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.

English Also available in: French

The environmental policy context

This chapter reviews some of the main policies implemented by governments to influence household behaviour in five areas: energy use, water consumption, waste generation and recycling, food consumption and personal transport choices. It presents respondents’ perceptions of policies in place and also provides an overview of measures which were actually adopted in the eleven countries when the OECD Survey on Environmental Policy and Individual Behaviour Change (EPIC) was implemented in 2011. The use of unit-based charging for environmental services is examined for waste collection, water use and electricity consumption. Differences across the countries surveyed are presented about charging systems in place, provision of grants to encourage households to invest in eco-friendly equipment, use of eco-labels and access to infrastructures such as collection services for recyclable materials and public transport. Keeping this broad picture in mind, and also some country-specific aspects, is essential when reviewing the data collected.

English Also available in: French

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error