Sustainable Consumption Now! The German National Programme for Sustainable Consumption on the Test Bed

Lucia A. Reisch, Corinna Fischer, Rainer Grießhammer, Viola Muster, Ulf Schrader, Christian Thorun, Franziska Wolff

Research output: Working paperResearch


The aim of the present paper is to evaluate the German National Programme for Sustainable Consumption, to identify key challenges and suggest further development of its scope, content, focus and processes. Germany has implemented a unique tool of SCP policy: the National Programme for Sustainable Consumption. Embedding this Programme in a theoretical frame of behavior-change mechanisms, the article first sketches current sustainable consumption and production policies. The hard and soft policies included in the Programme are outlined, and strengths and weaknesses and their suitability regarding the Programme’s mission are discussed. Four overarching recommendations are offered to fully develop the Programme’s potential: identify and prioritize the main policy problems along impact; implement a strategic approach and raise relevance; create effective bundles of hard and soft policy tools; and strengthen governance structures for more effective institutions. The paper closes by sketching upcoming challenges and next steps.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSSRN: Social Science Research Network
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • National Programme for Sustainable Consumption
  • Germany
  • Sustainability Strategy
  • Sustainability Governance

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