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Innovative approaches to achieving sustainable consumption - EV02051

This research project has been commissioned by Defra to examine innovative approaches to sustainable consumption and production in order to inform future development of possible Defra third sector grant funds.

The overall aim of this research is to provide a robust evidence-base encompassing use of innovative approaches for influencing behaviours that offer strong potential for transferable demonstration in England within the impact areas of homes, food, transport and tourism. From this evidence, the project distils recommendations for programme design, evaluation and learning, and delivery. The scope of the research encompasses the UK and international initiatives aimed at influencing behaviours within the sustainability arena, and beyond this within areas such as health, transport and crime prevention, and draws upon social network theory, segmentation, and commercial marketing.

Using criteria for evidence, robustness and innovation, the project team develops a `whole system` view of sustainable consumption, and considers its relationship with sustainable production and other policy contexts, providing a conceptual vision for programme design and delivery.

Conclusions are drawn from the research, analysis and steering group to provide recommendations that aim to:

Maximise learning potential through robust and innovative demonstration projects;
Identify core research opportunities;
Integrate cross-government and departmental policy strategies;
Identify market systems and capacity building;
Identify business and community partnerships;
Provide a framework for a behaviour change innovation process;
Provide a framework for delivering behaviour change support;
Recommend effective formative and impact assessment measurement methodologies;
Provide a dissemination plan linking policy, projects with external stakeholders.

The research was conducted by a consortium led by The Social Marketing Practice and its associates, The Environment and Development Group and ICF International with support from the National Social Marketing Centre.

Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2006

To: 2007

Cost: £59,770
Contractor / Funded Organisations
The Social Marketing Practice
Behaviour change              
Social Research              
Fields of Study
Sustainable Consumption and Production