Efficacy of sustainability labels and -apps

Consumers often lack the necessary information to make sustainable purchasing decisions. To counteract this, sustainability labels and sustainability apps are used providing information about the ecological (social and ethical) conditions during production process of consumer goods. Studies show that sustainability labels for food are valued, however they compete with quality, taste, price and other product attributes. The impact of sustainability labels depends on the personal characteristics of customers, including altruism, environmental awareness and willingness to pay. The great number of labels is also referred to as the "label jungle" and often makes it difficult for consumers to interpret the labels. With the help of sustainability apps, users can measure their environmental impact by scanning their grocery bill and learn more about sustainability and health through a playful approach, so they can make more conscious decisions the next time they go shopping.

>> >> In our research, consumer preferences and attitudes towards sustainability labels and apps are considered and analyzed. Furthermore, factors that influence consumer attitudes are investigated.

Food Waste

Every day - especially in industrialized countries - vast amounts of avoidable food waste is thrown away. In Austria, more than 756,700 tons of food per year end up being thrown away, 276,000 tons of which are wasted by and in households. The best before date (BBD) is about quality and not safety. After the best before date listed on a product, the food will be safe to eat but may not be at its best. Reducing food waste can be achieved by checking a product with an exceeded BBD by - seeing, smelling, tasting.

>> In our research we primarily are concerned with examining the household level, thus we investigate the factors that cause households to throw away food and what measures can be taken to reduce food waste.

Consumer Sufficiency

Consumer sufficiency means the conscious decision not to consume goods and services that are not ecologically or socially compatible. To a small extent, consumer sufficiency can mean not buying food out of season. On a larger scale, it means changing our ideas about living, working and leisure. Although consumer sufficiency often has negative connotations in society, in the long term it seems to be indispensable for achieving climate and sustainability goals.

>> Together with researchers from other disciplines, our research addresses the question of how consumers experience conscious consumption reduction, what supportive measures society and legislators can take to promote sufficiency, and how moderate consumption can become a social reality of the future.

Sustainable Dialogue

Agriculture plays a key role in climate change, biodiversity and sustainability. It is only through mutual dialogue that our society can develop an understanding of the special requirements and framework conditions in which small-scale, family-based Austrian agriculture operates in the context of international competition. In the same way, agricultural actors must understand the demands and concerns of the rest of society in order to finding together solutions to future challenges.

>> In our research we ask which media and forms of messaging allow farmers and agricultural associations best to enter into a sustainable dialogue with the rest of the population and their associations.