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Local leadership - achieving more, using less. SSN Conference on sustainable consumption and production: Stirling, 28.10.2005 Ian Christie Surrey County Council/Green Alliance/NEF. The presentation. ‘The buck stops everywhere’ - the hard politics of environmental sustainability

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Local leadership achieving more using less

Local leadership - achieving more, using less

SSN Conference on sustainable consumption and production: Stirling, 28.10.2005

Ian Christie

Surrey County Council/Green Alliance/NEF

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The presentation
The presentation

  • ‘The buck stops everywhere’ - the hard politics of environmental sustainability

  • Surrey’s approach to sustainable development: story so far

  • The ChangeLAB project

  • Opportunities for local leadership

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The hard politics of eco sustainability
The hard politics of eco-sustainability

  • From ‘point’ pollution to ‘diffuse’ impacts

  • Carbon dioxide emissions - energy sector, households, transport etc

  • Nitrogen overload

  • Air quality

  • Constraints on water consumption

  • Pressures on land for infrastructure

  • Tom Burke - ‘the buck stops everywhere’

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The need to address lifestyles attitudes and behaviour
The Need to Address Lifestyles, Attitudes and Behaviour

Rise in consumption

outstrips gains in

resource efficiency









New technology can’t

increase supply of land

and biodiversity

Major shift to eco-

technologies needs

willingness to change

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Surrey and sd story so far
Surrey and SD - story so far

  • ‘Problems of success’ in economy

  • Lack of coherent SD strategy from Government to date: hence ‘residuarity’ as strategy for local SD proponents (Roger Levett)

  • Congestion, resistance to new infrastructure, waste volumes, vulnerability to climate change risks

  • Limited scope for increasing supply of infrastructure - so need for emphasis on demand management and lifestyle change

  • Acceptance of the agenda and language of ‘behaviour change’

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Our approach
Our approach

  • ESR Service : waste minimisation and management, environment, economy and in-house SD consultancy

  • Behaviour change has to start in-house

  • Target groups: SCC staff and systems, enterprises, households and community groups

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Our approach cont
Our approach (cont.)

  • “There is no limit to what you can achieve if you let other people take the credit”.

  • Identify areas of deficit: financial risk, reputational risk, rhetoric vs reality

  • Identify issues where other services’ interests coincide with those of SD proponents: eg efficiency savings, invest-to-save cases, BV, CPA, affordable housing

  • Where progress is speeding up: procurement, waste minimisation and recycling

  • Slow going: property, HR, energy, water

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Surrey sd programmes work in progress
Surrey SD programmes: work in progress

  • Changing our own activities - sustainable procurement policy; Aalborg commitment ; energy saving and CO2 reductions ; reducing waste and boosting recycling

  • Enterprise - reframing economic development work ; business waste recycling ; Green Travel Plans ; renewables

  • Community - community dialogues on waste ; Household Waste Guide; Sustainable Shopping Guide ; It’s About Time campaign for waste reduction; eco-schools and Primary Schools Earth Summit; eco-teams and work with WWF-UK

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Working with households and community groups
Working with households and community groups

  • Avoid technical language of ‘SD’

  • Start from shared perception of problems: eg waste as entry point for wider discussions

  • Focus on practical action, having established sense of urgency

  • Take messages and information to citizens in context - eg supermarkets

  • Social learning matters - eg eco-clubs, eco-schools

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We don t know enough about changing behaviour
We don’t know enough about changing behaviour

  • Many good projects on sustainable consumption and production

  • But no systematic base of knowledge on how to influence lifestyles, attitudes and behaviour effectively

  • Increasing interest across SCC in behavioural issues - not just related to environment

  • Idea for the ChangeLAB project: an EU-wide knowledge base on effective behaviour change projects

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Changelab main objective 1

ChangeLAB – Main Objective 1

ChangeLAB will improve the capacity of regional and local authorities across the EU to influence consumer behaviour in the areas of water, transport, energy and waste.

It will do this through drawing on existing effective practice in different sectors within EU regions and developing ways of measuring the effectiveness of such activities.

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Changelab main objective 2
ChangeLAB – Main Objective 2

ChangeLAB will:

  • produce a database of European effective practice in behaviour change for sustainable consumption - focussing on waste, energy, water and travel

  • provide a practical toolkit (“wizard”) to help decision-making

  • disseminate findings to policymakers and practitioners.

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Changelab context
ChangeLAB context

  • Lisbon agenda

  • Gothenburg Council

  • 6th Environmental Action Plan

  • Challenge of enlargement

  • Global to local – the role of regional and local authorities

  • Closing the loop – regional and local authorities linking to national policy and EU policy

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Changelab in uk context
ChangeLAB in UK context

  • Focus on behaviour change in new UK Sustainable Development Strategy

  • DEFRA working group on SCP Evidence Base

  • Sustainable Development Commission Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption

  • NCC projects on sustainable lifestyles

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Changelab the basics

ChangeLAB – the basics

Lead Partner: Surrey County Council

Other partners: Regional Environment Centre Estonia (EE), Municipality of Sykies (GR); Head Office Regional Environmental Centre (CEE); Regione Liguria (IT); Provincie Utrecht (NL); City of Solna (SE); Hampshire County Council (UK)

Funded by: INTERREG IIIC programme

Total budget: €1,597,251

ERDF budget:€914,037

Duration: January 2005-December 2007

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How do we influence behaviour
How do we influence behaviour?

Initial research came up with four broad types of approach used by Local Authorities in Europe

  • Penalty/reward

  • Infrastructure (making it easy)

  • Education/awareness-raising

  • Social incentive/social learning

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Changelab partners and need for behaviour change 1
ChangeLAB Partners and Need for Behaviour Change (1)

  • Surrey (UK) : Negative impacts of high economic growth; focus on demand side in transport and waste.

  • Province of Utrecht (NL): Water a particular concern. Further work with citizens is necessary to ensure more effective water management.

  • Municipality of Sykies (Greece): Looking for sustainable economy in all sectors

  • Regione Liguria (Italy): Experience in environmental education and expertise in energy .

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Changelab partners and need for behaviour change 2
ChangeLAB Partners and Need for Behaviour Change (2)

  • City of Solna (SE): Densely populated; multi-family dwellings, high employment. Interested in integrated housing/retail/transport planning and related behavioural change issues.

  • Hampshire County Council (UK): Similar problems to Surrey - need for large-scale change in attitudes and behaviour in use of natural resources.

  • Regional Environment Centre: Estonian country office particularly interested in changing behaviour to help promote more sustainable transport.

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Behaviour change in action
Behaviour change in action

Surrey’s Golden Boot Challenge

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Why changelab 1
Why ChangeLAB (1)?

Behavioural change experience is often confined within particular sectors or specialities.

ChangeLAB aims to maximise the potential to use existing knowledge, encouraging the transfer of experience not only between countries/regions, but also between sectors - transport, waste, water and energy.

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Why changelab 2
Why ChangeLAB (2)?

  • There is little information on whether previous initiatives have actually changed behaviour and by how much.

  • ChangeLAB aims to develop common criteria for the assessment and monitoring of the effectiveness of different interventions.

  • It aims to do this by drawing on a wide pool of experience across EU partner regions.

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What will changelab do
What will ChangeLAB do?

  • Create an interactive Knowledge Database on existing experience of changing behaviour, using different methodologies and working with different sectors/target groups

  • Develop criteria for assessing “successful” projects

  • Identify and refine effective methodologies with potential for transfer to other sectors and target groups

  • Test the developed methodologies further through 7 pilot actions in partner regions, designed to demonstrate the potential for transferability.

  • Devise a set of practical tools for local decision makers in authorities, organisations and agencies working on public participation initiatives

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Changelab so far
ChangeLAB so far

  • Administrative structures in place

  • Over 130 relevant projects collected from partner regions and inputted to draft Knowledge Base

  • Website set up

  • Knowledge Base Workshop 23 September 2005 to draw out conclusions from the data collection exercise

  • Work begun on the definition of the interactive “wizard”

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  • Newsletters

  • Website www.changelabproject.org

  • Toolkit (wizard)

  • Final report

  • Events (Knowledge Base workshop; regional event; final conference)

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Kate Dracup-Jones Project Coordinator

Tel: +44 20 8541 7430

Fax: +44 20 8541 8612


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Opportunities for local leadership
Opportunities for local leadership

  • SD Strategy - focus on changing behaviour and attitudes ; framework of Sustainable Communities

  • Sustainable procurement: link to exemplar role, reduced consumption and to community partners

  • Gershon review - ensuring ‘efficiency’ includes resource conservation/efficiency

  • Changes in community strategy and CPA

  • LAA

  • Waste policy: impact of LATS, revision of national strategy

  • Climate policy

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Keep in touch
Keep in touch




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