Ultimately since the UN conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the promotion of sustainable consumption patterns has become an essential part of international, European and national environmental policy. The focus is on the development and dissemination of sustainable products and technologies. However, this focus on innovation is set too narrow, since it obscures the potential for social innovations. Over the past few years, there have seen developments that can be characterized as social innovations. The present article therefore examines the possibilities for policy and, in particular, environmental policy to support social innovation. In concrete terms, the current status of the promotion of social innovations for sustainable consumption and perspectives for environmental policy support are presented.
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