Changes in consumption patterns and mainstream lifestyles are a critical and integral part of the solutions package to addressing climate change, especially if we are to deliver on the 1.5°C target. In this transition towards a more sustainable society, understanding how humans actually think and behave is crucial. It consists of a game-changing approach in tackling systems change and urges us to understand and act upon the true motivation of the way we live and behave. What are the actual changes needed and how to drive behaviourally-informed interventions, policies and strategies in practice?

Two initiatives are coming together on 1 July 2019 to address that question with you: Sitra and partners are launching the shorter version of the 1.5-Degree Lifestyles Report, and the Academy of Change. They will be presenting the main outcomes of a 2-year KR Foundation-funded initiative dedicated to accelerating change towards the sustainable behaviours that really matter.

Join us to meet experts and practitioners, increase your knowledge on the topic, network with actors who are already active in behaviour change and jointly shape our future now!

A detailed agenda will be out soon.

To receive a notification about the agenda and the registration for this event please sign up to our Academy of Change Newsletter or follow us on Twitter!

After three years of operation, the CSR Hub NRW has bundled the most significant CSR tools and best practices in an easy to use tool box for startups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The CSR Hub NRW Toolbox is now available on CSR Hub to refresh knowledge or support the launch of a CSR strategy for the first time.

Since 2016, more than 160 SMEs and startups have taken part in workshops and seminars organised by the CSR Hub NRW. They have become acquainted with many practical techniques and instruments relating to CSR knowledge, communication and marketing, sustainable supply chain management as well as innovation and work culture.

In cooperation with trend-setting companies from NRW and from many hours of intensive workshops, the CSR Hub team has translated the essence of the content into an easy-to-implement format. In four chapters structured according to the main topics, companies of all types and sizes can now quickly and easily find inspiration for best practices and the implementation of concrete CSR measures in their own companies. The beta version of the Toolbox can already be used at here. The final version will be online by the end of April in our library.

The CSR Hub NRW was supported by the state government of NRW and informed more than 160 young companies from NRW about the entrepreneurial opportunities of CSR from 2016 to the end of 2018. The project partners CSCP and Business Angels Netzwerk Deutschland e.V. (BAND) jointly implemented the project until its final event on 30 October 2018.

Through the tool box, as well as BAND’s new information and experimentation space for sustainable companies in NRW , the work of the CSR Hub will continue to impact startups and SMEs in their CSR-strategy.

Please contact Patrick Bottermann for further questions.

What does a small producer of jeans have in common with a large manufacturer of jet engines, a green government building and one of the world’s most efficient water systems?

They are all creating extra value with circular business models while simultaneously reducing negative environmental impacts.

The CSCP coordinates the R2Pi Project – Transition from Linear 2 Circular, funded by the European Union, which aims to enable organisations and their value chains to transition to more sustainable business models. In February, the CSCP and R2Pi conducted several workshops in Brussels to help business leaders and policy makers rethink business models and co-create business tools and policy measures to implement sustainable and circular strategies. The workshops gathered stakeholders from multinational corporations, sector associations, policy makers and civil society.

During the workshop, one focus was on businesses and examples of successful circular business models that have been investigated during the project. Some of the case examples include:

The R2Pi project presented lessons learned from the cases as well as explanations of various patterns of circular business models across different parts of the value chain (diagram below).

The CSCP and R2Pi support policy makers and engage with stakeholders in creating policies that enable the circular transition, and the workshop went on to co-create policies measures in key sectors: food, electronics, plastics, textiles, constructions and water.

The compiled results of these and other engagements will be available later this year in the final results of the R2Pi Project in our Circular Economy Business Guidelines and Policy Packages.

For further questions, please contact Raymond Slaughter.

Photo: © shutterstock / tai11

 

What are the 10 golden rules for designing behaviour change interventions? How do values support or hinder specific behaviours and why is it important to address people as citizens instead of as consumers? These were some of the main questions discussed in the final Academy of Change workshop in Berlin in February 2019 with more than 20 leading NGOs from all over the world.

The workshop was part of the Academy of Change (AoC), the CSCP’s programme for future leaders working on climate change and sustainability in the NGO sector. The onsite meeting in Berlin was the last of six modules, which have been delivered online and offline since summer 2018. Throughout the programme over 60 representatives from international NGOs learned about different consecutive steps to designing behaviour change interventions for more sustainable behaviour. This included steps like analysing the target group, using different behaviour change models to map the relevant behaviours and selecting a fitting tool for an intervention, like nudging or social norms, before discussing options for impact assessment. The NGOs also shared several cases of their own interventions and jointly discussed the best ways to move forward.

The workshop further aimed at broadening the scope and connecting the programme to other relevant discussions through a number of external experts. Andrew Simms from the Rapid Transition Alliance reinforced the issue of urgency of actions to combat climate change and the need for rapid change. Polly Keane from the New Citizenship Project highlighted the importance of differentiating between ‘consumer and citizen’ and suggested approaches on how to give citizens agency. Looking at behaviour change as part of a larger social and system change was vividly demonstrated by Anna Birney from the Forum for the Future on the example of introducing drinking water fountains in London. Finally, Tom Crompton from the Common Cause Foundation shared his insights on values and its importance for changing behaviours, based on different experiments he had conducted, addressing different value sets.

The workshop provided room for discussing how these different elements fit together and can be implemented by the NGOs in the future. The participant’s feedback on the workshop delighted the team as it was rated excellent (83%) and highly relevant for their work (72%). Natasha Yorke-Edgell from RSPB, the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, stated: “This has been an incredible experience, I have learnt so much to take away, digest, share and test. I know this course will have a powerful ripple effect into the wider world!“.

The Academy of Change is always looking for people interested in accelerating change in those sustainable behaviours and lifestyles that really matter. There are different ways to get involved. Are you an NGO? You can apply to our waiting list to join potential future editions of the programme. Are you interested in supporting or sponsoring the Academy beyond its current funding framework or in bringing it to your organisation? Are you looking for insightful and beyond state-of-the-art information related to sustainable behaviour and behaviour change? Contact us at contact@aochange.org.

Academy of Change is a non-profit initiative of the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP) and Behaviour Change, funded by the KR Foundation.

For further information, please contact Rosa Strube.

2000 visitors, 6 cities, 6 dicussion rounds and many, many insights into people’s hopes and worries regarding the digitalisation of work… this is a first tally of our “Durchblick” popup dialogue-centre on the future of work. It toured through Germany from October 2018 to February 2019. We are happy the exhibition could initiate many dicussions about tomorrow’s work trends and show people they can actively participate in designing the future they want!

Digitalisation brings many social and ecological benefits. It allows us to work from home, avoids ecologically damaging traffic, automates many standardised processes and makes work life safer – just think about robots that do hazardous maneuvers in factories. At the same time, digitalisation raises many questions, some of them concerning. What about our data? Who protects it? Does working in a home office mean that my boss can call me at any time, day and night? Could my job be automated to the point where I am no longer needed?

In February, the CSCP’s Wissenschaftsjahr 2018 project “Durchblick” ended. During the project we – together with the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the Folkwang University of the Arts – designed a very special exhibition: in three scenario worlds, we presented developments, trends, and the future of different job worlds which are undergoing major changes due to digitalisation. Which technologies are going to make a  home office a true alternative for many? What is the “dementia ball”? What is a Self-Driving Monitoring Agent? How can we co-design the work life we want and use digitalisation in a way that serves not only us, but also considers social and ecological impacts?

The exhibition traveled through the six German cities of Wuppertal, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Kiel, Hildesheim, and Cologne. Using pop-up stores (vacant storefronts), it invited citizens – workers, pupils, students, and retirees to experience the exhibition. At the exhibition, they could experience the future of work and dicuss it with experts and other visitors. They had the chance to give their opinion on future trends and ask the questions that were on their minds. Here are some of their hopes and worries in their own words:

Durchblick Soundbox

The project was part of the Science Year 2018: Working Life of the Future, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research aimed at bringing scientific research findings to the people and to invite them to share their point of view.

The tour is not over! The exhibition has found a temporary location and awaits a new challenge where the participatory formats realise their full potential. Please reach out if you are interested in the exhibition and would like to learn more about its future travels!

Contact Imke Schmidt for further information.

 

Photo by Charlotte Wulff

Fittingly titled “AI made in Germany”, the German Federal Government presented its National Artificial Intelligence Strategy in late 2018. With AI as one of the cornerstones of digitalisation, one major task will be the integration of the AI strategy into existing digitalisation strategies. As part of the Mittelstand-Digital Competence Centre eStandards, the CSCP is contributing its expertise.

Triggered by the new Federal AI Strategy, Mittelstand-Digital has initiated a Working Group on Artificial Intelligence, in order to best serve SMEs with all their AI-related projects and needs. The Working Group consists of representatives of each Competence Centre, so new insights are distributed throughout the country as well as across focus topics.

The CSCP’s Thomas Wagner participated in the Working Groups first meetings this year as a representative to the Competence Centre eStandards, whose Co-working Space Wuppertal is hosted at the CSCP. He sees the integration of sustainability into AI-thinking as essential: “In the working group, experts from research and innovation on Artificial Intelligence from the strongest German institutions come together. We see that developments around AI in Germany are moving fast and interesting solutions are being developed. Digitalisation in general, and AI in particular, can benefit the people and the planet significantly, if done right. At the Competence Centre eStandards, we inform SMEs extensively about the potentials that they can realise when thinking sustainability and digitalisation together.” He hopes that this message also resonates within the Working Group: “together, we can design AI in such a way that it develops sustainably and enables sustainable development, contributing to a good life for all. The potential that AI holds towards that end are enormous, but only if we actively design AI solutions with this purpose.”

It will be exciting to see how the new working group influences the Competence Centres’ work on AI, what kind of practice projects will result from the new initiative and which best practices they can identify for SMEs across Germany.

Mittelstand-Digital is an initiative by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the largest of its kind, to make small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) fit for digitalisation. Through 25 Competence Centres, Mittelstand-Digital informs small and medium-sized enterprises about the opportunities and challenges of digitalisation. They help local small retailers as well as larger production companies with expert knowledge, demonstration centres, and networks to facilitate the exchange of experiences and practical examples, free of charge, and disseminate best practices to inspire and instruct other SMEs. The CSCP is a partner in the Competence Centre eStandards, where we emphasize the importance of sustainability in the process of digitalization.

For further information, please contact Thomas Wagner.

 

 

Photo by Hitesh Choudhary on Unsplash

Are you a prosumer? You most probably are – if you have ever grown a tomato on your own, repaired your bike or mended your own clothes. Most of us are not even aware that we take part in active value creation every day! And we do this for good reasons – whether as a hobby, for financial savings or a sense of responsibility for future generations. Indeed, as our ProMoNa project has shown: prosumption holds major sustainability potentials – if done right.

A growing part of our society want a more personal, trustful and sustainable way of production and consumption. Many people miss these aspects in our conventional markets and are motivated to participate in alternative value creation models which offer participation and empowerment. There are consumers who engage in production (e.g. community based agriculture or DIY), in marketing (bloggers), in food distribution and waste management (foodsharers) and in recycling or upcycling (repair cafés). Consumers are engaging in every step of the supply chain and, by doing so, become what we call “prosumers”.

Many of these prosumption patterns are turning into distinct organisations, i.e. they are institutionalised at a local level (and beyond). They are changing the method of production but also of doing business in general!

These different value creation models actually hold a considerable sustainability potential if the members consider five core principles, the 5Cs of sustainable prosumption:

  1. Community: Prosuming together with others not only saves money, but also time and resources and is therefore more sustainable than doing it alone.
  2. Consistency: The longer we participate in a prosumption acitivity, the more we are able to integrate it into our daily life routines and become “better” in it regarding resource, time, and cost savings.
  3. Close Proximity: Rebound effects may occur if we, for example, participate in a Community Based Agriculture initiative, but have to go there by car. This is why prosumption should take place close by – which, of course, also includes proximity and community created through the internet.
  4. ReCycling: Using what already exists, is more sustainable than acquiring new resources for prosumption. This is why reparing or upcycling is more sustainable compared to other DIY activities.
  5. Coordinate: Following a clearly defined and structured value creation model helps with the organization of a stable community. If each member knows what he has to do, if there is a clear cost model and a focused communication strategy, the model is more likely to succeed in the long term.

The ProMoNa project ended in February 2019. If you like to read more about it and our findings, have a look at our publications (only in German):

Also, we would be happy to learn more about your interests and thoughts with regard to sustainable prosumption.

Please contact Imke Schmidt for further questions.

 

Photo by rocknwool on Unsplash

Assessing our footprint is key but there is more to explore! What about the positive impacts we are having on people and the planet? These actions are where the Handprint comes in: The Handprint is a new perspective on sustainability. It represents the positive contributions organisations and companies make towards a sustainable future. The project that developed the handprint tool has just concluded.

Together with our partners, the CSCP has developed a methodology to translate the handprint concept into a tool that provides tangible results. These results will allow you to minimize your footprint while maximizing your ecological, economic, and social handprint giving you a holistic view of your impact. The methodology provides several key advantages:

It shows the entire life-cycle possibilities and full, transparent accountability of your actions. It identifies the innovative aspects of your products or services and new sustainable business models for your organisation.

At the same time, it creates added value that strengthens your organisation’s reputation and recognition with stakeholders —and that includes your customers! It will also help your employees find pride and meaning in their work enhancing their commitment to your organisation.

Finally, the Handprint also connects your organisation’s vision with the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals; supporting your brand and products to be resilient for the future.

For a brief introduction on the Handprint approach:

For a more comprehensive introduction, visit www.handabdruck.org. We have recently published our final project report, which you can read here.

An interactive workshop on application possibilities and tangible Handprint benefits will be conducted on 16 May at the CSCP in Wuppertal, please check our upcoming events soon for more details.

For further questions, please contact Janpeter Beckmann.

Together with European partners, the CSCP is setting up the Consumer Insight Action Panel for the circular economy. Its mandate is to analyse circular economy challenges within the sectors of textiles, plastics and electronics from a consumer behaviour perspective. The research will be combined with pilot testing and replication activities to create a real impact when informing policy and business innovations. Within the electronics sector, for example, how might we address premature obsolescence of products? How can we enable and motivate consumers to repair or reuse electronic products?

EU decision makers have already clearly recognised the importance of understanding and integrating consumer knowledge and behavioural insights into the context of the circular economy transition. “The choices made by millions of consumers can support or hamper the circular economy. These choices are shaped by the information to which consumers have access, the range and prices of existing products, and the regulatory framework.” (COM(2015) 614 final, EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy).

Despite the importance of consumer insights, there is little research on behaviour change specifically with regard to the circular economy. Misconceptions and assumptions about consumers still prevail – that people are driven by information only or that financial incentives are the core instrument to motivate change in behavior, for example. These assumptions often lack sound evidence about what really motivates consumer behaviour.

To address this gap, the CSCP organised and facilitated the stakeholder meeting “Consumer Insights into the Circular Economy”, in October 2018, with the support of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) as part of the work plan of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP) Coordination Group. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss how consumer needs, motivations and behavioural insights could be better integrated into the circular economy transition, what we already know in terms of promising practices and benefits in this realm, and what actions we should take to institutionalise the topic and make it relevant to the circular economy agenda. Click here to download the meeting report.

High level stakeholders from various stakeholder groups, including policy makers, business, NGOs and academia, were present and their main suggestion for the way forward was the creation of a Consumer Insight Action Panel. It would consist of a multi-stakeholder group aimed at translating existing and novel consumer behaviour knowledge into impact-oriented activities, tools and recommendations to support policy makers, business and civil society in enabling consumer-relevant circular economy strategies. The CSCP is currently setting up such a Consumer Insight Action Panel for the circular economy.

A soft launch of the Panel took place in Brussels on 7 March 2019, with the workshop Consumers in the Circular Economy as part of the 2019 Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference, hosted by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). The workshop was delivered in partnership with the Finish Innovation Fund – Sitra and the European Environment Agency (EEA), and attracted the attention of various stakeholders interested in being part of the Consumer Insight Action Panel. If you are interested in learning more about it and getting involved, drop us a message: consumerinsights@scp-centre.org

For further information, please contact Mariana Nicolau.

This one-day workshop, which took place in February, was a great success, bringing together stakeholders from refugee and asylum organisations, policy makers and business. It led to the establishment of a network that is going to push the agenda and the objectives of the workshop forward. This is to ensure continued sustainable professional integration of refugees and asylum seekers in the German labour market while helping to overcome the skilled labour shortage in Germany*, leading to a win-win situation for all.

The gastronomy sector can play a key role in the sustainable professional integration of refugees and asylum seekers if a number of challenges are met and potential barriers are overcome. These include restrictions through their asylum status, recognition of their professional qualifications and work experience. To explore opportunities that can lead to a win-win situation for all, the CSCP, CookinHope and DEHOGA organised a one-day workshop at the Stadthalle Wuppertal, bringing together stakeholders and facilitating dialogue.

In an insightful panel discussion on the barriers facing the employment of refugee and asylum seekers with Jassem Okla and team (Weiße Herzen), Isabel Hausmann (Managing director, DEHOGA Nordrhein Neuss stv), Inge Riße (Ausbildungsberatung Geflüchtete) and Marie Haus (Villa Media), we explored concrete examples of challenges faced by stakeholders. The role of learning German and the opportunities to do so was a major concern of all panelists. In his comprehensive key note, Dr. Andreas Kletzander, Board Member for Labour Market and Communication at Job Center Wuppertal emphasized the wide range of measures and initiatives for integration into the labour market that Wuppertal offers. Examples are the Haus der Integration, “house of integration”, which hosts all integration services that the City of Wuppertal offers under one roof, and the Bergisches Netzwerk zur Arbeitsmarktintegration von Neuzugewanderten, “ Network for the Labour Market Integration of Newly Immigrated Persons”.

The Cookin’Hope workshop participants were also treated to a wide range of best practices. These included Cookin Hope, the learning restaurant for refugees in Wuppertal, HUkultur,,catering services offered by women refugees and asylum seekers in Bochum, the story of Ahmad Daoud, a refugee who started as a volunteer for different initiatives and is soon opening his own restaurant in Wuppertal, and many more. These showed the wide range of successful initiatives implemented in various places to professionally integrate refugees and asylum seekers. They also shared their key learnings with the participants.

In parallel workshops, partipants brainstormed new instruments needed to promote the professinal integration of refugees and asylum seekers, such as market-based instruments, which lead to a win-win situation for employers (the gastronomy sector) and employees (refugees and asylum seekers); foundation and qualification instruments – a joint learning and development process; the role of voluntary work and its limits. One market-based instrument that was developed was the use of labelling to recognise the restaurants and hotels that participate in the integration of refugees. Such a label would serve as a special recognition as well as a marketing tool for the restaurants and hotels.

For further questions, please contact Joshua Aseto.