Research Unit

Production and Consumption Systems

The Research Unit Production and Consumption Systems analyses and evaluates production and consumption structures from the perspective of resource efficiency and sustainability.

The sustainability of companies and households is evaluated and transformation concepts and scenarios for resource efficient, climate neutral and sustainable processes, products, service systems and lifestyles are developed. The research activities take into account all stages of the value chains, including consumption. The transformation of resources, prosperity and consumption are monitored as integral parts of the central fields of action, namely nutrition, leisure, mobility and housing. Socio-technical potentials are characterised and integrated into scenarios in order to develop target values and roadmaps to achieve sustainability goals.

The team


The goal is to assess social and technological changes in the target corridor of an 8-t society and 1.5 degree lifestyles. The research therefore focuses on supporting the necessary change management at companies and in households in order to enable sustainable product and consumption systems, making a quantifiable contribution to the SDGs through sustainability and resource assessment as well as anchoring the resource-light society in policy.

Thematic focus

The Research Unit Production and Consumption Systems investigates transformation approaches at companies (production) and in households (consumption) as well as their linkage with resource efficient and sustainable product service systems. Social, economic and ecological hotspots (strengths and weaknesses) are identified using methods of sustainability and resource assessment. Socio-technical potentials along value chains (production and consumption systems) can thus be identified, developed and concretised by translating them into scenarios and roadmaps towards a sustainable society.

The research work can be structured as follows:

  • Resource and climate targets for production and consumption in conjunction with the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Scenarios and roadmaps for companies / industries and households / lifestyles
  • Sustainability and resource assessment of companies, value chains, households and lifestyles (material and carbon footprint, water consumption, land use)
  • Circular design for the development of new product service systems (product design)
  • Assessment of green and sustainable bonds (incl. method development)
  • Social and technical innovations and rebound effects (e.g. in the Sharing Economy)
  • Development of a joint dissertation programme by the Institute for the Future of Industrial Society (INZIN e. V.), Department of Sustainable Production and Consumption of the Wuppertal Institute (SCP), and Folkwang University of the Arts (FUdK)

The Research Unit Production and Consumption Systems investigates and evaluates transformation approaches at companies (production side) and in households (consumption side) for sustainability and resource efficiency. It develops concepts and scenarios for climate neutral, resource efficient and sustainable processes, products, service systems and business models.


Here you can find projects of the Research Unit: