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Greening Household Behaviour

Overview from the 2011 Survey - Revised edition

image of Greening Household Behaviour

Developing growth strategies that promote greener lifestyles requires a good understanding of the factors that affect people’s behaviour towards the environment. Based on periodic surveys of more than 10 000 households, this publication presents responses from the most recent round of the OECD survey implemented in 2011, in 5 areas (energy, food, transport, waste and water) and 11 countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Israel, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The survey provides a common framework to collect unique empirical evidence for better policy design. Analysis comparing the data across countries, policy conditions and household characteristics reveals which measures most effectively change behaviour. Each round of the survey also allows to track changes over time and to explore new emerging issues.

The new survey confirms the importance of providing the right economic incentives for influencing our decisions. The findings indicate that “soft” measures such as labelling and public information campaigns also have a significant complementary role to play. Spurring desirable behaviour change requires a mix of these instruments.

This edition completely replaces the previously posted 2013 edition.

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Executive summary

Personal behaviour and choices in daily life, from what we eat to how we get to work or heat our homes, have a significant effect on the environment. Their impacts are likely to intensify over the coming years without stronger and better-targeted policy efforts. How should governments respond? We need to intensify our efforts at developing growth strategies that promote and win support for more environmentally benign lifestyles and consumption patterns.

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