A holistic approach to pro-environmental behaviour

Grantham Scholar Bianca Ciocirlan explores pro-environmental behaviours to inform core interventions in order to maximise positive environmental impact.

The project

Behavioural science can help us understand what drives engagement in sustainable and unsustainable behaviours, how scientists can intervene to promote behavioural change and what measures policymakers can adopt to support this.

My project aims to investigate pro-environmental behaviour from a holistic perspective, by identifying key barriers and enablers to pro-environmental behaviours and exploring the relationships between different pro-environmental behaviours (e.g., sustainable transportation, food consumption, and energy use). Investigating pro-environmental behaviours in isolation might lead to overlooking compensation and spillover effects (i.e., how attitudes and behaviours in one domain may have a positive or negative impact on another domain).

Sustainable Development Goals

As the aim of this research is to take a holistic approach to understanding pro-environmental behaviour, the programme of research will likely span many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The investigation of barriers and enablers to multiple pro-environmental behaviours, including energy use, sustainable transportation, food consumption, and recycling, aligns with SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production. SDG 12 seeks to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, and by identifying the mechanisms underlying these areas, my aim is to develop interventions that promote responsible consumption practices.

SDG 13 – Climate Action is also targeted as my research seeks to promote sustainable decisions that lead to a reduction of individual negative impact on the environment and limit the effects of climate change. Collaborative efforts are essential for achieving the SDGs and multidisciplinary approaches are needed to identify the most effective interventions.