The research priorities of the Sustainable Production and Consumption Division aim at the development of technological and social innovations for a resource-light and sustainable economy and life.
The Division's scientists are researching how to balance diverse lifestyles with the goal of climate and resource protection and how to develop a possible steering effect for a combined social-ecological transformation and innovation strategy.
Actor-integrated research requires "co-design processes", in which users and stakeholders are actively involved in the (design) development process. For this purpose the Division work with:
The Research Unit Production and Consumption Systems evaluates societal and technological changes to achieve an eight-ton society and enable 1.5-degree lifestyles. To design sustainable products and services, it is necessary to know about their material basis and the socio-technological potential for changes towards sustainability. In this context, the researchers analyse the material and carbon footprints of products and technologies, companies and value chains as well as households and lifestyles. Based on this, they design roadmaps and scenarios. This requires an evaluation of the impact of existing and redesigned production and consumption systems on sustainable development and the conservation of the climate and resources. Additionally, it is necessary to assess and analyse possible rebound effects. Together with the involved actors, the researchers develop transformational knowledge. This is crucial in order to test and anchor more sustainable products and services in society. Overview of research content:
Furthermore, establishing a joint dissertation scheme of the Division Sustainable Production and Consumption jointly organised by the Wuppertal Institute and the Folkwang University of the Arts (FUdK) is in focus.
The Research Unit Innovation Labs analyses, accompanies, and designs innovation processes for the development and diffusion of more sustainable products, services, business models, and social interventions, especially in companies and neighbourhoods/municipalities.
The underlying approach is real-world laboratory research, in which actors from science and practice come together for collaborative, intervention-oriented research and design to jointly develop and test solutions to a sustainability problem. In particular, the researchers pursue the innovation approach of "Sustainable Living Labs" that focuses on the actor and the user-integrated development and design of products and services in a real-world context. For this purpose, the transition design approach is used.
Overview of research content: