Sustainability database


Sustainable Practices Research Group

If there is to be any effective response to climate change, substantially and significantly new ways of living are urgently required. There is growing recognition of the need for fresh ways of framing problems of climate change, consumption and demand, and for forms of intervention capable of catalysing entrenched habits and practices and of doing so quickly and on a big scale.  Understanding and intervening in the dynamics of social practice are central to the challenge of sustainable consumption.

The SPRG takes a distinctive approach, focusing on social practices and how they evolve over time. Practices can be understood as habits which people share, such as the school run or regular meal times, and are shaped by cultural norms, regulations, technologies and infrastructures.

Contact information: 



Prof Andrew McMeekin

One of the University's growing number of Sustainability Enthusiasts. Find out more about the initiative here.

Innovation, Business, Economy, Bioenergy, Renewable energy, Environment, Sustainability, Climate, Production, Knowledge exchange Genetics, Biology, Biotechnology, Technology, Information technology, Sustainability enthusiast, Workplace engagement, Engagement, Teaching, Education, Behaviour, Psychology


Dr Alison Browne

Alison has a number of active and interdisciplinary research projects on everyday practice and sustainable consumption; dirt, cleanliness and freshness; and the governance of water resources, drought, and climate change adaptation. In previous research projects she explored the governance of large scale resource development (e.g., agriculture, NRM, water infrastructure, mining) using 'environmentality', 'risk' and 'mega-project paradox' frameworks. 

Water, Climate, Climate change, Resilience, Sustainability, Consumption, Social responsibility, Community, Resources, Development, Agriculture, Rural studies, Mining, Economy, Cities, Engagement, Psychology


Ms Teresa Chilton

Teresa coordinates projects for energy@manchester

Information technology, Teaching, Education, Project management, Management, Schools, Community, Engagement, Energy efficiency, Energy, Sustainability, Communication


Prof Dale Southerton

My broad interests concern theories and processes of social change and its implications for the ordering of daily life. This leads to more specialised interests in: Consumption and everyday life, Theories of practice, Climate change and sustainability, Time and the temporal ordering of daily life, Social relations and differentiation, Socio-technical systems and innovation processes, and Comparative analysis (over time and space).

Sustainability, Consumption, Social responsibility, Culture, Political economy, Economy, Politics, Interdisciplinary, Knowledge exchange, Universities, Society, Engagement, Innovation


Dr Andrew Karvonen

University Living Lab Co-Principle Investigator with James Evans

I am a Lecturer in Architecture and Urbanism in the School of Environment, Education and Development at the University of Manchester.

My research bridges the design disciplines and the social sciences with a particular focus on urban sustainability. I also have a decade of experience as an environmental and sustainability consultant and am a licensed engineer in the State of Washington.

Cities, Ecology, Politics, Sustainability, Development, Infrastructure, Planning, Technology, Technical assistance, Engagement, Design, Networks, Society, Research methods, History, Geography, Living Lab, Knowledge exchange


Prof Alan Warde

I am Professor of Sociology. My previous position was Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University. I am a past Chair of the Executive Committee of the British Sociological Association and was a member of the ESRC Research Grants Board 2007-10. I am a member of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 sub-panel for Sociology.

During academic years 2010-12 I hold the Jane and Aatos Erkko Visiting Research Professorship for Studies in Contemporary Society, at the University of Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Finland.

Consumption, Society, Economy, Food, Networks, Engagement, Culture, Sustainability, Education, Teaching


Prof Simon Guy

- Member of the University's Sustainability Steering Group

My research aims to critically understanding the co-evolution of design and development strategies and socio-economic processes shaping cities. This approach has involved the development and application of an innovative sociotechnical approach to researching architecture, urban development, technological innovation and urban change analysis and integration of previously disconnected research fields - architecture and urban planning, the property sector and utilities industry.


Cities, Development, Buildings, Technology, Innovation, Housing, Business, Energy, Water, Green infrastructure, Sustainability, Infrastructure, Networks