Household-level transition methodology towards sustainable material footprints

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research units

  • University of Helsinki
  • Wuppertal Institute for Climate
  • St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO)


This paper presents a new household-level methodology for transition towards sustainability. The methodology includes measuring the resource use of households on a micro level, testing relevant measures towards a one-planet resource use, and developing mainstreaming options in co-operation with households and providers of services, products, and infrastructures. We use the MIPS (Material Input Per unit of Service) method to calculate the use of natural resources and concentrate on the material footprint as an aggregated indicator for the overall use of material resources. With HST (Household-level Sustainability Transition) methodology, we extend the material footprint methodology from just measuring household resource use to developing visions, conducting experiments, as well as learning and upscaling, all of which contribute to the whole Transition-Enabling Cycle. Results from the first application of the HST methodology on five households in Jyväskylä, Finland, show that it is possible to achieve a significantly more sustainable level of consumption by a relatively few changes in everyday living. Achieving a one-planet use of material resources, however, also requires systemic changes.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-191
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Dematerialization, Household consumption, Material footprint, Sustainability transition

ID: 7348993