Consumption Styles - Sustainable Consumer Behaviour

In this project the team developed a typology of relevant consumer styles in Germany.

Research approach

The overall project was dedicated to compiling promising lines of communication and courses of action for sustainable development. To this end, ISOE undertook an empirical investigation of different groups representative of the population in terms of how they consume and live. The goal was to generate concrete strategies for consumer education on environmental issues and consumption.

For this, scientists conducted interviews in 100 households in Germany. With the help of a standardised consumption survey, they ascertained the existing level of consumption and prevailing consumer behaviour patterns in selected sectors. In addition, they narrowed down the stimulants and inhibitors for sustainable consumer behaviour. Together with the Consumer Centre of North Rhine-Westphalia, the team developed eco-friendly strategies specific to certain target groups and styles of consumption. The basis for this was an evaluation of existing consumer communication media.

Project partners

Verbraucherzentrale Nordrhein-Westfalen


Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt)


1997/01 – 1999/12