A collaboration between The University of Manchester, Edinburgh University, Essex University, Lancaster University and Leeds University with Fellowships based at Cardiff University, Queens University Belfast and The University of Salford
The Sustainable Practices Research Group (SPRG) comprises seven research projects and four Fellowships conducted across eight UK universities.The SPRG is funded by the Economic & Social Research Council, the Scottish Government and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
This brief overview introduces a practice perspective to sustainable consumption and reflects upon how the programme has addressed its guiding research questions. This overview was prepared for the SPRG Finale Event.
Outputs, Engagements and Updates
PRESENTATION TO SCOTTISH GOVERMENT > SPRG Director Dale Southerton, Deputy Director Andrew McMeekin, and researchers Nicola Spurling, Dan Welch and Isabelle Darmon took a poster exhibition of material from the SPRG exhibition to the Scottish Government in Edinburgh (5 March), where Dale presented insights from the SPRG programme to a receptive audience of policy makers and third sector sustainability groups. Slides can be downloaded from Presentations.
ZERO CARBON HOUSING PRESENTATION > Zero Carbon researchers Simon Guy and Andrew Karvonen (University of Manchester) gave a presentation on 'District Heating and the Rescaling of Urban Energy Provision' to the Scottish Government at their Climate Change Lunchtime Seminar. Download the presentation slides.
INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP: PROPERTIES OF WATER The Drinking Water project held an international workshop with scholars from Taiwan, India, Mexico and the UK on 3-4th October 2013 at Essex University addressing contrasting characteristics of water provisioning, processes of creating different qualities of water, unequal rights to water, and emergent sustainability crises.
The SPRG finale event was held on September 11th at Mary Ward House, Tavistock Place, London. Sustainability | Social Practices | Policy was attended by an invited audience of over a hundred policy makers, academics, business people and NGOs. The event showcased the SPRG Exhibition as well as a panel discussion with distinguished speakers in the field of policy and sustainability. The exhibition brought together delegates with the SPRG's leading social scientists in the field of sustainable consumption to discuss their projects.
Following a busy afternoon at the exhibition, the panel opened with SPRG Director Professor Dale Southerton presenting a brief overview of the programme's distinctive social practice approach to sustainability policy. Dale was followed by Lord Gus O'Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary (2005-2011), who reflected on the SPRG's contribution and his broad ranging experience with governance, policy, behaviour change and sustainability. Questions from the floor afforded a wide ranging debate and the discussions continued after the panel with a drinks reception in the exhibition area.
REPORT RELEASED: Interventions in Practice: Re-framing Policy Approaches to Consumer Behaviour > In time for the programme's finale event the Theoretical Development & Integration project has produced a major report addressing how a practice perspective can re-frame policy initiatives in sustainable consumption. Read the executive summary or full report.
PATTERNS OF WATER PROJECT FINAL REPORT > The Patterns of Water project have released their final report. The report includes research results of a 1800 person survey, as well as interviews with survey participants, into domestic water related practices. The research demonstrates how taking practices as the unit of analysis allows for a deeper understanding of the routines and habits of everyday life that lead to domestic water consumption. Find out more and download the report and resource pack.
PUBLICATION > Full text of The Habits of Consumption edited by Alan Warde and Dale Southerton is available online. This collection of essays addresses theoretical approaches to understanding behaviour change, with contributions from SPRG researchers Warde and Southerton, Elizabeth Shove and Andy McMeekin.