Mapping Transitions towards Sustainable Consumption : Latitudes, Legends and Declinations in the Interaction between Consumers Culture and Sustainable Business Models
This paper seeks to chart “a navigation route“ towards sustainable consumption. We draw on data collected in research on consumers’ response to integrated products and services bundles conceptualized in design literature as Product Service Systems (PSS). PSS is of interest as it offers potential social and environmental benefits. Such services- based sustainable consumption practices have been neglected by consumer researchers. Methodological approaches to sustainable consumption favoured by policy makers focus research and interventions on individual consumer behaviour, but these have very limited success. Consumer practices, and the role that Government and other institutions play, are a more appropriate conceptual framework to explicate sustainable consumption. However, this Practice Theory approach is not sufficient either; the best solution might be a combination of this with an understanding of the individual value pursued by consumers. We extend Shove (2010)’s contention that adoption of sustainable consumption practices can only be explained with socio-cultural approaches; we propose that a combination of this perspective with an understanding of the value expected by individual consumers, is a more suitable approach than either behavioural paradigms or practices on their own to map these adoption mechanisms.