IGS University of Twente
Research group CSTM

Sustainable production & consumption

The field

The CSTM domain Sustainable Production and Consumption comprises five areas for special attention. In the area of “Environmental policy approaches and their effectiveness”, CSTM researchers analyse ways of changing governmental sustainability strategies towards environmental governance, industrial production and consumption.
 “Networks and organizations for sustainable development” concentrates on multi-actor/network constellations joining forces and working together in the greening of industry. Furthermore, corporate collaborative strategies of companies are objects of research, especially when network approaches and capacity-building partnerships are used for increasing corporate and product legitimacy.
The firm-level mitigation of environmental impacts of products and production processes – the greening of industry – describes the theme “Environmental management and sustainability at the firm level/Greening of Industry”. This includes among others corporate environmental strategy and environmental management systems. Besides, this area includes topics such as market development/preparation for new products, technologies or services.
Opportunities for better environmental quality that come with socio-economic development and innovations are addressed in the theme of “Green Economy and Eco-innovations”. To decrease social costs and benefits while reducing natural resource use and industrial pollution is at the theme’s heart.
Finally, the theme “Sustainable development” focuses on smart ways for balancing the social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainable development. For example, the projects “Building with Nature” and “NatureCoast” are long-term research programmes aimed at development and application of new design concepts for the layout and sustainable management of wet infrastructure.

Key academic projects in progress

Sustainable innovation projects Energy and water are the subjects of interest in terms of sustainable innovations with the main goal to add value and reduce environmental impacts. Examples of studies are: (1) Financing sustainable innovators, with particular attention to energy transition and local energy initiatives; (2) Value adding wastewater treatment through combination of treatment technologies and services. Costs and benefits of Innovations for Sustainable tourism in national parks An emerging subject of studies is land use for tourism, recreation and culture which are fast growing businesses. In these studies CSTM strives for direct involvement of companies in order to strengthen the corporate social responsibility and life cycle management. Hence, studies are based on practices. The methodology of reflective practices is used, it means participation in and reflecting on joint work of stakeholders. Green Economy and Eco-innovations projects In this research field, the possibilities of socio-economic development and better environmental qualities are addressed. Herewith, an important role is for innovations. A general issue is how natural resource uses and industrial pollution can be contained at decreasing costs and social benefit, and how economies can become eco-efficient. The social demands for sustainability development are addressed, including changes in socio-economic structures towards more knowledge work and leisure time. Also, supply of creative and novel solutions is studied, including blending of natural and cultural attributes. Important features in the research are innovators networks and possibilities of novel institutions, renewed policies and market arrangements in support of the networks. Product Co-Creation Centres Product co-creation centre (PC3) is an interdisciplinary action research project which includes researchers from entrepreneurship (NIKOS, http://www.utwente.nl/bms/nikos/) and Design (OPM, http://www.utwente.nl/ctw/opm/). It focuses on enabling entrepreneurship by engaging grassroots innovators in designing their own products and services, while considering social and environmental sustainability aspects. Doing so, grassroots innovators and entrepreneurs are supported to create real value with local impact. For further information, please click on for the PC3 website.

People involved