SS10: Lifestyles and Education

Time: Tuesday, 13 October 2015: (16:30 – 18:20)

Location: Schwarzhorn

Session Chair: William Anthony Worrell, San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority, United States of America

Session Chair: Richard Anthony, Zero Waste International Alliance, United States of America

Presentations

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Correlations to Income and Environmental Concern

Heidi Bruderer Enzler

ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Switzerland, like many other countries, has set targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Private households play an important part in achieving these aims. Therefore, it is important to know which factors are related to emissions. So far, most studies have focused on income, household size and other structural factors while neglecting the potential relevance of attitudinal variables such as environmental concern. Those studies that did examine environmental attitudes mostly were based on “intent-oriented” measures of behavior instead of actual GHG emissions. The aim of the present study is to bring these lines of research together by analyzing the relationship between GHG emissions, income and environmental attitudes within a framework of multivariate analysis. Furthermore, three specific emission domains – mobility, housing and food – are analyzed separately. All analyses are based on data from a large representative general population survey, the Swiss Environmental Survey 2007 (n = 3,369; Diekmann & Meyer, 2008), and a subsequent life cycle assessment calculated with support from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (cf. Notter, Meyer, & Althaus, 2013). The results indicate that higher income as well as lower levels the environmental concern are both associated with higher GHG emissions. Furthermore, overall emissions are higher for younger, male respondents with higher education, living in smaller households with cars. For emissions by mobility, being economically active is a further predictor of higher emissions. For housing, the pattern is slightly different in that females and older respondents are attributed higher emissions. In the case of food, however, there is no clear-cut association between emissions and income. In conclusion, this study clearly indicates that next to income, environmental concern is an important predictor of GHG emissions even when controlling for the effects of income.

 

Supporting sustainable lifestyles by communicating benchmarks for resource consumption with help of a novel environmental accounting system

Laura Echternacht, Justus von Geibler, Klaus Wiesen, Anne Kimmel

Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Germany

According to UNEP, household consumption is responsible for 60 % of the total life cycle impacts of final consumption in most countries. Therefore, the transition to a more sustainable society can only be achieved by changing current consumption and production patterns. There are two basic problem which need to be solved in order to reach this goal: The first problem is the lack of environmental information for products. The second problem is that even if information exists, it might be to abstract to incorporate and transform it into action. Based results of environmental psychology and a model for individual change, we analyse this problem and postulate that by setting system knowledge and target knowledge in relation meaningful benchmarks can be derived. Those benchmarks can help to create transformation knowledge, lead to a successful benchmarking process and therewith promote the transition to sustainable consumption. To develop such benchmarks the following questions are addressed in the paper: 1) How is the current information base of target knowledge? 2) What information is interesting for specific target groups? 3) What are target group specific benchmarks and how should they be communicated? The paper presents results of the project myEcoCost (www.myecococst.eu), funded by the European Commission. Within the project, a software system is developed that automatically calculates resource consumption and emissions along a product value chain using company data from the companies accounting systems. The results are shown as ecoCosts and can be provided via smartphone app to the consumer. Therewith the system can help solving the problem of missing system knowledge of economic actors and serve as basis for benchmarking.

 

A Roadmap of Resource Education as a key factor for implementation of Resource Preservation and Efficiency

Carolin Baedeker1, Holger Rohn2, Michael Scharp3, Jaya Bowry2, Marco Hasselkuß1, Martina Schmitt1

1Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Germany; 2Faktor 10 – Institut für nachhaltiges Wirtschaften GmbH; 3Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment

Natural resources, especially raw materials, are key production factors and therefore fundamental for our prosperity. A conserving and efficient treatment of natural resources will have to be a key competence of future societies. An important step to more resource efficiency is fostering public awareness and establishing a corresponding culture to protect resources. Under the basic idea of “Education for Resource Preservation and Efficiency“, a large research project in Germany called “BilRess” aims to contribute to the goals of resource policy through an educational strategy. The main objective is to develop an “Educational Roadmap for Resource Conservation and Resource Efficiency (R&R)” in interaction with relevant actors in the educational system, describing steps to integrate the topic in all important educational contexts in the future. Therefore, an inventory of educational materials, interviews and focus groups with several actors were conducted and the BilRess-Network was established in 2014 (by now including 130 members). Results show that resource education is not yet established in the educational system in Germany. The paper will present intermediary results of the roadmap for the different areas of education (school, apprenticeship, further education, university/college) – including specific comprehensive requirements. Important factors include: Raising public awareness for sensible resource handling through campaigns, carving out practical relevance of R&R within all educational areas, strengthen networks between relevant actors, increasing awareness of institutions through further training sessions, establishing the idea of material resources in framework curricula, examination regulations, syllabi and teaching modules, further developing educational materials, media and teaching concepts for all educational areas, establishing learning platforms as well as extending qualification of teachers. In order to put these ideas into practice and foster resource preservation in education, including communication and education activities through political measures (e.g. ProgRess, German national resource efficiency programme), a political promotion scheme for the idea itself is required.

 

Challenges of Implementing the Environmental Protection Laws in Sri Lanka

A. Anusha Edirisinghe1, M. G. L. Mahesh Premarathna2

1University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka; 2South Asian University, India

The object of this research paper is to analyze the challenges of implementing the environmental protection laws in contemporary Sri Lanka. It is generally expected that environmental police unit in Sri Lanka will work for the environmental protection while ordinary people will follow the environmental laws of country. However, there is a wide gap between these two groups when it comes to implementation of environmental protection laws. This wide gap is a result of the lack of environmental police officers, lack of continues awareness programmes for police officers and lack of reformation of colonial laws from the legal sides. Moreover, lack of media intervention, and changes of production patterns have become the impediments for environmental friendly behaviour. However, when it comes to ordinary peoples’ side, even though people are aware of the environmental pollution as well as legal punishments, it has been a real challenge for them to maintain the environmental friendly behaviour due to lack of land, population density, urbanization, commercialization, and changes of consumption patterns and lifestyle. This research paper presents the preliminary results of an ongoing quantitative research which is been conducted since February, 2015. Colombo urban council area in Sri Lanka was selected as the research site, while 60 environmental police officers and 200 people were selected for the sample from the research site. Questionnaire, interviews and observation methods were employed to collect primary data. This research paper further suggests that even though there are legal officers and laws for the environmental protection, it is difficult to implement, or have an environmental friendly behaviour as there are no social, economic, political and environmental supportive factors for the environmental friendly behaviour. Therefore, it is necessary to look at the wider social, cultural, environmental, political, and economic context than just looking at the legal aspects of the country.

 

Climate-KIC Innovation Framework: Addressing the Barriers to Innovation in the Circular Economy

Katherine Foster

EIT Climate-KIC, Switzerland

This paper presents the innovation framework of Climate-KIC one of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) created in 2010 under the European Institute of Technology but the European Union. The cross-sectoral partnership approach to Climate-KIC’s innovation projects, education programming and start-ups focus on identifying and addressing the barriers to innovation and the scalability of technologies, products and services that address climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The presentation of a series of case studies of Climate-KIC innovation projects, educational offerings and start-ups will be used to demonstrate the range of stakeholders, resources, sectors, value chains and geographic areas collaborating within the framework and with the aims of improving cross-industry resource efficiency and sustainability and of turning waste – including food waste and CO2- into resources.

The case studies will also illustrate the challenge of demonstrating potential scalability of different elements of industrial symbiosis and circular economy projects including the business model replicability, is discussed. Finally the Climate-KIC framework and approach to addressing the barriers to scalable economic, market, social and climate impact in the new Sustainable Production Systems (SPS) theme is presented.