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Third sector organisations’ role in pro-environmental behaviour change – a review of the literature and evidence

Third sector organisations’ role in pro-environmental behaviour change – a review of the literature and evidence
Third sector organisations’ role in pro-environmental behaviour change – a review of the literature and evidence
A range of actors, including government, third sector organisations (TSOs) and academics, have claimed recently that third sector organisations (TSOs) can play an important role in supporting people to adopt pro-environmental behaviours. These claims often refer to TSOs’ potential to innovate, their proximity to citizens and their trustworthiness, as well as the role of collective action and small-group interventions. This paper reviews these different claims as well as the evidence that has been offered to date on the role of TSOs in pro-environmental behaviour change. We find that there is indeed some evidence that participation in environmental third sector initiatives can facilitate certain changes in people’s day to day lives, particularly when it comes to ‘low hanging fruits’ such as increasing recycling or switching off appliances. However, the review also identifies a range of challenges that TSOs experience in their work, including engaging the broader public around climate change or other environmental issues, scaling up practice change to a wider audience and a lack of resources to sustain successful initiatives. Finally, the paper argues that there is a need for further discussion on a range of issues related to empirical research in this area, including methodological challenges of examining behaviour change and the more differentiated assessments that take organisational form, nature of intervention and type of targeted behaviour into account
81
Third Sector Research Centre
Buchs, Milena
c62b4fbd-660c-4642-876e-de9512db9a9c
Edwards, Rebecca
4642af75-c437-4367-ad9a-dced9350b241
Smith, Graham
f490019c-fdee-473a-bf9b-62be5505a206
Buchs, Milena
c62b4fbd-660c-4642-876e-de9512db9a9c
Edwards, Rebecca
4642af75-c437-4367-ad9a-dced9350b241
Smith, Graham
f490019c-fdee-473a-bf9b-62be5505a206

Buchs, Milena, Edwards, Rebecca and Smith, Graham (2012) Third sector organisations’ role in pro-environmental behaviour change – a review of the literature and evidence (TSRC Working Paper, 81) Southampton, GB. Third Sector Research Centre 19pp.

Record type: Monograph (Working Paper)

Abstract

A range of actors, including government, third sector organisations (TSOs) and academics, have claimed recently that third sector organisations (TSOs) can play an important role in supporting people to adopt pro-environmental behaviours. These claims often refer to TSOs’ potential to innovate, their proximity to citizens and their trustworthiness, as well as the role of collective action and small-group interventions. This paper reviews these different claims as well as the evidence that has been offered to date on the role of TSOs in pro-environmental behaviour change. We find that there is indeed some evidence that participation in environmental third sector initiatives can facilitate certain changes in people’s day to day lives, particularly when it comes to ‘low hanging fruits’ such as increasing recycling or switching off appliances. However, the review also identifies a range of challenges that TSOs experience in their work, including engaging the broader public around climate change or other environmental issues, scaling up practice change to a wider audience and a lack of resources to sustain successful initiatives. Finally, the paper argues that there is a need for further discussion on a range of issues related to empirical research in this area, including methodological challenges of examining behaviour change and the more differentiated assessments that take organisational form, nature of intervention and type of targeted behaviour into account

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More information

Published date: May 2012
Organisations: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 339808
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/339808
PURE UUID: f4f364d0-17e4-4378-a25e-4192e0068cf3

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 31 May 2012 09:08
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:51

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Contributors

Author: Milena Buchs
Author: Rebecca Edwards
Author: Graham Smith

University divisions

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