Research theme: Consumption and production

Sustainable bio-production and sustainable use of natural resources are in a key role in achieving sustainability transformations.

How should we reorganize the production and consumption within the planetary boundaries, while guaranteeing the sufficient and equitable level of well-being? How to cover the needs of growing population using natural resources such as water, fisheries, land and biomass more efficiently? How to develop sustainable products and services to fulfill the needs of the present and future generations? 

Both consumption and production require radical changes. Technological innovations and green consumerism are not alone sufficient for the required transition. Therefore other approaches, such as grassroots innovations, social movements and sustainable design need to be analyzed and promoted. These require structural changes in economic and political systems and also novel governance arrangements to push these changes.

Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science will approach production and consumption from systemic perspective addressing the dynamics related to ecological, economic, social, political and cultural aspects. Our approaches include a wide range of participatory and interdisciplinary methods.

The Centre for Consumer Society Research studies the development of the consumer society from the perspectives of societal structures and consumers with a problem-oriented and multi-disciplinary approach.

The research group aims to contribute toward a better understanding of managerial, organizational and behavioural issues in food systems for sustainable change.

The multidisciplinary research team is interested is exploring solutions for ensuring the sustainability of food systems in the future. The special focus of the group is in the assessment of the potential of novel technologies considering environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainability.   

The TreesForDev consortium project examines how tree planting initiatives have proliferated across the world, specifically looking at the political drivers of these projects and where funding comes from. This includes examining how Finland and other European countries have contributed to the development of tree planting schemes.

The Political Economies of Deforestation project analyzes deforestation and forest degradation in Brazil, Peru, and Finland, with the main analytical focus on profound, underlying causes of deforestation in regions where a specific resource extraction is dominant, as the power of the resulting political economic systems may explain regional forest politics and policies.

The research group focuses on design­ing food struc­tures and un­der­stand­ing hy­dro­col­loid func­tion­al­ity to search for alternative and complementary sources of food and packaging materials, and novel technologies to design and improve food products.

The AgriChar research group studies the effects of biochar systems on the physico-chemical properties of soil, on soil biota and on the yield formation and nutrition of field crops.

BlueAdapt project develops innovative means for supporting sustainable blue growth in food production, energy production and tourism. The project aims to find new practices for governance and means for regulation, which secure both the sustainability and resilience in water ecosystems as well as in social and economic systems.