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Sustainable Consumption: Handbooks, Grey Literature, and Reference

A guide for researching sustainable products, as well as interventions, news, and other literature on sustainability.


Oxford Bibliographies

Oxford publishes bibliographies on a variety of topics, across several different disciplines.  The bibliographies are compiled by experts in the field and always begin with an overview of the topic, followed by additional readings on the subject.  They are a great way to familiarize yourself with a new topic in sustainability.  

Grey Literature

"Grey literature" is a term used to describe research reports that have not been published through traditional commercial or academic means (e.g. a report from a think tank, like the Pew Research Foundation).  Government documents are considered "grey literature", as are reports from business and industry.  The following organizations produce "grey literature" that you may find useful in your research on sustainable consumption.  

Reference Works

Encyclopedias and dictionaries are a great way to get an overview of a new topic.  A good encyclopedia will have entries written by eminent scholars in the field and will point you to the key readings in a subfield.  

You can find dictionaries and encyclopedias related to sustainability under the subject headings: 

We also have a variety of reference databases where you can look up a concept and see where it appears in different reference resources.  For example, if you search "green product" in Credo Reference Unlimited, you'll see that it appears in the following dictionaries, all of which are accessible online:

Other digital reference sources include: 

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