Community interventions and identification of drivers which compel sustainable-behaviour change .

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Resource or Project Abstract

Firstly this research needed to review and identify the factors which drive sustainable behaviour or -transition for individuals, groups or communities. In doing so it has built a list of 109 factors and separates them into 17 actors, 39 drivers and 53 communication factors using rationale aligned to Network Theory. This research also attempts to categorise these factors using Sterns ABC approach with limited effect.

Focus Groups with Irish communities were conducted to test the applicability of factors that were identified from community examples around the globe. The Focus Groups tested the applicability of the factors and also prioritised them within each community. This provided a unique factor (actor-driver) profile for each community and it is clear from the results in this report that what drives sustainable transition in one community is different to what drives it in another. The findings from the 8 sets of community results highlighted huge diversity. This clearly indicates why conventional policy approaches grapple with fitting such diversity resulting in no or poor sustainable transition.

In order to cast light on this latter challenge this research hosted a sustainability co-design event for 6 of the 8 communities. In this co-design event each community met sustainability academics, funders, community practitioners, policy makers and resource-use specialists. Using discourse based approaches, conversations were facilitated which generated 215 sustainability ideas for the 6 communities. Individual community?s received between 30 and 70 sustainability ideas across the following sustainability themes: energy use, waste assimilation, transport use, food, water and miscellaneous. The conversations hosted, on behalf of and, with communities have provided short, mid and long term ideas for sustainability projects based on the specific characteristics of those communities, their actors and drivers and on real life case studies where the sustainability ideas offered are already happening.

This research has therefore cast light on the diversity of factors that drive sustainable consumption and transition. It has also attempted to provide some understanding of this diversity. In so doing it explores how policy makers might support sustainable transition going forward. Single policy measures can be successful but there are cases where such policy does not fit the diversity offered by communities. Where this is the case, bundling of communities to fit policy measures would be beneficial. In this way if communities with similar characteristics were pooled, appropriate policies could be designed to fit the relevant actors and drivers and sustainable transition would be enhanced. The findings from the research suggest that community and Local Authority offer an economy of scales for such sustainable transition. This research therefore aims to reduce the gap between sustainable community action and policy. Based on the results, and the stakeholder reaction and testimony, the actor-driver profiles, co-design and co-production of sustainability for and with communities offers strong potential.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Sarah McCormack
Department of Civil Structural and Environmental Engineering

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Att 1    SAFER_metadata.xls   (0.19 Mb)
Att 2    Results_of_Focus_Groups.xlsx   (0.02 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)McCormack, S.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationCommunity interventions and identification of drivers which compel sustainable-behaviour change .
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifier249441ce-5656-11e9-8529-005056ae0019
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-07-21

An example of this citation in proper usage:

McCormack, S.   "Community interventions and identification of drivers which compel sustainable-behaviour change .". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-07-21)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource Keywordssustainable behavioural change
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2015-SE-DS-3
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeClimate Change
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceNONE
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 2
Project Start Date Friday 1st April 2016 (01-04-2016)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Friday 1st April 2016 (01-04-2016)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Thursday 31st March 2016 (31-03-2016)
Published on SAFERWednesday 3rd April 2019 (03-04-2019)
Date of Last EditWednesday 3rd April 2019 at 22:22:06 (03-04-2019)
Datasets or Files Updated On Wednesday 3rd April 2019 at 22:22:06 (03-04-2019)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

In this section some supplementary information about this resource is outlined. Lineage information helps us to understand why this project was carried out, what policy or research requirements did it fulfil, etc. Lineage is important in understanding the rationale behind the carrying out of a project or the collection of a specific dataset etc. Links to web sites, applications, papers, etc are outlined to provide you with additional information or supplementary reading about the project or dataset

Lineage information about this project or dataset
Part of our research trying to identify what it is that drives sustainability transition.
Supplementary Information
Focus groups were the main source of data for this project.
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