Measuring what matters in sustainable consumption: an integrative framework for the selection of relevant behaviors

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In the face of existing obstacles in the interdisciplinary research on sustainable consumption behaviors, we argue for the need of an integrative framework from an interdisciplinary perspective. Such a framework is presented in the form of a three-dimensional cube model of sustainable consumption behavior (SCB-cube) extended by a fourth impact dimension. The model has two purposes for application: First, to systematize existing research on different behaviors on a common taxonomy and second, to facilitate the selection of relevant sustainable consumption behaviors in social sustainability research based on impact. We critically appraise existing intent- and impact-based research approaches on the four key dimensions of the SCB-cube, focusing on the ecological and socio-economic impacts of consumption behaviors. Recommendations for the selection of relevant behaviors for empirical behavioral research are given, using the SCB-cube as a guiding heuristic. The main audience for this model is social science researchers measuring sustainable consumer behaviors on the individual level. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSustainable Development
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)18–33
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2018

    Research areas

  • Sustainability Science - Consumption areas , Consumption phases , Impact-based assessment , Intent-based assessment , Key points of consumption , Sustainability dimensions , Sustainable consumption behavior