Teaching ,(un)sustainable consumption’ at Swiss universities


Project A1-26


‘Sustainable consumption’ recognizes the role of everyday people – intermittently called households, consumers or citizens – in transitions towards more sustainable pathways. This growing area of research, practice and policy-making has been gaining momentum around the world. Understanding how, in what way, and what we consume, in relation to environmental integrity and intra/inter-generational equity or more ‘sustainable development’, is a complex question – one that must be addressed by different disciplines and related methodologies, ranging from sociology, economics and psychology, to political science, history and environmental engineering. Combining and indeed transcending disciplinary approaches is necessary. While sustainable consumption studies are available to students in undergraduate and graduate programs in different countries around the world, such a course did not exist in Swiss universities at the time the grant was awarded. By building on the experiences of the international SCORAI network (sustainable consumption research and action initiative), and thanks to the support of sd-universities, we were able to:
  1. design and deliver a sustainable consumption course at the University of Lausanne, which will also be offered at the University of Geneva by 2018;
  2. conduct an international review of teaching offers around the world, and sharing best practices through a journal article in development;
  3. design a series of short-films around key figures in the sustainable consumption research community, offered as support for teaching;
  4. advise on the development of an undergraduate textbook on sustainable consumption teaching;
  5. in addition to hosting special sessions at two conferences, focused on this theme and on building a sustainable consumption teaching community.
 
Das Bild wurde vom Projekt zur Verfügung gestellt.

Project leader

Prof. Dr. Suren Erkman and Dr. Marlyne Sahakian
University of Lausanne
Faculty of Geosciences and Environment, Industrial Ecology Group

Involved universities
University of Lausanne

Project duration
1.6.2014 - 31.11.2016


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