Research Division

Sustainable Productionand Consumption

The Division explores opportunities for creating a sustainable, resource-light society, and a socio-ecological market economy in which products and services offer a high quality of life and are produced in a sustainable way, either globally or locally. The research focuses on the social-ecological balance of entrepreneurial, social, and technological changes and innovations in line with the implementation of the United Nations' international Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To achieve a climate-neutral and resource light society, in the medium to long term, a fundamental "dematerialisation" through efficiency, consistency, and sufficiency strategies of production and consumption is necessary in order to ensure that products become "lighter on resources" and can be used longer and better. This is a matter of design.

For this purpose, the Sustainable Production and Consumption Division analyses, evaluates, and develops technological and social innovations in real-world laboratories and living labs. Thereby, users of these innovations are intensively involved before and during the development process.
Resource efficiency and social impacts of production and consumption are evaluated by researchers along value chains. They develop transformation approaches and scenarios for climate-neutral, resource-light, and sustainable technologies, processes, products, service systems, and lifestyles focusing on the key areas of action nutrition, leisure, mobility, and housing.

In order for production and consumption patterns to change, companies that develop and offer such products and services are required. In addition, there is a need for empowered consumers who use these products and services, as well as an accompanying political framework that supports the transformation process.

The research of the research Division Sustainable Production and Consumption thus dedicates itself to these issues:

  • sustainability and resource assessment,
  • product and service innovations (developed in real-world laboratories and living labs),
  • Education, and
  • science-based innovation, enterprise and consumer policy approaches.

The Division's research is inter- and transdisciplinary and is based on cooperations in numerous inter- and national networks as well as on many years of experience in a large number of third-party funded projects.

The Division comprises the two Research Units Innovation Labs and Production and Consumption Systems.

to the profile

Divisional chart: Sustainable Production and Consumption


You find various projects and publications of this Division in the following topics:


Here you find up-to-date information on activities of the Research Division Sustainable Production and Consumption.

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