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Bringing sustainable consumption into the mass market: Identifying and promoting green key products with high diffusion potential

Sustainable consumption is an important task within the transformation to an economy and society following the sustainable development goals. In Germany, sustainable consumption has been systematically promoted through the German government's National Program for Sustainable Consumption (NPNK). However, many environmentally friendly products continue to remain in the niche, even though they develop an individual (additional) advantage, for example through financial savings or health benefits, and thus have the potential to get into the mass market.

The aim of this project is to initiate concerted actions by various stakeholders to promote environmentally friendly products. For this purpose, the project reviews the state of research and good practice examples on sustainable campaigns and identifies relevant green products (from balcony solar panels to jeans with the Grüner Knopf certification). The research team will prepare comprehensive case studies for twelve so-called key products and analyse their dissemination potential. To this end, short interviews and selective empirical surveys will complement the desktop research.

In a series of stakeholder workshops, the researchers and the participants will develop initial ideas and conceptual elements for sustainable campaigns for a selection of key products. This is supported by empirical research such as on-site tests at the point of sale or focus groups. The findings will be incorporated into the implementation of the campaigns and should thus increase the likelihood that they will actually lead to successful consumer activation and market diffusion of the selected products.

IÖW Project Team