Project for the Federal Environmental Agency on digitalization and sustainable consumptionDigitalization of markets and lifestyles: New challenges for sustainable consumption

Project period: 
January 2019 – December 2021

German Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt)

Project partner:
Institute for Ecological Economic Research (IÖW) GmbH, Dr. Gerd Scholl und Prof. Dr. Tilman Santarius (TU Berlin)

Digitalization transforms the economy, society as well as our consumption patterns and lifestyle. On the supply side of the market, business models are shifting towards data-driven business models. Personalized advertising, products and prices are increasingly being used. On the demand side, digitalization is changing the way consumers form their preferences, how they look for offerings and what kind of products and services they consume, how they interact with the products or (co-)create them and how they share and jointly use these products.

In the face of these changes, it is still unclear what effects, or what opportunities and risks, digitalization will bring with it in order to promote sustainable consumption.

Against this background the German Federal Environment Agency has commissioned ConPolicy in collaboration with the Institute for Ecological Economic Research (IÖW), Dr. Gerd Scholl and Prof. Dr. Tilman Santarius (TU Berlin) with this project (FKZ: 3718163140).

The project aims to systematically explore the implications of digitalization for a sustainable consumption policy and to implement practical examples of promoting sustainable consumption. For this purpose, the current state of research and the central social determinants of digitalization, which are also relevant starting points for the promotion of sustainable consumption, will be reviewed. In a workshop series, innovative ideas will be conceptually developed and implemented in collaboration with various stakeholders from civil society and practice. An interim report investigated to what extent consumers today can find information about the sustainability of products on the internet and which measures should be taken to close existing information gaps. Finally, recommendations for further development of the National Program for Sustainable Consumption will be developed taking into account key digital trends.

Project of

Managing Director

+49 (0)30 2359116-11

Project Manager

+49 (0)30 2359116-15

Project Manager

+49 (0)30 2359116-13