The “Low Carbon at Work” Research Report now released.

Large organizations are responsible for a significant amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The emissions generated by large organizations result both from of their production processes andfrom the pressures under which they function within our economic system. As a result of new EU and national regulations, organizations have started to implement mechanisms to reduce their GHG emissions.

However, as stated in the EU Sustainable Development Strategy Review 2009, these strategies have not been sufficient to ensure significant reductions in emission rates. Between 2011-2013 People-Environment Research Group has been involved and coordinating a project developed within a Consortium at European Level identyfying the barriers to and drivers of sustainable changes in everyday workplace practices across different types of organizations.

Click here to download the report.

LOCAW project is a theoretically and empirically-grounded analysis of everyday practices in the workplace, and of the factors promoting or hindering the transition to more sustainable working practices and production processes. The research undertaken has examined large private (as Volvo and Shell) and public employer-organizations (like Universidade da Coruña and the Council of Groningen, Netherlands) cases  in order to illuminate the interactions among relevant actors at all levels (managers, workers as well as trade unions) both within and outside the organization and thus providing a detailed account of barriers to and drivers for cooperation in transitioning to a low-carbon Europe.

The final report, now edited and available for as a free download suggests that despite most of the large organizations already place environmental goals as important in their mission and objectives, at a close analysis these goals often appear to be either at odds with, or secondary to, other goals such as profit or safety. There is a need to translate the goals into specific organizational policies and practices.

These results are being translated into detailed policy and practice-oriented descriptions of how to encourage sustainable practices in the workplace. Moreover, opportunities are being explored for understanding how sustainable practices in the home and the workplace can be transferred from one life domain to another. This understanding will contribute to the design of cost-effective policy and the creation of conditions that would enhance and speed up societal-wide transitions to sustainability

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