Green technology riga_2010_mossPresentation Transcript
Promoting pro-green technology behaviour in central institutions Prof Florin Ioras Centre for Conservation and Sustainability
“ Now is the time to confront this challenge once and for all…….. Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response .” The Sunday Times , November 23, 2008 President Obama speaking in November
How is this relevant?
The impact of the non-domestic sector (e.g., services, public sector and industry) on energy consumption and waste generation, is significantly higher than that of residential users.
The UK’s industry and service sectors contribute 32.5 Million Tones of Carbon (MtC) to the atmosphere - over twice that of domestic users (13.5 MtC) - through power station electricity consumption (DTI, 2006).
Industry and commerce account for almost three times as much of the UK’s annual waste as households (DEFRA, 2006) .
Our literature review focused on studies which explicitly sought to address behavioral change .
Table to show distribution of literature reviewed across the domains
Table to show relevant hits including a behavioral intervention
Number of hits returned Number of hits relevant Number from snowballing Energy 1199 41 22 Water 4106 40 5 Recycling & Waste 3290 51 6 Combined 8595 132 33 Behavioral Intervention No Intervention Non-Domestic 13% 12% Domestic 16% 59%
There is a clear gap in research and practice when it comes to reducing the environmental impact of people at work .
Organizational scholars have tended to focus on strategic level corporate change, and broadly define the topic of sustainability.
Understanding of the individual level appears to be lacking.
Potentially very important variable
Canadian Survey (Rowlands et al, 2002) – Daniel Scott Meteorological Service of Canada + Ian Rowlands and Paul Parker of University of Waterloo
Showed that men and women were equally interested in green energy.
Some people recognising the key role that women could play:
- Centre for American Progress Action Fund
‘ Women going green in Atlanta’ – educating women in management and entrepreneurial opportunities in the clean energy economy. Recognition that women constitute 50% of workforce in the US and have higher levels of college enrolment (cf Latvia).
.... Other initiative
The Business and Professional Women’s Foundation (BPW) in the US is attempting to redress the under-representation of women in green industries by providing them with suitable job training. This scheme is sponsored by Wal Mart.
Some reason to be optimistic
‘ Women are developing non-traditional work roles in the energy sector due to a rising number of female-headed households globally’.
‘ There is starting to be a critical mass of women in energy ministries, research institutes and field projects’
However, still big gaps
Unfortunately, still big gaps. Report ‘Role of women in sustainable energy development’ 2000, Elizabeth Cecelski writes:
‘ The socio-economic perspective has been ignored in energy planning and policy until fairly recently’ ....’in most energy institutions, the participation of women is still relatively small and professional women face many obstacles in the male-dominated energy sector’ (p.33)
Conclusions: Socio-Technical Standpoint
We believe corporate sustainability requires sustained pro-green technology behaviour from employees, in addition to societal, organizational and technological change.
Although part of the solution to reducing institutions carbon footprints and waste may come from technological innovation, e.g. more efficient heating and ventilation systems or production processes, there remains a real need to address individual level behaviour.
Without attention to human issues, there remains the danger of technological gains being lost.
e.g., “take back factor”.
A tripartite model of pro-green technology behaviour change, supported by technological innovation INSTITUTIONAL e.g., leadership, roles and responsibilities, metrics INDIVIDUAL e.g., behaviours, attitudes, goal setting, feedback TECHNOLOGY e.g., product and process innovations, feedback devices SOCIETAL e.g., legislation, policy, cultural norms
Research in this area has been conducted by those in a number of differing disciplines, consequently research approach and rationales vary considerably.
Many of the studies are often of weak design and rigor, neglecting theoretical factors.
Of the psychological literature, much is derived from the environmental approach. In general there has been more emphasis upon attitudinal change than overt behaviors.
Better integration of existing psychological literature and techniques with organizational research in this area will enhance theory building and effective intervention design.
Smart Metering “ Wattson” Gadget, above Examples of smart meters provided by energy suppliers, right
Reframing as an Institutional Change Issue
There is evidence to support the effectiveness of psychological interventions in changing individual behaviour.
However, it is necessary to re-frame the issue as a traditional institutional change problem.
It needs to be about changing actual behaviours, rather than revolutionizing hard-core green technology values.
Change behaviours in the first instance and attitude change should follow.
The process of encouraging green technology behaviours in the workplace can be compared to institutional change programmes and typical technology-led change programmes in particular.
i.e., ‘experts’ design a solution and push it at end users.
A more effective approach is “pull-based user-owned change” (Clegg & Walsh, 2004, p.235)
End users take ownership over the change process and pull it through to completion, ensuring it meets their needs.
User participation and involvement throughout the change process is vital for successful change.
There is a need for further research specifically investigating pro-green technology behavioural change in institutional settings.
Focus on overt behavioural outcomes, not just intentions or attitudes.
Specific metrics for the working environment need to be developed – address group and individual behaviour.
Attitudinal models should be extended.
Include past behaviours, barriers to change, institutional variables.
Experimental designs, driven by strong theory, are needed.
This will aid understanding of underlying mechanisms and allow more targeted, effective interventions to be developed.
Go beyond piecemeal or single case studies.
An institutional change perspective needs to be actively pursued.
Take an active approach to intervention design – involve end-users throughout, ensure top-level support, make the exercise relevant and engaging, integrate new thinking into existing work processes and practices.
An integrative, programmatic approach should be adopted, to enhance theory building.
Combining psychological literature on individual behaviour change with existing institutional theory on sustainability and technological innovation
Exemplar quasi experimental approach
Time Control group Technology-led intervention Socio-technical intervention Time 0 (0 months) S1 S1 S1 Time 1 (1 month) No change No change Engagement programme Time 2 (6 months) S2 S2 S2 Time 3 (7 months) No change Feedback & goal setting Engagement programme + Feedback & goal setting Time 4 (12 months) S3 S3 S3 Time 5 (18 months) S4 S4 S4
Adaption Part of the Process Procedural Convenient Competitive Feedback Technologies Employee Led INTEGRATED INTERVENTIONS