Published 2021-09-16

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SEK 50 million for a second phase of Mistra Sustainable Consumption

Mistra’s Board of Directors has decided to award the Mistra Sustainable Consumption research programme funding for a second phase, with up to SEK 50 million over an upcoming four-year period. The programme is working on scaling up sustainable consumption practices.

Mistra Sustainable Consumption – from niche to mainstream aims to encourage a transition to more sustainable consumption, both in Sweden and internationally, focusing on three areas: food, holidays and interior design. The programme started at the end of 2017, after being awarded research funding from Mistra for an initial four-year period. The aim of the research programme is to use increased knowledge of how sustainable consumption, currently practised by a minority of people, can be scaled up and contribute to sustainable consumption practices becoming mainstream in Sweden by 2030. Following an evaluation conducted by a panel of international experts, Mistra’s Board has decided to grant programme funding for a second phase. Mistra Sustainable Consumption will receive up to SEK 50 million over a four-year period (2022–2025). The evaluation panel stated that the programme has been successful in its collaboration with business and other relevant actors, and that the programme has succeeded with its vision of moving sustainable consumption practices from niche to mainstream.

Malin Lindgren, Programmes Director at Mistra.

“Seeing the programme’s midway evaluation was truly enjoyable. The expert panel was very positive about the programme’s results and work, and were particularly enthusiastic about their meeting with some of the programme’s doctoral students. We are looking forward to following the programme for another four years. They have succeeded in fulfilling Mistra’s requirements in the original call – a focus on transformative solutions rather than simply identifying unsustainable consumption,” says Malin Lindgren, Programmes Director at Mistra. This summer, Mistra Sustainable Consumption published a study, Shifting expenditure on food, holidays, and furnishings could lower greenhouse gas emissions by almost 40%, written by Annika Carlsson KanyamaJonas Nässén and René Benders, which received international attention. After The Guardian covered it and focused on men being responsible for a greater proportion of emissions – because they drive more and eat more meat – it hit the international media and was even made the subject of comedy sketches. Research in the programme has also focused on practical applications and the striving towards sufficiency in environmental policy as means of counteracting overconsumption and contributing to a fair transformation. Two studies have examined how municipalities and regions and civil society can be part of this transition.

Karin Bradley, docent at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

“We are delighted to be able to continue this research and can advance it by testing proposed solutions in practise, with our partners. Another four years provides a better foundation for our research being used to concrete measures in policy and in society. For phase two, Åsa Svenfelt and I have chosen to hand over the management of the programme to Göran Finnveden, KTH and Jörgen Larsson, Chalmers, but we will continue to conduct research as part of the programme,” says Karin Bradley, KTH, who currently directs the programme in partnership with Åsa Svenfelt. KTH is the main contractor for the programme and the consortium includes researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Lund University, Luleå University of Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Cambridge Econometrics and Albert-Ludwigs-Universität. In addition, there are societal partners from business, interest organisations and public authorities. Read more about Mistra Sustainable Consumption here.