Study for the German Federal Environment AgencyYouth participation and communication formats for sustainable consumption

Project period: 
November 2020 – October 2022

Federal Environment Agency

Project partner:
IKU, Tippingpoints

In recent years, sustainability policy issues have become increasingly relevant in the social and political discourse. The commitment of young people is a major driver of this development. Young people are important change agents towards a more sustainability society. However, the behavior of many young people is characterized by ambivalence: Although they are convinced that each and everybody must make a contribution to greater sustainability, this conviction is not always sufficiently visible in their own consumption behavior. This is where the attitude behavior gap, which has long been known, can be found. It is therefore politically crucial to make concrete contributions to reducing young people’s discrepancy between aspiration, knowledge and action in the realm of sustainable behavior.

Therefore, the German Federal Environment Agency commissioned ConPolicy together with IKU and Tippingpoints to carry out this research project. The project aimed to create a scientific basis for further activities in the field of participation-oriented and transformative research, participation, information offers or campaigns for young people in the area of sustainable consumption. In addition, the project aimed to show how the attitude behavior gap of young people in the area of sustainable consumption can be reduced through better participation and communication offerings. This goal was achieved through the use of analytical desk research as well as the continuous collection and inclusion of the views and opinions of adolescents and young adults as well as persons from practice and science.

ConPolicy was responsible for the following steps in this project:

  • Inventory: In the first step, formal and informal forms of engagement and participation for young people in the context of sustainable consumption were identified and systematically processed. Moreover, relevant impact and success parameters were deducted from the literature and validate by a quantitative survey among adolescents. 
  • Impact analysis: In the second step, telephone interviews were conducted to evaluate the identified participation formats with regard to the relevant impact and success parameters.
  • Recommendations for action: Finally, the results were processed and translated into concrete recommendations for action regarding youth participation formats.

In addition, ConPolicy was involved in the analysis of youth-specific sustainability communication and the implementation of creative workshops in order to present and discuss the results and deduct recommendations for action for the German Federal Environment Agency. 

The results of the project can be found here.

Project of

Project Manager

+49 (0)30 2359116-12

Project Manager

+49 (0)30 2359116-18

Managing Director

+49 (0)30 2359116-11