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The influence of religion on sustainable consumption: a systematic review and future research agenda

A. Orellano, C. Valor, E. Chuvieco

Sustainability Vol. 12, nº. 19, pp. 7901-1 - 7901-21



Due to the current environmental crisis, sustainable consumption (SC) behaviour and its drivers has gained significant attention among researchers. One of the potential drivers of SC, religion, have been analysed in the last few years. The study of the relationship between religion and adoption of SC at the individual level have reached mixed and inconclusive results.


Following the PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review of articles published between 1998 and 2019 was conducted using the Web of Science and Scopus databases. Search terms included sustainable consumption, green consumption, ethical consumption, responsible consumption, pro-environmental behaviour and religion.


This systematic review reveals that contradictory results are due to methodological and theoretical reasons and provides a unifying understanding about the influence of religion on SC practices. Results highlight the role of religion as a distal or background factor of other proximal determinants of environmental behaviour.


This paper contributes to the literature concerning SC by synthesising previous scholarship showing that religion shapes SC indirectly by affecting attitudes, values, self-efficacy, social norms and identity. The review concludes with a research agenda to encourage scholars the study of other unexamined mediating constructs, such as beliefs in after life, cleansing rituals and prayer, moral emotions, moral identity, the role of virtues and self-restrain.

Keywords: religion; sustainable consumption; behavioral factors; review

JCR Impact Factor and WoS quartile: 3,251 - Q2 (2020); 3,900 - Q2 (2022)

DOI reference: DOI icon https://doi.org/10.3390/su12197901

Published on paper: October 2020.

Published on-line: September 2020.

A. Orellano, C. Valor, E. Chuvieco, The influence of religion on sustainable consumption: a systematic review and future research agenda. Sustainability. Vol. 12, nº. 19, pp. 7901-1 - 7901-21, October 2020. [Online: September 2020]

    Research topics:
  • Green technologies adoption and consumer engagement
  • Social inclusion, vulnerability, longevity and wellbeing