More quality of life, less consumption

Sufficiency Policy

How can sufficiency policy succeed? How can relevant political and administrative actors be persuaded to deal with sufficiency measures? And what added value do agile collaboration formats offer in political consulting processes? This final report [in German only] provides answers to these questions from the research project ‘More quality of life, less environmental consumption’.

In the context of a green and just transition, what is currently missing is a coherent sufficiency strategy to achieve rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and to reduce levels of resource consumption. Through sufficiency policy, state institutions can create framework conditions so that citizens can meet their needs and at the same time contribute to staying within planetary limits. Sufficiency measures can act as a link between social and environmental issues by addressing these two urgent aspects together.

Due to its high ecological effectiveness, sufficiency policy is also an important strategy for the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA). In this project, we focused on how sufficiency can be integrated into different projects at the UBA – and how this can be designed using agile project management tools, to answer the question:

How can the German Federal Environment Agency promote sufficiency policy?

This final report presents the activities and outcomes of the project, which started in 2020. Throughout, four work packages were developed and implemented, each highlighting sufficiency measures in different areas:

  • Understandable heating cost information as the key to reducing consumption (HeizInfo)
  • Indicators of regional sustainability based on the sufficiency approach (IReNaS)
  • Reduction of Emissions of Air Pollutants through Sufficiency Policy Instruments (PoliSLuft)
  • Conference on Growth Independence

The report not only presents these case studies for the implementation of sufficiency policy, but also highlights some of the concrete results and insights that were generated through them. E.g., In ‘HeizInfo’, it was found that providing monthly and yearly heating cost information and visually presented data from comparable households increased the likelihood of participants to save energy.

The project also served as a testing ground for the suitability of agile project processes, with a focus on short communication channels, a trusting feedback culture, goal-oriented and flexible management, and regular spaces for mutual exchange. This final report demonstrates that agile project management can be successfully applied to the work of public administrations and provides examples of how this can be done.

ZOE Institute coordinated the project, which was carried out in cooperation with our partners Ecologic Institute, the Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT), and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (Ifeu). The final report positions the Federal Environment Agency as a strategic actor for sufficiency policy and an economy beyond economic growth in the long term.

The report is only available in German.


Project Partner

ZOE Authors