The induction effect. Why the rebound effect is only half the story of technology’s failure to achieve sustainability.

The concept of the rebound effect is important in understanding the limits to how much technological efficiency improvements can reduce energy and resource consumption. However, the rebound effect is only half of the story. This article by Steffen Lange, Tilman Santarius and his research team, published in the Journal Frontiers in Sustainability, presents the term ‘induction effect’ to grasp additional important mechanisms stemming from new technologies. The article defines the induction effect empirically grounds it by way of three case studies in the fields of online consumption, smart homes, and pace of life. The article shows that including both rebound and induction effects helps better understand the relationship between technological change and the environment.