Bridging Environmental Values

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Stockholm Environment Institute

Abstract

Much current government policy and initiatives is aimed at encouraging pro-environmental behaviour change (PEBC) amongst organisations and individuals to ameliorate environmental pollution and the drivers of climate change.
Pro-environmental behaviour means behaviour that consciously seeks to minimize the negative impact of one's actions on the natural and built world (e.g. minimize resource and energy consumption, use of non-toxic substances, reduce waste production, etc.).Pro-environmental behaviour can be viewed as a mixture of self-interest (e.g. to pursue a strategy that minimises one's own health risks) and of concern for other people, the next generation, other species, or whole ecosystems (e.g. preventing air pollution that may cause risks for others' health and/or the global climate).

A major premise of such behaviour change programmes has been that providing information that improves knowledge leads to greater sensitivity toward the environment, which in turn will encourage individuals to engage in more responsible ways toward the environment. It may be hoped that pro-environmental behaviour undertaken in one social sphere (home, work, church, sports club) might translate to how people behave in these other settings for example, recycling or energy efficiency in the workplace leads to matching patterns in other settings. However, there is little evidence of how people actually translate and transfer their activities between these different settings. Managing the conflict between work and home domains has become an increasingly pressing issue. Different places varying patterns of what is acceptable practice that will have a strong influence on the perceived options of behaviour for individuals. People have a tendency of wanting to fit in - and behave as their neighbours and peers behave. People may operate to one set of beliefs in the home setting for example, but do not transfer this behaviour to their work place and vice-versa.

In order to make the transitions to a more sustainable society it will be necessary to gain a better understanding of whether, how and why these disconnects in behaviour occur. More importantly there is the challenge of identifying and developing individual or community led solutions to overcome these disconnections. The arts and humanities approaches and methods offers a unique way of identifying and investigating these behaviour choices that has not been utilised extensively before in this field.

This proposal will pilot an approach combining participatory diagramming with co-creation and analysis of art pieces to investigate these choices, barriers and opportunities with approximately 50 community participants. it is hoped that the use of visual methodologies ways for people to express information and feelings that are difficult to capture using other approaches. They are intended to create a more trusting atmosphere that enhances participant sharing. The creative process is also intended to stimulate amongst participants new personal insights. For example, it has been argued that through the process of producing a drawing, the drawer is simultaneously constructing the knowledge represented in the drawing and the actual product of the drawing itself.Participants will be recruited from a cross-section of businesses representing a spectrum of strong to weak environmental policies and corresponding home patterns of behaviour. This will allow us to look at the spectrum of connections and disconnections between home based actions and work place behaviour.

It is hoped that the novel approaches piloted by this scoping study will identify new opportunities and methods for exploring the issues of encouraging and embedding pro-environmental behaviour across society. This topic has continuing policy relevance both in the UK but also internationally. This could make the project findings relevant to a wide range of audience including policy makers, businesses environmental organisations.

Planned Impact

Communications and Engagement
This proposal builds on the Connected Communities grant entitled Improved Community Engagement using Spatial and Visualisation methods. This project led by the PI involved knowledge exchange activities that included a multi-disciplinary team of geographers, environmental scientists and community artists. The findings included:

- Novel visualisation approaches can help overcome issues of data overload for participants by bringing complex data together in an intelligible and interesting way. These approaches offer different communities ways of understanding multiple interrelated issues to allow them to be betting included in efforts to solve difficult complicated real-world problems.
- For engagement abstract representations may be more useful to encourage co-learning.
- The use of visualisations can both encourage and enhance the engagement however different engagement tools are needed for different locations or audiences and these needed to be tailored for specific communities to realise these benefits.

This proposed research intends to use these findings and test their applicability in relation to the 'wicked' real world problem of pro-environmental behaviour change.
The development of the project proposal has already led to increased connections between the PI and Co-PI and local community artists and organisation who will be involved in the research if successful. If funded we will build new connections to existing community organisations to recruit participants. This will build an additional bridge between the project team and the general public - embedding the research in the wider community.
The proposed project includes opportunities for the research team across the UK to come together for co-learning and methods development. The team will also re-convene for the analysis phase and this activity will also involve a significant degree of co-learning and skills exchange.
The findings of the research will largely be visual making them suitable and attractive to a wide audience. They will be distributed through a dedicated website based at the University of York. This portal will also contain project videos developed in the workshops and with the local participants (with their permission) - building on the video content embedded in the ICE-SaV website.

Collaboration
The PI has already worked successfully with one Co-PI on the ICE_SaV grant - this will build on this existing connection. The PI and Co-PIs will have overall responsibility for delivering the community engagement and case studies in their differing geographic locations. Depending on the form of artistic support required each case study may require the development of new collaborations with relevant local arts practitioners beyond the initial team. This will broaden the impact of the grant beyond the core group.

Exploitation and Application
The research is seen as useful and relevant to environmental scientists, psychologists, policy makers and practitioners interested in promoting and inducing shift to pro-environmental behaviour. Whilst the cohort of participants is relatively small (being seen as a scoping study) it is hoped that the novel approaches piloted by this project will lead to new insights - or at least identify new opportunities and methods for exploring the issues of encouraging and embedding pro-environmental behaviour across society. This topic has continuing policy relevance both in the UK but also internationally. This could make the project and its findings relevant to a wide range of audiences beyond academia including policy makers, businesses and environmental organisations.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Cultural Probe Kits 
Description Cultural Probe kits developed to reveal connections between differing environmental behaviours in different settings and places 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact The cultural probes revealed creative insights into the behaviour patterns of individuals. Similar approaches have since been utilised by project collaborators in the UK and USA. 
URL http://environmental-values.today/?page_id=158
 
Title Life Cycles 
Description Kalindi Kankali - the community artist working in York - took inspiration from the projects Venn diagrams, maps and diaries to produce an artwork from recycled and re-used materials including bicycle wheels, ceramics and paper. The 'butterfly' links to the themes of recycling and renewal with the interlocking wings reflecting the zones of home, work, shared and other from the Venn diagrams. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact The piece has been displayed at the City of York Offices in the canteen area used by staff and visitors. The artwork has been linked to the celebration of the visit of the Tour de France to Yorkshire through the use of re-use of bicycle components. Kalindi is working on other artworks related to the Grand Depart from York as part of Life Cylces. 
URL http://environmental-values.today/?page_id=434
 
Title Recycle, Upcycle, Life Cycle 
Description The Dundee artwork entitled "Recycle, Upcycle, Life Cycle" was created by Theresa Lynn. It was made using a compilation of the items from the workshop, in layers, comprising: a plain bamboo + upcycled hula hoops framework coloured animal silhouettes + 'underwater' scenes including fish, all made from postcard probes a final layer of translucent 'cycle' arrows + 1 human figure, made from images of the post-it mapping processes, printed on clear film. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact The artwork was displayed at the University of Abertay to promote the project findings and website 
URL http://environmental-values.today/?page_id=455
 
Description Pro-environmental behaviour initiatives (PEBC) are aimed at encouraging individuals to ameliorate pollution and the drivers of climate change. Whilst it may be hoped that pro-environmental behaviour learnt and undertaken in one context (e.g. home or work) might translate to how people behave in another setting (for example, energy efficiency in the workplace leads to matching patterns in other places like the home), there is little clear evidence of whether this is actually occurring.
Our project aimed to help improve our understanding of this translation of behaviour between places and contexts. Do PEBC messages and behaviour patterns stick to the person or the place?
The project was undertaken as action research using a mixture of participatory and creative methods to produce a rich set of outputs on this topic. The information and artefacts participants generated were used by community artists to further illustrate and communicate the project findings.
Our mixed methods approach revealed the complexity of factors and motivations influencing the uptake PEBC messages. Our findings indicate that PEBC actions undertaken at home are most likely to be transferred to other contexts. Infrastructure and organisational encouragement to support this are critical to enable environmental habits to migrate between places.
Exploitation Route The mixed methods we developed proved effective in engaging and working with stakeholders on this topic. They could prove useful for investigating other environmental issues.

The findings on the barriers and opportunities for translating pro-environmental behavior messages and actions between work and home has relevance to policy makers and businesses.
Sectors Education,Environment

URL http://environmental-values.today/
 
Description Art installations inspired by the project findings were developed for York and Dundee - these were displayed at: - City of York Council Offices - Grand Depart of the Tour de France - Abertay University
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Education,Environment
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description SEI Behaviour & Choice Initiative Funding
Amount 249,480 kr (SEK)
Organisation Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 04/2018
 
Description Joint Submission to ESRC Urban Transformations Proposal 
Organisation Abertay University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joint develop of proposal to the Urban Transformations call: PROSE - Public Realm Open Space Evolution Subtitle: Urban Transformations - Evolution of governance and social innovation in Public Realm Open Spaces
Collaborator Contribution Took on the role of Principal Investigator to develop and submit the proposal
Impact Project website (see URL above) with supporting videos outlining the concept of Eco-cultural Production
Start Year 2011
 
Description Joint Submission to ESRC Urban Transformations Proposal 
Organisation London Metropolitan University
Department Guildhall Faculty of Business and Law
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joint develop of proposal to the Urban Transformations call: PROSE - Public Realm Open Space Evolution Subtitle: Urban Transformations - Evolution of governance and social innovation in Public Realm Open Spaces
Collaborator Contribution Took on the role of Principal Investigator to develop and submit the proposal
Impact Project website (see URL above) with supporting videos outlining the concept of Eco-cultural Production
Start Year 2011
 
Description One Planet Living York - Keynote Presentation at City of York Council Launch Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presented keynote address at the City of York Council. The presentation highlighted key research outputs for the city linked to improving sustainability and pro-environmental behaviour amongst York businesses and residents.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.york.gov.uk/info/20242/sustainability/1527/creating_a_sustainable_city
 
Description Participatory Art Activities - York and Dundee 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Project participants and their friends were invited to art sessions with the projects artists to develop pieces that expanded on the project findings and ideas. These art works were used as inspiration by the project artists in the development of artworks that were then displayed to the public in venues in Dundee and York.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://environmental-values.today/?page_id=415
 
Description Royal Geographic Society Conference 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on:
Changing Setting, Changing Behaviour? Co-Production of Knowledge on Pro-Environmental Behaviour using Creative Participatory Methods
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014