Year after year, we humans exceed the planetary boundaries of the Earth. It is not only our consumption of natural resources that overburdens the regenerative capacity of natural systems, but also man-made damage to the environment. To counteract this, it is essential to consume as few raw materials and energy as possible and to reduce the destruction of natural systems. Sufficiency is a strategic approach that addresses this task. Unlike efficiency and consistency strategies, sufficiency directly addresses the actual reduction of environmental consumption. To this end, it questions how and to what extent we satisfy our needs. It develops proposals on how raw material consumption and environmental pollution can be reduced by changing our current consumption behaviour. The project "More Quality of Life, Less Environmental Consumption - User-Oriented Development of Sufficiency Policy Project Outlines in the Department of the Environment" developed corresponding sufficiency policy instruments in heat supply, regional development and air pollution control.

The research partners Ecologic Institute, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) and IZT worked together under the leadership of the Institute for Sustainable Economies (ZOE) on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency. The project followed on from a previous project and was characterised by agile, user-oriented project management. The aim of the continuation was to implement the three sufficiency policy project outlines developed in the first sub-project:

  1. Understandable heating cost information as the key to reducing consumption
  2. Indicators of regional sustainability based on the sufficiency approach
  3. Reduction of emissions of air pollutants through sufficiency policy instruments.

The IZT focused primarily on the third sub-project of air pollution control. Initially, measures to reduce air pollutants were developed, evaluated and validated by experts. On the basis of a catalogue of criteria, particularly promising reduction measures were selected and their reduction effect, the emitters addressed, their implementation and their acceptance by the population were presented in detail. The identified action concepts were also adapted to the further development of the National Clean Air Programme (NLRP). On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the study "Limits to Growth" by the Club of Rome (1972), the results were presented at a conference in autumn 2022 as the conclusion of the project.