SPACES Program

Sustainable Production And Consumption Systems

The SPACES program at the Unit for Social and Environmental Research (USER) focuses on treating commodity chains, from inputs, through distribution to consumption and disposal, as integrated production and consumption systems.

Our research has been aimed at identifying points of leverage for improving sustainability looking well beyond immediate production stages. As such we have become interested in issues of consumption and the creation of demand and wants. We have also contributed to evaluations and deliberations on voluntary standards and certification schemes.

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Our empirical work began with on shrimp aquaculture farms in Thailand and Vietnam and has expanded to consider other production regions, and to look more closely at the full commodity chain through to end-consumers. We have also explored these ideas with respect to sustainable tourism.

Many of our collaborative assessment activities in 2004-2008 were carried out as part of an international working group that went by the same name as our program, SPACES.