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CORPUS Policy Brief: Enabling Sustainable Consumption

Consumption Experts Publish Policy Brief for Making Better Use of Research Evidence in Policy-Making // European Three-Years Joint Effort Comes up with Innovative Ways of Knowledge Brokerage // In Search of a Low-Impact Lifestyle

Berlin, 13 March 2013 – Although we know that consumption patterns must become more sustainable, this knowledge has not yet led to a respective response in European policy making. Following a pan-European effort, consumption experts have today released the policy brief “Enabling Sustainable Consumption”. The policy brief shows how obstacles interfering with sustainable consumption can be overcome, in order to foster a low-impact lifestyle. The European project “CORPUS – Enhancing the connectivity between research and policy-making in sustainable consumption” has examined three crucial policy sectors of sustainable consumption and production (SCP): Mobility, food and housing. Within a three-year process, policy makers and researchers have tested novel ways for sharing knowledge.

Policy Brief: Effective Toolkit for Policy Makers
The condensed policy brief is a good way – especially for busy readers – to grasp the outcomes in a subway ride. After a sketch of barriers to sustainable consumption the “Policy Maker’s Toolkit” displays the range of instruments that can be applied to promote sustainable consumption. Three examples from different policy sectors – transport, food and housing – show the role of scientific evidence in policy making. “The project CORPUS has shown that it is worth making the effort to bridge the gap between researchers and policy makers”, explains Gerd Scholl, scientist at the Berlin-based Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW). “Though knowledge exchange is often taken for granted, the different professional environments of the respective communities mean that it does not lead to common ground on its own. We have found that active knowledge brokerage is necessary, and provides benefits such as proper use of scientific evidence, time-saving, and effective communication with the target group.”

Design Principles for Knowledge Brokerage
The experts have learned that successful knowledge brokerage relies on three design principles: Participation, activation and a modular approach. If all three principles are combined, it is possible to translate information into knowledge, create a common understanding and connect experts across communities. The policy brief includes an overview of methods and tools, such as collaborative scenario building or scenario back-casting, their respective purposes and necessary resources. The brochure closes with an overview of the use of online tools for knowledge brokerage.

Pan-European Collaboration
The consortium CORPUS has been funded within the EU Seventh Framework programme. It experimented with, and developed, new integrative modalities of knowledge brokerage on sustainable consumption policies. All results have been published on, the website established as a platform for the exchange of knowledge and professional networking.

Dr. Gerd Scholl
Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW)
Potsdamer Str. 105, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Phone +49 (30) 884594-20

Download (pdf):CORPUS Policy Brief “Enabling Sustainable Consumption”