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BNELIT - Datenbank zu Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wissenschaftliche Literatur und Materialien
Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wiss. Literatur und Materialien (BNELIT)
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1. Urheberwerk
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Urheber Kürzel:
Consumption, Environment and Sustainability.
′Sustainable consumption′ is generally conceived as the use of goods and services that respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life, while minimising the use of natural resources, toxic materials, and emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle, so as not to jeopardise the needs of future generations. It is recognised internationally that achieving sustainable cnsumption represents a major challenge for public authorities (at all levels), businesses and consumers as it requires economic and social as well as environmental sustainability. In particular, patterns of household consumption are recognised as contributing significantly to global unsustainability yet understanding of that consumption is under-developed in many sectors. In response, the CONSENSUS research project conducted foundational and exploratory research to establish the parameters of debates and actions within the field internationally and across Ireland. The first phase reviewed existing policy, international good practice and tools for governing sustainable consumption. It was found that Ireland faces a number of key challenges in terms of good overnance of sustainable consumption. These include the lack of a coherent policy framework for sustainable consumption; split responsibility for sustainable consumption across government departments; weakly developed consumer policy; and underdeveloped multistakeholder collaboration in sustainableconsumption discussions. Recommendations include: the formulation of interventions for sustainable lifestyles from a consumer perspective; more attention to the particularities of the political-institutional context that influences an area of consumption; awareness- raising mong consumers of the material consequences of cnsumption; the combining of regulatory instruments; and the development of tailor-made policy strategies to address the challenge of sustainable consumption.A review of existing policy, good practice and tools for governing sustainable consumption at international and national scales and a Lifestyle Survey formed the basis of the CONSENSUS research (see Sections 2–3 of his report). Involving 1,500 consumers across Ireland, the survey aimed to uncover people′s attitudes and behaviours towards sustainable household consumption and revealed a persistent value-action gap between rported environmental concerns and sustainable behaviours in practice. The survey revealed a number of positive findings from an environmental perspective:respondents reported high levels of environmental concern, awareness, self-efficacy and a reported willingness to act in order to protect the environment.Although encouraging, these positive attitudes do not currently translate into pro-environmental consumption ehaviours. Indeed, relatively low levels of environmental behaviour and action were reported across all four areas of consumption (transport, energy, water and food). Although a greater commitment to pro-environmental behaviours is required on the part of individuals, so too is increased attention from government and businesses to wider structural, societal and political factors that can inhibit individuals′ sustainable consumption choices. Following the foundational phase of research presented by the Lifestyle Survey, the exploratory phase of CONSENSUS (detailed in Sections 4–7) focused on four challenging areas of household consumption: (i) transport, (ii) energy, (iii) water and (iv) food. Combining qualitative and quantitative methods, the transport research, for example, evaluated appropriate education regimes, infrastructures, incentives and restructured working relationships that could transform mobility practices onto more sustainable pathways. The transport research concluded that reconceptualising mobility as the ′consumption of distance′ offers a promising departure from technocentric and economistic views of mobility that have dominated research, policy and practice to date. The research highlighted the urgent need for cross-sectoral policy solutions to pressing transport problems experienced by people who consume too much distance and those who find themselves deprived of opportunities for personal mobility. Specific policy recommendations include: the development of a more nuanced understanding of mobility practices and a recognition of the need to work with people′s existing habits and practices; the identification and promotion of ′niche′ sustainable mobility practices such as informal car-sharing; and appropriate training, legislation and regulation to protect the interests of both employers and employees in workplace-based sustainable mobility initiatives, such as teleworking schemes. It is clear that the consumption of distance varies across an individual′s life course and further research is required to identify critical moments, or ′mobility milestones′, when mobility practices evolve. Reframing of problem arenas also took place in the water, energy and food research with a focus on the heating, washing and eating practices that householders undertake on a daily basis. The application of the novel practice-oriented participatory (POP) backcasting approach generated proposals for regulatory, socio-cultural and technical innovations that might coalesce to work towards the goal of more sustainable household consumption across these three practices. The POP backcasting process resulted in the development of discrete outputs in the form of scenarios and Transition Frameworks, and also served as an important learning tool for those who participated. Coordinating across the diverse set of actors that shape consumption practices is, however, a considerable challenge. This is particularly the case under conditions of economic globalisation where there is little control over the diffusion of new, potentially environmentally damaging products, alongside a preference for non-interventionist governing strategies. The involvement of a variety of actors from business, policy, non-governmental and civil society fields within this POP backcasting study however represents one governance mechanism for coordinating and aligning long-term policy and business goals for shifts in unsustainable consumption practices. Further testing of the identified interventions in real-life settings, or ′living laboratories′, is required to evaluate their capacity to improve the sustainability of consumption practices. Involving researchers from both Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), the CONSENSUS research project has surpassed its original aims and objectives. It has advanced understanding of the drivers that shape everyday household consumption practices, while also identifying a range of regulatory, technological and lifestyle interventions that could facilitate moresustainable living in the future. In doing so, the project has engaged over 100,000 members of the public along with 100 government, private sector and civil society stakeholders. Extensive results dissemination, project publications, creative online resources and social media activities have ensured that the research findings have attained an international profile.
Inhaltsverzeichnis :
Acknowledgements ii
Disclaimer ii
Project Partners iii
Executive Summary vii
1 Sustainable Consumption & CONSENSUS: An Introduction 1
1.1 Key Issues in Consumption 2
1.2 CONSENSUS Research Framework 3
1.3 CONSENSUS Aims, Objectives and Outputs 4
2 Governing Sustainable Consumption 5
2.1 Key Issues 5
2.2 Results 5
2.3 Summary and Recommendations 7
2.4 Impact Highlights: Engagement, Presentations and Publications 8
3 Sustainable Lifestyle Survey 10
3.1 Key Issues 10
3.2 Results 10
3.3 Summary and Recommendations 12
3.4 Impact Highlights: Engagement, Presentations and Publications 13
4 Sustainable Consumption of Distance 15
4.1 Key Issues 15
4.2 Results 15
4.3 Summary and Recommendations 18
4.4 Impact Highlights: Engagement, Presentations and Publications 19
5 Sustainable Home Heating 21
5.1 Key Issues 21
5.2 Results 21
5.3 Summary and Recommendations 28
5.4 Policy Implications and Future Directions 28
5.5 Impact Highlights: Engagement, Presentations and Publications 29
6 Sustainable Personal Washing 31
6.1 Key Issues 31
6.2 Backcasting Results 32
6.3 Summary and Recommendations 37
6.4 Impact Highlights: Engagement, Presentations and Publications 38
7 Sustainable Eating 40
7.1 Key Issues 40
7.2 Results 41
7.3 Summary and Recommendations 47
7.4 Impact Highlights: Engagement, Presentations and Publications 48
8 Conclusions and Recommendations 50
8.1 Findings 50
8.2 Sustainability Learning 52
8.3 Recommendations 53
8.4 Outputs 54
8.5 Further Research 55
References 56
Acronyms and Annotations 61
Appendix 1 CONSENSUS Project Outputs, 2009–2013 62
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