Governing sustainability practices

Effective sustainability governance requires understanding the how situated practices are shaped by policy, knowledge and reciprocal action.

By acknowledging the agency of human beings ‘to do things differently’, despite path dependencies and routines, we focus on how sustainability outcomes are shaped by factors beyond regulatory frameworks and individual interests.

We use practices as a relevant entry point for understanding policy- and law-making aimed at steering societal transitions towards sustainability. Accordingly, we study how people interact with technologies, nature, and markets (for example via certification practices) – or how they adopt a landscape approach to change decision-making practices.

By understanding how practices can change we focus on the design and implementation of new sustainability trajectories, for example climate-neutral housing projects in neighbourhoods, clean energy cooperatives near cities, or greening rural landscapes through citizens-based initiatives.