Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Environmental sciences

Publication Details

Sustainability, 2021,13, 6723



The modern industry discourse on sustainability is the idea of ‘green growth’, which is described as the paradox of the continuation of increased economic growth, at the same time as increasing sustainability. Policy makers face the challenge of how to encourage and sustain appropriate levels of individual behavioural change to manage consumption in a changing environment. In addressing this challenge, this study seeks to move beyond discrete elements of human consumption behaviour and develop a better understand of the wider inputs including culture, societal norms, institutions and governance. The research methodology adopted uses a systematic literature review approach coupled with thematic analysis. The study presents a new understanding of the interrelatedness of consumption policy, social structures, and the boundary arrangements of governance. What emerges is a focus on the role of governance and societal context in influencing outcomes. A fundamental output of the study is the designation of 27 evidence-based principles of change. These principles represent a new framework: the Governance and Sustainable Policy Development (GSPD) framework or ‘Road Map’, designed to guide decision making and aid the understanding of what motivates individuals and institutions within a wider neo-liberal societal system to manage their consumption from a more sustainable policy and governance perspective