The performativity of sustainability: making a conduit a marketing device

John Finch , Conor Horan, Emma Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines how a conduit, as a ‘working infrastructure’ with material and social qualities, shapes and connects the business and practices of sustainable waste management. Conduits have had a prominent but passive role in explanations of food leftovers within households. We show that a conduit, as an assemblage of investments and practices among interested actors, requires and allows for the further economisation and calculation of waste management. Conduits shape business-to-business exchanges and relationships, deriving demand across domains of exchange and managing risks to the continuation of industrial processes. They resist singular stewardship, instead allowing multiple actors to recognise their interdependence and contest the development of facilities and services. Marketing communications form an important dimension of the conduit, albeit distributed across different parts of the conduit, in aligning actors’ practices of sorting and ‘moving things along’ at and between locations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-192
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • conduit
  • performativity
  • wate management
  • sorting
  • economising


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