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

A. Orellano, C. Valor, E. Chuvieco


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

Sustainability. Volumen: 12 Número: 19 Páginas: 7901-1-7901-21

Índice de impacto JCR y cuartil WoS: 2.576 - Q2 (2019)

Referencia DOI: DOI icon 10.3390/su12197901    

Publicado en papel: Octubre 2020. Publicado on-line: Septiembre 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, Octubre 2020. [Online: Septiembre 2020]

    Líneas de investigación:
  • Compromiso con el consumidor y sostenibilidad
  • Gestión de las transiciones hacia la sostenibilidad