Project Overview

Values and Sustainable

Consumption Behaviour


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The research challenge is to leverage environmental gains through appropriate governance and policy approaches which recognise the importance of preserving the balance of nature and which acknowledge the inevitability of limits to growth.  This is only possible where a clear understanding exists regarding the behavioural system within society and its consumption dynamics.  This research tackles this problem taking into account a society dominated by a neo-liberal philosophy that typically places greater emphasis on extrinsic values. Also by considering behavioural dynamics that expound positive attitudes toward sustainability but which exhibit mostly unsustainable consumption patterns.  The challenge is important to recognise and this project seeks to resolve and contextualise the dynamics of governance and sustainable policy on the one hand and a systems description of consumption, consumers and consumer-citizen behaviour on the other.


Key Messages

(1) Recognise the interconnected nature of environmental systems and the inevitability of limits to growth

(2) It is necessary to adjust the practices associated with sustainable behaviours at the institutional & individual level

(3)The sustainability of sustainability rests with a quantum shift in the dominant social paradigm (DSP) such that what emerges can be appropriately defined as a new environmental paradigm (NEP)


Project Goal:  The development of a NEP will help to shape cross-sectoral sustainability policy and ‘nudge’ citizen-consumer behaviour away from unsustainable consumption.  It will provide a context for citizen driven governance and the transformation to a sustainable consumption model.

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