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An infrastructural perspective on sustainable consumption – Activating and obligating sustainable consumption through infrastructures

Journal article
Authors Cecilia Solér
Bianca Kakoschky
Emma Salminen
Published in Journal of Cleaner Production
Volume 243
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Business Administration, Marketing Group
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2...
Keywords Infrastructures, Sustainable consumption, Circulation of goods, Social practice.
Subject categories Business Administration

Abstract

This article presents an infrastructural perspective on sustainable consumption as supporting the replacement of unsustainable products and services with sustainable alternatives. By delineating how interconnected institutional and material infrastructures can shape the sustainability of products and services integral to social practice we show how dominant and normalized use of such products and services can be changed. We draw on a case of the consumption of antifouling (AF) products and services for leisure boats in a Swedish boat club. Our analysis is based on key insights from three theoretical infrastructural perspective, the economic perspective, the socio-material perspective and a socio-technical perspective. Thu our results show that infrastructures can perform sustainable purchase and use of products and services if (1) material and institutional infrastructures mutually reinforce such purchase and use, (2) that the infrastructural set-up provides both activating and obligating potentials and (3) that sustainable alternatives are made integral to social practice through making them accessible and convenient while penalizing unsustainable product and service alternatives.

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