Areas of Expertise
With our finger on the pulse of emerging trends and radical innovations, we enable change makers to integrate sustainability across their organisations.
Lifestyles & Behaviour
How we choose to live our lives, fulfil our needs, and realise our hopes and dreams are all things that define us and the role we play in the world. Modifying these behaviours and choices is critical in the mitigation of climate change and resource scarcities.
We have reached a point where it is imperative that we move beyond small, isolated measures of change. Europe’s leading strategic framework, the EU Green Deal calls for holistic and inclusive approaches to get all citizens on board for more sustainability.
We understand that success lies in understanding both individual factors such as personal capabilities and motivations as well as external factors, infrastructure, and social norms. By putting emphasis on addressing existing inequalities and implementing behaviour-informed interventions, we can mobilise behaviours for a good life for all.
Since our pioneer work to understand lifestyle impacts across different countries and types of consumers with the SPREAD Sustainable Lifestyles 2050 project, our team has increased knowledge on how change towards more sustainable behaviours can happen. In our successful format, the Academy of Change (AoC), we empowered and enabled civil society organisations to decipher the features of conventional behaviours in order to be able to challenge and alter them in favour of more sustainability.
In other work streams we involve citizens directly, such as through our PSLifestyle project, which aims to engage four million European citizens to change their behaviours toward healthier and more sustainable lifestyles to achieve goals such as mitigating climate change, zero pollution, and preserving and protecting biodiversity.
Products & Services
Many businesses recognise sustainable products and services as a framework for driving growth, increasing shareholder value, improving stakeholder satisfaction, and enhancing social and environmental standards. To achieve this, we support businesses to regularly screen and update their products and services and be provident in face of future challenges and increasing regulatory demands, such as the EU Sustainable Product Initiative. Moreover, our team collaborates with all other relevant actors on the topic of sustainable products and services, improving value chains and enhancing portfolio innovation toward greater sustainability.
For example, the CSCP hosts REWE’s Sustainable Products Council, comprised of a multi-stakeholder membership, including consumer groups and civil society organisations. The council is a pace-setting initiative for improving sustainability in the German food sector through trust-based dialogue and exchange. As part of the council, we supported REWE Group in developing the Pro Planet Label, which highlights popular products whose sustainability performance has been improved along the entire value chain. Its underlying methodology can be applied to different product groups, from food and beverage to housing improvement with the goal of mainstreaming sustainable products and services.
Finally, we acknowledge consumers as active market players and work on integrating their insights into production as well as empower them to make sustainable consumption choices and drive positive change. Our Consumer Insight Action Panel is an example how integrating consumer insights into circular strategies can not only improve the acceptance of products and services but also help make them more sustainable in first place.
Business & Entrepreneurship
The digital and sustainable transformation is in full swing and businesses are looking to reinvent their business models, become more resilient, and provide options that will enable more sustainable choices.
Entrepreneurs worldwide are taking up innovative and circular business models as tools to stir competitiveness and generate employment and local development. The EU Circular Economy Action Plan provides both a guiding framework as well as an incentivising tool to accelerate circularity as a means toward more sustainability.
In projects like CSR.digital or WertNetzWerke, we engage with small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and implement innovative (digital) solutions that open the way to sustainable business models. We connect business, science, and civil society actors as well as start-ups, chambers of commerce, and business associations to jointly create solutions for entrepreneurial challenges in the age of digitalisation and sustainability.
In our tourism projects, like the Sustainable Island Mauritius, PERETO in Kyrgyzstan or TUI Care Foundation in Vietnam, we bring all actors together (local authorities, businesses, craftspeople, communities, tourists) in co-creation formats, capacity building programmes, networking activities, and awareness raising campaigns to demonstrate and scale up mechanisms that improve sustainability along the entire value chain in order to achieve goals such as stopping and reversing biodiversity loss or zero pollution.
In our Business & Biodiversity (UBi) project we engage closely with companies and business associations by providing them state-of-the-art knowledge on biodiversity and improving its integration into companies’ strategic planning in direct contribution to climate protection, zero-pollution, and healthier living conditions.
Cities & Infrastructure
Understanding the material flows of an urban area goes beyond traditional ideas of housing and transportation. Tapping into the potential of cities by analysing local contexts enables us to provide integrated roadmaps, identifying a city’s path toward sustainability as well as to implement sustainable lifestyle changes. European cities and towns – all 80,000 of them – are key to reaching the EU Green Deal through tailor-made Local Green Deals and implementation plans that work in local contexts.
For example, the Circular Economy approach as a cornerstone of the EU Green Deal, does not only offer new ways to a sustainable future and a better quality of life, but also unimagined economic potential. In formats such as our Circular Cities Workshop, we support cities to unlock this potential through effective steps, new business models, and impact-oriented collaborative action. The CSCP together with European partners have developed the European Cities Declaration, which is not only a commitment but also a short guide and a learning platform to help accelerate the circular transition in cities.
Likewise, in our Urban Up project, we worked with cities on upscaling urban sharing strategies. Through a Living Lab in Wuppertal and backed up by an interdisciplinary team, the project conducted systemic research to understand why people are motivated to share goods, services, time, and co-create commons in cities and to evaluate the scalability of sharing concepts.
In our Horizon 2020 SCALIBUR and HOOP projects we are mobilising cities and regions to lead a revolution in biowaste recycling and biowaste and wastewater valorisation to reduce pollution and create growth potential. Across Europe, our Biowaste Clubs bring stakeholders together to discuss concrete ways on how to upcycle urban biowaste.
Whether an entrepreneur or a multinational company, an NGO or an individual consumer, we are all affected by policy frameworks. As builders of our legal scaffolds, policymakers are key influencers, able to shape behaviours across production and consumption alike. Engaging policymakers is key to catalysing a sustainable future.
Our team at CSCP works with policy makers across governance levels through our ‘Think’ and ‘Do’ services by positioning sustainable consumption and production (SCP) at the core of an integrated and holistic approach. Policy advice is a central output of our work, when we have identified barriers to innovations or leverage points that are linked to policy and could subsequently be changed through it.
For example, in our VALUMICS project we have provided European decision makers with a comprehensive suite of approaches and tools to evaluate the impact of policies and strategies for enhancing the resilience, integrity and sustainability of food value chains in Europe. The Switch-Africa project GOALAN we supported Kenyan authorities to boost sustainable local development through green public procurement. In our Consumer Insight Action Panel, we published policy recommendations to support effective packaging avoidance and reuse strategies as well as the best possible recycling of single-use packaging.
Our HOOP and SCALIBUR projects joined hands with three other projects working on urban circular bioeconomies to form ROOTS, a policy initiative that aims to change the biowaste system in Europe. The ROOTS initiative has opened the way for a dialogue between policy makers and those who are affected by policy to foster circular bioeconomies throughout Europe.
In our ETC / CE project, we support the European Environment Agency in fulfilling its to provide independent and reliable information to policymakers and broader audiences on topics such designing for circularity or finding pathways to reducing microplastic pollution, a key aspect of the EU Green Deal zero pollution ambition.
"CSCP promotes innovation and provides significant support to finding sustainable development solutions. In the realm of sustainable consumption, it inspires new ways of thinking sustainability, placing the individual as the starting point of change, understanding that less consumption is driven by wellbeing and happiness."
Marina Bortoletti, UNEP Brazil