Special Issue "Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns: Policy Design and Evaluation", Sustainability


Under the era of Paris Agreement and SDGs, agenda for sustainability has shifted from regulation to designing fundamental changes in socio-technical system towards decarbonized and circular society. This shift would largely depend on taking advantage of emerging forces in socio-technical system. This includes new business models, drivers of wealth, wellbeing and human development, urbanization, disruptive technologies, and digitization. Socio-technical innovations are crucial to ensure that these forces do not divert our society away from sustainability.

Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) policy design and evaluation encounter a fundamental shift in its focuses. Firstly, SCP policies are expanding from the environmental policy domain to socio-technology policy domain. Secondly, strengthening linkages between consumption and production is a key emerging trend. Thirdly, transition to SCP is a socio-technical regime shift requiring successive changes in social practices, technology use in daily life, and associated infrastructure. Forth, bottom up approaches are necessary to enhance effectiveness and acceptance of SCP policies as well as enabling new business models and lifestyles for SCP.

Based on this recognition, this special issue will highlight why SCP policy design and evaluation needs to overcome conventional environmental policy framework. Emerging SCP policy design and evaluation is not those focusing on individual products or behaviors/or improving efficiency in management system in relation to environmental sustainability. Rather it is to address more socio-economic system and to target collective efforts for transition. It is fundamentally different from environmental policy design responding to pollution. It is vital to identify and develop communication tools for sharing visions among stakeholders. Emerging SCP policy design under the era of SDGs include communication/planning tools as well as those expecting multiple effect/unintended effect contributing to social well-being. This special issue try to feature studies contributing to policy design and evaluation in this direction.