachim H., Lorek, Sylvia. 2019. Sufficiency and consumer behaviour: from theory to policy. Energy Policy 129: 1070‐1079. doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2019.03.013 .
Peter A. Victor Managing Without Growth, Slower by Design, Not Disaster 2nd Edition, Edward Elgar
Walker, C. & T Jackson. (2019). Measuring Prosperity—Navigating the options. CUSP Working Paper No 20. Guildford: University of Surrey. Online at: www.cusp.ac.uk/publications.
Eva Alfredsson, et al (2018) Why achieving the Paris Agreement requires reduced overall consumption and production, Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, 14:1, 1-5, doi.org/10.1080/15487733.2018.1458815
Anantharaman, M. (2018) Critical sustainable consumption: a research agenda. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 8 (4), 553–561. doi.org/10.1007/s13412-018-0487-4
Bjørn, A., et al . Pursuing necessary reductions in embedded GHG emissions of developed nations: Will efficiency improvements and changes in consumption get us there? Global Environmental Change, 52, 314-324. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959378017304223?via%3Dihub
C40 Cities: Consumption-based GHG emissions of C40 cities C40-consumption-based-emissions.pdf
Raj Chetty The fading American dream: Trends in absolute income mobility since 1940 Science 356, 398–406 Chetty et al 2017 Science.pdf
Friends of the Earth: SUFFICIENCY MOVING BEYOND THE GOSPEL OF ECO-EFFICIENCY Friend of Earth_sufficiency_booklet.pdf
Harper, A. & Martin, A. (2018). Achieving a shorter working week in the UK. New Economics Foundation. London.
Kallis, G. (2018). Degrowth, New York: Columbia University Press.
Middlemiss, L. (2018) Sustainable Consumption: Key Issues. London: Routledge.
Martin R. Sers, Peter A. Victor The Energy-emissions Trap Ecological Economics Volume 151, 10-21
Stoknes, Per Espen and Johan Rockström Redefining Green Growth within Planetary Boundaries 2018-Rockstrom-GreenGrowthNordics.pdf
Barrington-Leigh, Christopher. “Sustainability and Well-Being: A Happy Synergy.” Great Transition Initiative (April 2017). greattransition.org/publication/sustainability-and-well-being.
Maurie Cohen, Halina Szejnwald Brown, Philip J Vergragt (2017) “Social Change and the Coming of Post-Consumer Society: Theoretical Advances and Policy Implications” , Routledge www.routledge.com/Social-Change-and-the-Coming-of-Post-consumer-Society-Theoretical-Advances/Cohen-Brown-Vergragt/p/book/9781138642058
Creutzig, F., Fernandez, B., Haberl, H., Khosla, R., Mulugetta, Y., & Seto, K. C. (2016). ‘Beyond Technology: Demand- Side Solutions for Climate Change Mitigation’. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 41(1), 173–198. www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-environ-110615-085428
Klaus Hubacek et al Global carbon inequality Energ. Ecol. Environ. (2017) 2(6):361–369 Global carbon inequality (springer.com)
Kasser, T. (2017). ‘Living both well and sustainably: a review of the literature, with some reflections on future research, interventions and policy’. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 375 (2095), 20160369. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28461433/
Koide, R. & Akenji, L. (2017). ‘Assessment of Policy Integration of Sustainable Consumption and Production into National Policies’. Resources, 6, 48. www.researchgate.net/publication/319994861_Assessment_of_Policy_Integration_of_Sustainable_Consumption_and_Production_into_National_Policies
Lawrence F. Katz Documenting decline in U.S. economic mobility Science VOL 356 ISSUE 6336 Katz Krueger 2017 Science.pdf
Frank Geels et al.: Sociotechnical transitions for deep decarbonization Science 1244 2017 • VOL 357 ISSUE 6357 Geels et al-Science-Transitions.pdf
Klaus Hubacek Global carbon inequality Energ. Ecol. Environ. (2017) 2(6):361–369 Hubacek-Ener.Ecol.Env.-2017-Global Carbon Inequality.pdf
Raworth, K. (2017). Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist, New York: Random House Business Books.
Schroeder, P., & Anantharaman, M. (2017). “Lifestyle Leapfrogging” in Emerging Economies: Enabling Systemic Shifts to Sustainable Consumption’. Journal of Consumer Policy, 40(1), 3-23.
KATE SOPER: A NEW HEDONISM A Post-Consumerism Vision Consumerism_Full.pdf
P.J. Vergragt, Sustainable Consumption: An Important but Ambiguous Concept, in James Meadowcroft and Daniel J. Fiorino (eds.) 2017. Conceptual Innovation in Environmental Policy pp 390-425, MIT press mitpress.mit.edu/books/conceptual-innovation-environmental-policy
Brown, Halina S., and Philip J Vergragt. 2016. From Consumerism to Wellbeing: toward a cultural transition? Journal of Cleaner Production 132, 308-317. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.04.107
Vergragt, P.J. et al (2016) Fostering and Communicating Sustainable Lifestyles: Principles and Emerging Practices, UNEP– Sustainable Lifestyles, Cities and Industry Branch, www.oneearthweb.org/communicating-sustainable-lifestyles-report.html
Chancel, L., & Piketty, T. (2015). ‘Carbon and inequality: from Kyoto to Paris’. Paris School of Economics, 6. piketty.pse.ens.fr/files/ChancelPiketty2015.pdf
Capstick, S., Lorenzoni, I., Corner, A., & Whitmarsh, L. (2015). ‘Prospects for radical emissions reduction through behavior and lifestyle change’. Carbon management, 5(4), 429-445. www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17583004.2015.1020011
D’Alisa, G., Demaria, F., & Kallis, G. (2015). Degrowth. Abingdon: Routledge.
Daly, Herman. “Economics for a Full World.” Great Transition Initiative (June 2015). greattransition.org/publication/economics-for-a-full-world
Moore, J. (2015). ‘Ecological footprints and lifestyle archetypes: Exploring dimensions of consumption and the transformation needed to achieve urban sustainability’. Sustainability, 7(4), 4747-4763. www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/7/4/4747
USDN Sustainable Consumption Toolkit USDN Sustainable Consumption Toolkit
Di Guilio, A. & D, Fuchs. (2014). ‘Sustainable Consumption Corridors: Concept, Objections, and Responses GAIA 23/S1: 184 –192. www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/oekom/gaia/2014/00000023/A00103s1/art00006?crawler=true&mimetype=application/pdf
Lucia Reisch and John Thøgersen (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Sustainable Consumption, Edward Elgar Publishing
Hobson K. (2013) “Weak” or “strong” sustainable consumption? Efficiency, degrowth, and the 10 year framework of programmes. Environment and Planning C 31(6):1082–98
IRGC The Rebound Effect: Implications of Consumer Behaviour for Robust Energy Policies
Lorek, S., & Fuchs, D. (2013). Strong sustainable consumption governance–precondition for a degrowth path?. Journal of cleaner production, 38, 36-43. ssoar-2011-fuchs_et_al-strong_sustainable_consumption_governance_.pdf
Reisch, L., Eberle, U., & Lorek, S. (2013). Sustainable food consumption: an overview of contemporary issues and policies. Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, 9(2), 7-25. www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/15487733.2013.11908111
Bauer, M. A., Wilkie, J. E., Kim, J. K., & Bodenhausen, G. V. (2012). ‘Cuing consumerism: Situational materialism undermines personal and social well-being’. Psychological Science, 23(5), 517-523. journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797611429579
Vandana Shiva Making Peace with the Earth
Corner, A. & A. Randall (2011). ‘Selling climate change? The limitations of social marketing as a strategy for climate change public engagement’, Global Environmental Change, 21(3): 1005-1014. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959378011000793
Tim Jackson Reviewing the Research: Report of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress Environment2011Jackson.pdf
Giorgos Kallis In defence of degrowth Ecological Economics 70, 5, 873-88 Kallis-2010-In-defense-of-degrowth.pdf
Yael Paraga Personal Carbon Trading: A Radical Policy Option for Reducing Emissions from the Domestic Sector Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 53: 1, 29 — 37 Personal Carbon budget-Environment 2011.pdf
Cohen, M., Brown, H., & Vergragt, P. 2010. Individual consumption and systemic societal transformation: introduction to the special issue. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 6(2):6-12. Individual consumption and systemic societal transformation: introduction to the special issue (tandfonline.com).
Chris Calwell Is efficient sufficient? Calwell-eceee_Progressive_Efficiency.pdf
Daniel Kahneman1 and Angus Deaton High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being KahmemanDeaton-PNAS-2010-Unmarked.pdf
Middlemiss, L. (2010) Reframing individual responsibility for sustainable consumption: lessons from environmental justice and ecological citizenship. Environmental Values 19 (2): 147–167. doi:10.3197/096327110X12699420220518
William Rees What’s blocking sustainability? Human nature, cognition and denial Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 6(2) 13-25. What’s blocking sustainability? Human nature, cognition, and denial (tandfonline.com)
Druckman, A., & Jackson, T. (2009). ‘The carbon footprint of UK households 1990–2004: a socio-economically disaggregated, quasi-multi-regional input–output model’. Ecological economics, 68(7), 2066-2077. econpapers.repec.org/article/eeeecolec/v_3a68_3ay_3a2009_3ai_3a7_3ap_3a2066-2077.htm
Tim Jackson Prosperity without growth? The transition to a sustainable economy UK_prosperity_without_growth_April-09.pdf
Thaler, R. H., & Sunstein, C. R. (2009). Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. London: Penguin.
Wilkinson, R. & Pickett, L. (2009). The Spirit Level: Why Equality Is Better for Everyone, London: Allen Lane.
Evans, D., & Jackson, T. (2008). ‘Sustainable consumption: Perspectives from social and cultural theory’. RESOLVE Working Paper 05-08, University of Surrey: Guildford. resolve.sustainablelifestyles.ac.uk/sites/default/files/RESOLVE_WP_05-08.pdf