Sustainable Practices Research Group (SPRG)
What is this activity?
The Sustainable Practices Research Group aims to increase understanding of consumption - this is because changing the personal behaviour of billions of individuals is one of the greatest of challenges to achieving sustainability.
What will it do?
The programme will look at the environmentally sensitive practices of eating, water use and shelter. This is to understand how people's habits operate and the scale of the drivers of change.
The objectives are to
- develop fresh understanding of how social practices change and how they might become more sustainable
- encourage theoretical reflection about the difficulties of change in behaviour and to analyse alternative theories about the motors of social action
- diffuse an alternative understanding of how to approach behaviour change in relation to mitigating the impact of climate change
- make public officials and policy makers aware of the levers for change which are identified and emphasized by the practice-theoretical approach to routine behaviour
- influence government policy making at all levels and organizational practices of corporations with regard to encouragement of sustainable behaviours.
Who will benefit?
The practice-based approach emphasises the need for policy related to behaviour change need to be taken into account with policy relating to infrastructure design, technological innovation and regulation.
The group aims to make new links within policy groups and to make connections and facilitate exchanges that would not otherwise occur.
The work will be important not only for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs but also for the Department of Communities and Local Government, Department for Transport and Depratment of Economics and Climate Change, and across the regions. The research has potential impact on Local Government.
Society and business
The work will be useful for a host of non-governmental organisations and to business organisations committed to the social challenges of responding and adapting to climate change.
For example, the Group will
- provide information on water metering and that is of immediate relevance to water companies, the UK Water Industry Research association, and to other utilities.
- provide feedback on zero carbon schemes that is of immediate interest to those involved in their design and development.
- investigate building design and planning in ways that speak to current concerns of property owners, regulators and planners.
PROGRAMME FACTS AND FIGURES
Start and end dates: 01/08/2010 to 31/07/2013
LWEC Partners involved: ESRC, Defra, Scottish Government