Towards Sustainable Consumption: A Framework for a Household Environmental Management System

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The encouragement of proactive behavior from consumers is vital to promote a sound implementation of sustainable production and consumption policies. To address this challenge, this paper explores an innovative framework supporting the conceptualization of a tool to evaluate and continuously improve the environmental performance of households - the Household Environmental Management System (HEMaS). One of the distinguishing features of the analysis is the consideration of rebounding effects, which was facilitated by the use of indicators of environmental impacts per euro of products. Unlike conventional simulators of environmental impacts of private consumption, the proposed framework considers all consumption and not only priority categories. In this way, the rebound effect is considered, which promotes the environmental optimization of the application of disposable income, as opposed to a simple “reduction of consumption” policy. HEMaS receives input data on expenditures and household activities, and then generates an environmental profile and personalized measures for improving household environmental performance. The paper concludes with a discussion on the potential advantages and limitations of the tool in supporting sustainable consumption policies and voluntary adoption of performance improvement measures by responsible consumers.
Original languageUnknown
Title of host publicationMaking a Difference, Putting Consumer Citizenship into Action
EditorsKlein Alexandra, Thoresen Victoria
Place of PublicationElverum, Norway
PublisherConsumer Citizenship Network
ISBN (Print)ISBN: 978-82-7671-754-9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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