This paper aims to present the authors’ views on education for responsible consumption (ERC) in higher education, and deals with major components to be considered to educate students for responsible consumption.
There are three components that seem relevant for ERC in higher education: taught courses should be closely linked with research being carried out into responsible consumption, ERC should focus on a global approach to reducing ecological impacts by changing consumption behaviour and the diversity of situations in terms of specific characteristics of local administrative areas and populations must be properly understood to adapt ERC messages and actions to significant local features.
The diversity of modes of consumption and the complexity inherent in responsible consumption mean that the issue of ERC has to be considered from a global, cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspective. In the educational context, the wide variety of students, although creating some difficulties in terms of teaching, is nevertheless a positive factor, as it provides a cultural mix and encourages the appropriation of responsible consumption issues by all. Regarding the effectiveness of this type of ERC in achieving the expected outcome of reducing ecological impacts, assessment tools have to be introduced from student level to the level of the local authority as a whole.
To reinforce these concepts and recommendations, this article highlights the master’s degree in “Human ecology: environmental challenges of the activities of production and consumption” (University of Bordeaux, France). This course is the only one in France to cover the issues involved in responsible consumption using a cross-disciplinary approach.
The authors thank Hilary Koziol for translating this article.
Gombert-Courvoisier, S., Sennès, V. and Ribeyre, F. (2014), "An analysis of viewpoints on education for responsible consumption in higher education", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 259-269. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-12-2011-0080Download as .RIS
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