Sustainability in retail

"Inno-BBNE in Retail" - funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Project duration: 01.04.2016 - 31.06.2019

Short description:

Starting situation and goals:

Studies show that consumers complain about the lack of decision-relevant information or poor preparation of information regarding the sustainability of the product assumptions that interest them (e.g. knowledge of where fair products are available, what quality criteria mean). Consumers see this information as a 'debt to be discharged' by the companies.
Therefore, the focus of this project is on the so-called 'point of sale'. The aim is to develop an innovative technology-based learning and working tool for multipliers and training staff through joint conception, development and testing. At the same time, didactic approaches are being developed with the help of which the competence of trainees to design sustainable professional action situations in retail can be promoted and supported.


The starting point is both knowledge components, professional actions and attitudes towards sustainable professional action and their innovative self-directed implementation.

The aim of the Inno-BBNE project was to identify and convey facets of sustainable design competence in retail (Ritter von Marx, Kreuzer, Weber & Bley, 2020). For this purpose, an app-based learning environment with three components was developed using mobile devices: (1) a learning app for building sustainable design competence, (2) a serious game for observing and assessing competent sustainable action in simulated authentic situations, and (3) a learning diary for monitoring actual competent sustainable action in real situations in everyday life (cf. Kreuzer, Ritter von Marx, Bley, Reh & Weber, 2017; Fig. 1). Didactic handouts have been published in open access form to support trainers (Weber, Bley, Hackenberg, Kreuzer, Off, Ritter von Marx, Schumann, Wesseloh, Meyer von Wolff & Achtenhagen, 2019).
These learning objectives and contents for the development of a 'sustainable design competence' are implemented in a pool of authentic episodes that depict typical sustainable retail situations and contain corresponding learning tasks. The implementation is done via an app-based learning and assessment environment. This will enable multipliers to prepare trainees specifically for the "point of sale". At the same time, information will also be made available to the trainees during their real innovative sustainable actions at the workplace. In addition, the technology offers the multipliers the possibility to initiate targeted reflections and processes of formative assessment and to document learning outcomes.


The result is an app-based learning and working tool with episodes to promote innovative sustainable action in the retail sector (especially with a focus on the point of sale). In addition, a training module for multipliers was created for the independent construction of such episodes. This contains didactic instructions on how to use the learning platform as well as tips on how multipliers can encourage and support trainees to conduct creative, sustainable sales talks at the workplace in a self-organised manner. Together with the documented learning and experience reports of the multipliers and trainees, it is possible to expand the learning platform and transfer it to other training and further education programmes.

Selected publications:

• Weber, S., Schumann, M., Achtenhagen, F., Bley, S., Hackenberg, T., Kreuzer, C., Meyer von Wolff, R., Off, M., Ritter von Marx, S., & Wesseloh, H. (2021). Entwicklung einer App-basierten Lernumgebung zur Vermittlung einer nachhaltigen Gestaltungskompetenz im Einzelhandel. In C. Melzig, W. Kuhlmeier & S. Kretschmer (Hrsg.), Berufsbildung für Nachhaltige Entwicklung – Die Modellversuche 2015-2019 auf dem Weg vom Projekt zur Struktur (S. 37-61). Bonn: BiBB.

• Ritter von Marx, S., Kreuzer, C., Weber, S. & Bley, S. (2020). Nachhaltige Gestaltungskompetenz im Einzelhandel. Ein konnektivitäts-orientierter Ansatz zur Spezifikation eines Kompetenzmodells. In C. Aprea, V. Sappa & R. Tenberg (Hrsg.), Konnektivität und lernortintegrierte Kompetenzentwicklung in der beruflichen Bildung / Connectivity and integrative competence development in vocational and professional education and training (VET/PET). Zeitschrift für Berufs- und Wirtschaftspädagogik, Beiheft 29 (S. 83-112). Stuttgart: Steiner.

• Weber, S., Bley, S., Hackenberg, T., Kreuzer, C., Off, M., Ritter von Marx, S., Schumann, M., Wesseloh, H., Meyer von Wolff, R., & Achtenhagen, F. (2019). Didaktische Anregungen für Ausbilderinnen und Ausbilder im Einzelhandel. Bielefeld: W. Bertelsmann. E-Book (DOI: 10.3278/6004744W) Kostenloser Download:

• Weber, S., Schumann, M., & Kreuzer, C. (2020). Modellierung und Messung nachhaltiger Gestaltungskompetenz im Einzelhandel. In Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BiBB) (Hrsg.), Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht (S. 394-397). Opladen: Budrich.

• Kreuzer, C., Ritter von Marx, S., Bley, S., Reh, S., & Weber, S. (2017). Praxisorientierte Gestaltung einer App-basierten Lern- und Assessmentumgebung für nachhaltiges Wirtschaften im Einzelhandel. bwp@online, 33, S. 1–26.


Prof. Dr. Susanne Weber
Mona Off, M.Sc.
Tobias Hackenberg, M.Sc.
Institute for Human Resource Education & Management
Munich School of Management
Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich

Further projects on sustainability in commercial vocational training:

• Zarnow, S., Birk, C., Hackenberg, T., Hiller, F., Off, M., & Weber, S. (2022). Exploring backgrounds of sustainable consumption behavior among young adults and ideas for overcoming possible barriers. Conference Poster presented at the AERA Annual Meeting , San Diego, USA.

• Weber, S., Off, M., Kreuzer, C., & Bley, S. (2022). „What a feeling“ – Emotionale Ansprache von Auszubildenden zur Förderung nachhaltigen Konsumverhaltens. In C. Michaelis & F. Berding (Hrsg.), Berufsbildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung (S. 261-282). Bielefeld: wbv.

• Weber, S., Off, M., Hackenberg, T., Schumann, M., & Achtenhagen, F. (2021). Serious games as assessment tool. Visualizing sustainable creative competence in the field of retail. In C. Aprea & D. Ifenthaler (Eds.), Game-based learning across the disciplines (pp. 109-140). Cham: Springer.

• Kreuzer, C., Weber, S., Off, M., Hackenberg, T., & Birk, C. (2019). Shedding Light on Realized Sustainable Consumption Behaviour and Perceived Barriers of Young Adults for Creating Stimulating Teaching–Learning Situations. Sustainability 11(9), 2587.