“Voluntary simplifiers” live more sustainably as they deliberately reduce their consumption

According to a current study by researchers on the BMBF project „Strategies and Potentials to Initiate and Promote Sustainable Consumption” (SPIN), 14.4% of the adult German population make a decision to consume significantly less than they could financially afford. Such people can be described by the term voluntary simplifiers.

Pathways to reduce Food Waste (REFOWAS)

May 2015 to May 2018

The production and consumption of food has an impact on the environment. In this context we question the importance of food waste. To analyse this, we quantify the agricultural and food sectors along the entire value chain. Food waste can often be avoided with relative ease. In different case studies we study the main points and reasons for the creation of waste and examine different ways to reduce them.

New ways, strategies, business and communication models for bio-plastics (BiNa)

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

Are bioplastics in production, use and at the end of the life cycle really more sustainable than the fossil competitors and which challenges are caused by the sustainability assessment? Which ecological potential provides the cascade use? What is the common level of knowledge of bioplastics and how does the general public assess the use of bioplastics? Which information mediums are effective, if the topic has to be communicated adequate for the customer? These and further question are in the focus of the research platform BiNa.

Sustainable consumption and management of marine fish (KoBeFisch)

Nov 2014 to Mar 2018

KoBeFisch has the hypothesis that European fisheries policies has not been able to prevent overfishing due to its current responsibility structures. In the current EU fisheries management, it is governmental actors that have the responsibility. For example, the council of ministries determines many regulations, including the catch quotas. At the same time, fishermen and fish consumers have almost no opportunity to influence the catch quotas in order to shift to more sustainable fishing. In KoBeFisch, alternatives are researched and developed on how governmental and non-governmental actors could share more responsibility for sustainability. Traditional coastal fishermen are considered alongside fish consumers as a point of special interest in the analysis.

Consumer Behavior and Innovations for Sustainable Chemistry (KInChem)

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

Whether a regulatory framework based on producing and disseminating risk information on chemical substances can contribute to the stated normative goals by inducing behavioral change of the relevant market actors is an unanswered empirical question. The project focuses particularly on the potential of demand driven changes in the market as a result of a change in consumer behavior. By studying consumers risk preference and perception of risk (information) the project aims at deriving policy implications regarding consumer protection rights with respect to the disclosure of information about products and chemicals. Furthermore, it is examined to what extent other societal actors can remedy the information asymmetry by making risk information stemming from scientific and regulatory contexts accessible and understandable to consumers.

Green Travel Transformation - A model for an integrated transformation process towards sustainable business practices in tourism

May 2015 to Apr 2018

The aim of the project is to significantly increase the share of more sustainable travel options in all booked travel products. Thus it is necessary that such travel products are visible (labelling) and bookable (within the information and booking systems). Targeted consultation by the travel agency staff regarding the realization of sustainable holidays can increase the sense of responsibility, efficiency and potentially sufficiency. Accordingly two aspects can be achieved: The advantages and chances of sustainability become visible to travelers and travelers have the possibility to specifically book sustainable products. Thus the sense of responsibility, efficiency and potentially sufficiency can be combined: The traveler consciously and frequently decides to travel sustainable. Hence travel products will be promoted, which use less resources, are bound to a favorable economic and social contexts and thus better correspond to the sustainability criteria.

The Handprint A complementary measurement of positive sustainability impacts of products

Jun 2015 to May 2018

The Handprint is an innovative and holistic approach to facilitate the measurement, evaluation and communication of the ecological, economic and social sustainability impacts of products.