Up to now, ecological consumer policy in Germany primarily relies on “hard” regulatory instruments or economic incentives to foster sustainable private consumption. The concept of nudging, however, is currently also intensely discussed in connection with stimulating sustainable consumption patterns. As such, nudges are applied to change the choice architecture in order to increase the choice probability of social desirable actions.
In July 2014, the Federal Environment Agency has invited to tender for a research project to develop nudge-approaches to simulate sustainable consumption. Together with Prof Dr Lucia Reisch (Copenhagen Business School / Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen), Prof Dr Hans Micklitz (European University Institute), Prof Dr Cass Sunstein (intellectual father of the nudge approach from Harvard University) as well as Dr Jan Rosenow (Ricardo-AEA) ConPolicy will analyze the potential of nudges to initiate sustainable decisions and develop concrete nudging measure to be applied in Germany. The project runs for a period of 20 months.