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the environmental policy

Promoting sustainable consumption requires improved understanding of consumer behaviour and attitudes. Consumers have different needs with respect to information and their potential to be influenced by instruments and tools varies. Most consumers have a positive but passive view of sustainable consumption. Policy tools and instruments may need to be targeted to different types of households, individuals or groups. Many variables should be taken into account, including income, age, biases, attitudes and gender. To this end, the OECD Environment Policy Committee (EPOC) is conducting a multi-country survey on household behaviour and five environmental policy areas: waste generation and recycling, energy use, personal transport choices, food consumption, and water use . In designing effective sustainable consumption policies, general consumer behaviour (awareness, rationality) as well as attitudinal variables should be taken into account. For some consumers, income level and status concerns indicate that initiatives could build on their desire to make green statements or send social messages. Female sensibilities may count in purchasing certain household goods, while male orientations are important in guiding larger purchases such as cars and electronics. Different approaches will appeal to older vs. younger consumers. For example, some propose targeting consumers in marketing terms, i.e. green vs. disinterested, young vs. householders, currently constrained vs. long-term restricted, which would then influence policy design and the choice of instruments