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In order to reach organisational sustainability goals and to comply with increasing regulatory requirements, organisations such as universities have to decide which measures will be best suited to attain these goals. An accepted approach is to base these decisions on an assessment of hard facts that consider the effectiveness and the (financial and technical) feasibility of each measure. In this paper it is argued that the subjective user perspective (i.e. of staff members affected by these measures) is a third aspect that should be considered when evaluating the suitability of sustainability measures. Adding the user perspective will gain insights into the acceptance of potential measures and into the positive influence on users’ attitudes and behaviour. In addition, not accepted measures or measures that are given low priority by users will hinder the implementation and success. This paper presents a three-part evaluation process of applied environmental management approaches such as the “eco-mapping” approach to collect environmental data on office spaces and combining these findings with the results from personal interviews with staff members occupying these office spaces. Based on the gathered information, it is possible to map different measures against the three dimensions—effectiveness, feasibility and acceptance—in order to prioritize their usefulness.
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So Tell Me What You Want, What You
Really Really Want
Including the User Perspective before Implementing
Measures of Sustainability
Thomas Bäumer, Daniel Worm, Patrick Müller,
Stefan Zimmermann, Tobias Popovic and Christian Pagel
In order to reach organisational sustainability goals and to comply with increasing
regulatory requirements, organisations such as universities have to decide which
measures will be best suited to attain these goals. An accepted approach is to base
these decisions on an assessment of hard facts that consider the effectiveness and the
(nancial and technical) feasibility of each measure. In this paper it is argued that the
subjective user perspective (i.e. of staff members affected by these measures) is a
third aspect that should be considered when evaluating the suitability of
sustainability measures. Adding the user perspective will gain insights into the
acceptance of potential measures and into the positive inuence on usersattitudes
priority by users will hinder the implementation and success. This paper presents a
three-part evaluation process of applied environmental management approaches
such as the eco-mappingapproach to collect environmental data on ofce spaces
and combining these ndings with the results from personal interviews with staff
members occupying these ofce spaces. Based on the gathered information, it is
possible to map different measures against the three dimensionseffectiveness,
feasibility and acceptancein order to prioritize their usefulness.
Sustainability measures Environmental management process User acceptance
T. Bäumer (&)D. Worm P. Müller S. Zimmermann T. Popovic C. Pagel
Center for Sustainable Economics and Management, Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart
(University of Applied Sciences), Schellingstr. 24, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany
D. Worm T. Popovic
Center for Sustainable Development, Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart
(University of Applied Sciences), Schellingstr. 24, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany
©Springer International Publishing AG 2017
W. Leal Filho et al. (eds.), Handbook of Theory and Practice of Sustainable
Development in Higher Education, World Sustainability Series,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-47889-0_5
1 Introduction
There is a window in the laboratory of this building, where the rain comes in, and no one
seems to be interested in this but they are distributing blue bins for the paper trash. There
seems to be something wrong when it comes to prioritization of measures. When I look at
this, I think: Do you know what? With your stupid sustainability you can jump in the lake!
(University Staff Member, Personal Interview, April, 2014)
When universities strive to become more environmentally sustainable organi-
sations, ofcials and involved researchers are often excited. But, as can be seen in
the quotation above, not all members within an organisation might share this
enthusiasm. Reactions such as this demonstrate how measures implemented in
order to reach sustainability goals
can have a negative impact on staff working
within organisations. It may then negatively inuence the attitudes of employees
and in the long run their support when it comes to reaching the set goals. In
addition, their individual attitudes and corresponding behaviours may inuence
other co-workers and a negative social norm may evolve from this.
In this article it is argued that the subjective user perspective is an important
aspect that should be considered in addition to other more objective aspects when
evaluating the suitability of environmental sustainability measures. Adding the user
perspective into the environment management process will bring insights into the
acceptance of potential measures and into the positive inuence on usersattitudes
and behaviour. The relevance of participation in the eld of sustainability at uni-
versities has been highlighted in recent works (e.g. Disterheft et al. 2012,2015;
Govindarajulu and Daily 2004) and different approaches have been introduced to
integrate users into sustainability processes. For example, by generally paying
attention to human resource factors such as trainings, communication and
empowerment (e.g. Sammalisto and Brorson 2008; Daily and Huang 2001) or more
specically by integrating all stakeholders into the setting up of an environment
management process (Tinker and Tzoulas 2015). This article follows the call of
Disterheft et al. (2015) to increase the body of research on participation within the
context of sustainability implementation at universitieswith a focus on practical
ideas how to conduct participatory processes.
In the following, theoretical background information is presented regarding the
three dimensions underlying the environment management processeffectiveness,
feasibility and acceptancein order to illustrate their relevance. In the second part of
this article, a case study is reported, which includes all three aspects when evaluating
the suitability of sustainability measures. Based on the results some conclusions are
drawn on how the user perspective can be implemented as a third dimension.
Goals for sustainable development can be dened regarding the economic development, social
development and environmental protection (c.f. United Nations 2002). These dimensions can be
described as the three pillars of sustainable development (United Nations 2005). The
environmental dimension of sustainable development as one pillar focuses on the negative
human impact on the improvement of ecosystem services. The example described in this paper
focuses on this environmental dimension.
64 T. Bäumer et al.
The outcomes of related projects will be highly relevant not just for the refur-
bishment of public real estate (such as universities, schools, ministries, further
public authorities) but also for a large number of companies. Beginning in 2017,
companies of public interest (e.g. banks) with more than 500 employees will be
obliged to publish detailed sustainability reports (European Parliament 2012). If
embedded in a strategic concept the affected companies should be able to realize
various synergies by combining Energy-Audit and sustainability reporting
(Baumgärtler and Popovic 2015).
1.1 Effectiveness/Performance Perspective
Within the context of environmental management systems such as the
Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMASc.f. European Parliament 2009)
organisations intend to improve their performance by reducing their environmental
Therefore environmental relevant aspects within operational processes are
evaluated to identify an organisations current state and areas for improvement
(German EMAS Advisory Board at the Federal Ministry for the Environment,
Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety). In a second step, derived
environmental measures contribute to the organisations overall performance. Thus,
the effectiveness of an improvement measure can be assessed by its contribution in
improving the organisations overall environmental performance. Since the last
update of the European Regulation six areas (Energy Efciency, Material Ef-
ciency, Biodiversity, Water, Waste and Emissions) have been determined to present
the environmental performance (European Parliament 2009).
1.2 Feasibility/Technical and Economical Perspective
Within the framework of EMAS, environmental aspects are part of an
Input-Output-Analysis including all environmental relevant areas listed above. The
evaluation of operational processes and subsequently the identication of areas for
improvement and improvement measures are based on data that are collected during
frequent review processes covering all environmental aspects. In a rst step, an
organisations improvement potential is assessed focusing primarily on the effec-
tiveness of measures.
When reviewing proposed improvement measures in a second step to discover
improvement potentials, technical and economic feasibility tend to be the main
criteria besides the effectiveness of the measure. On the one hand, the ease of
implementation, implying a simple technological integration into the current system
without major changes, indicates the preferability of a measure. On the other hand,
a low investment combined with high effectiveness such as signicant energy or
With EMAS organizations take a proactive approach to improve their environmental performance
(c.f. European Commission (2015a).
So Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want 65
(raw) material savings, leading to tangible cost savings over time, also indicates the
preferability. The projected outcome aims at the dimension of economical
sustainability and is a main driver for organisations to invest in energy efciency
measures to reduce operating costs.
According to the evaluation of an organisation regarding the environmental
impact and potential for improvement in the six elds, these two dimensions can be
both considered to prioritize measures. As such high potential areas can be iden-
tied to signicantly improve the performance while showing a high level of fea-
sibility and effectiveness. However, this common method, when applied within
organisations environmental management systems, provides little attention to those
affected by the measures and the effect it has on their behaviour.
1.3 Acceptance/User Perspective
In order to understand and predict pro-environmental behaviour, such as preserving
energy at the ofce, various theories have been developed. One frequently used
approach is the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen 1991). It starts with the idea that
(planned) behaviour is best explained by behavioural intention, which is mainly
determined by three variables: attitudes, social norms, and (perceived) behaviour
control. This theory views humans as rather rational beings which intend to
demonstrate behaviours they believe will aid them in reaching their goals (=attitudes).
However, humans are also social animalsin a sense as they take into account how
signicant others may perceive their behaviour (=social norms). Humans conform to
expectations of others in order to prevent being excluded by their social environment.
A third important predictor is perceived behavioural control, meaning that humans
will not attempt to reach the (seemingly) impossible but focus on actions within their
area of control. Apart from a wide range of empirical support, this theory has also
been tested for the prediction of pro-environmental behaviour, e.g. in a study
investigating behavioural intentions at the workplace (Greaves et al. 2013). In this
study, the three predictors accounted for 4661 % of the variance in behavioural
intention regarding various pro-environmental behaviours (e.g. switching the com-
puter off when leaving the desk).
In a meta-analysis by Bamberg and Möser (2007), the Theory of Planned
Behaviour was extended by the implications of the Norm-Activation Model
(Schwartz 1977). According to this model, moral norms (in addition to social
norms) are an additionally relevant predictor of behavioural intentions. This has
already been demonstrated in the eld of pro-environmental behaviours, such as
energy conservation (Black et al. 1985). Taken together, these models presume that
individual attitudes and social as well as moral norms are important determinants of
pro-environmental behaviour. Any action that would negatively inuence these
variables would also have a negative impact on corresponding behaviour at the
workplace as well as outside. Thus, by choosing and implementing measures in
order to reach sustainability goals in organisations, one needs to be aware of the
66 T. Bäumer et al.
acceptance of these measures on an individual (attitudes) as well as on a group level
(norms). This is why it is necessary to include the user perspective as a third
dimension, when deciding on which measure to implement in order to reach
organisational sustainability goals.
Besides the importance of individual attitudes and social norms, there is a third
aspect that makes the user perspective worth exploring. Resource allocation pro-
cesses (the implementation of certain sustainability measures can be seen as such a
process, i.e. a limited resource, money, is spent on one or more measures) have long
been known to be strongly inuenced by the perceived fairness of such allocations
(i.e. distributive fairness) and the perceived fairness of the process of this allocation
(i.e. procedural fairness). In the case of the implementation of sustainability mea-
sures, procedural fairness should be especially important. The perception of an
individual that a certain process is fair triggers many favourable attitudes and
behaviours toward the organisation implementing this process, independent of the
outcome of the process. This well-researched phenomenon is called the
fair-process-effect(Folger 1977) and has been shown in many domains of social
life (c.f. Colquitt et al. 2013). Effects of favourable perceptions of procedural
fairness include a more positive attitude toward the organisation implementing the
process, higher compliance to the rules and regulations in the organization, more
corporate citizenship behaviour, stronger endorsement of organisational goals and
higher productivity (Colquitt et al. 2013). Additionally, previous research has
shown that perceptions of low procedural fairness lead to negative attitudes toward
the company, low endorsement of organisational goals, low rule compliance, etc.
(Colquitt et al. 2013). All these effects occur regardless of the persons impressions
about the actual long-term outcome of the process (in this case the actual sus-
tainability measures). Therefore, making the process of the implementation of
sustainability measures fairer should result in more positive perceptions of and
behaviours towards the implemented measures.
But how can we render a process
fair? Previous research has identied different aspects that make processes fairer,
such as transparency, consistency and accountability. However, the single most
inuential aspect seems to be the opportunity to state onesown opinion (Folger
1977). Voicing onesown ideas and attitudes, regardless whether this leads to the
desired outcome or not, makes people see a process as more fair.
Combining this with the above-mentioned fact, that asking people about their
attitudes and social norms helps to predict their future behaviour, the mere process
of asking people should also have a positive effect on their perceptions of the
measures resulting from the process of identifying suitable sustainability measures.
In the following part, a case study is presented that investigated the three aspects:
effectiveness, feasibility and acceptance, at the Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart
(University of Applied Sciences).
Fairness should not only be installed in order to increase the social aspect of sustainability, but
also in order to increase acceptance and effectiveness of environmentally relevant measures.
So Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want 67
2 Case Study at the Hochschule für
Technik Stuttgart (HFT)
The presented case study is a part of an ambitious project at the HFT called EnSign
eld laboratory for climate-neutral city campus. The project has been estab-
lished to pursue the state government of Baden-Württembergs goal to build a
largely carbon-neutral state administration by 2040 (Landesregierung
Baden-Württemberg 2012).
With a mix of protected historic buildings, post-war constructions as well as new
buildings, the building stock of the HFT is highly heterogeneous. The campus
contains numerous classrooms, work and service rooms, computer centres, a
cafeteria, laboratories, external rms. With more than 4000 students, technical and
ofce employees, academic staff and professors, the user group of the campus is
also very heterogeneous. When it comes to sustainable measures that will lead the
goals of a campus energy master plan, the different building requirements must be
taken into account as well as the users who will have to live with it.
The presented case study had the aim to identify measures with the highest
potential to reach set sustainability goals. The described approach can be separated
into three different steps: The rst step had the goal to identify general areas in the
organisation with high potential to reach sustainability goals. The second step tried
to identify potential measures in the one selected area based on the dimensions
effectiveness and feasibility. The nal step was the integration of the user per-
spective regarding the identied measures and to discuss the potential of the
measures based on these results.
2.1 STEP 1: Identification of the Relevant Areas
for Sustainability Goals
2.1.1 Environmental Impact
The overall target is to improve the organisations performance by setting sus-
tainability goals. As such the effectiveness is measured within EMAS core areas
(see Table 1) and provides information on the organisations inputs or
Table 1 EMAS core indicators and performance
Key areas Input or impacts Performance
Energy efciency Total direct energy use/Total renewable energy use 5495 MWh/30 %
Material efciency Annual mass-ow of different materials used 15 t of paper
Water Total annual water consumption 7994 m
Waste Total annual generation of waste/Total annual
generation of hazardous waste
121 t/under 20 kg
Biodiversity Land use 13,440 m
Emissions Total annual emissions of greenhouse gases/Total
annual air emissions
609 t CO
68 T. Bäumer et al.
environmental impacts that can be analysed by correlating the results to the
organisations size. The greater the observed improvement within the key areas, the
more effective the preceding measure.
Once the performance has been evaluated, areas for improvement need to be
identied that indicate the eld of action, and build the basis for deriving measures
in the respective eld.
2.1.2 Potential for Improvement
When identifying areas for improvement, the environmental management process
starts with a primary environmental review which includes the visit of all of the
organisations building areas and the collection of environmental relevant data. In
the case of the HFT, the EMAS EASY concept (European Commission 2015b) was
applied that consists of an eco-mapping process. The mapping of the organisation,
in terms of location and internal processes in order to identify its environmental
aspects, resulted in 1100 ndings illustrated in Table 2. Findings contained infor-
mation on environmental relevant locations on the campus and their potential for
improvements regarding energy efciency, waste management, resource use, soil
protection etc. For subsequent reviews, the HFT developed an EMAS-smartphone
app showing the ndings on electronic oor plans and to be used by personnel to
include more individual information (Fridrihsone and Kettemann 2015).
As part of the evaluation process within EMAS EASY, the common method
FLIPO(Flow, Legislation, Impact, Practices, and Opinions) was applied. During
this part of the process the collected data supported the evaluation of the organi-
sations operational processes. Most weighted assessment criteria of the FLIPO
concept are the legal aspects regarding a work process and the processesenvi-
ronmental impact. These evaluation criteria are followed by the frequency of
energy/material ows as well as the evaluation of the applied technical practices.
A further criterion was the opinion of experts of the corresponding operational
process that was integrated as well.
2.2 Results Step 1 (Identification of Environmental Field
with Highest Impact/Potential)
The results of the evaluation are summarized in Fig. 1. The illustration shows the
evaluation of the universitys environmental impacts from its operations and
measures the potential for improvements within the environmental elds.
Table 2 Summary of the results of the eco-mapping (1100 ndings)
Energy Efciency (e.g. defects, energy losses, suggested replacement) 35 %
Safety/Soil Protection (e.g. potential threats, heath issues) 27 %
Waste Management Issues (e.g. hazardous materials, recycling issues) 22 %
Water Utilisation (e.g. defects, water losses, suggested improvements) 8 %
Emissions (e.g. local emissions, CO
-Emissions) 8 %
So Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want 69
Based on these results, the HFT selected the eld of energy efciencyfor the
following step, given the high potential for improvements and the signicant
environmental impact expected. Therefore, different energy efciency measures
were analysed in step two.
2.3 STEP 2: Identification of Potential Measures to Reduce
Energy Consumption
Two representative buildings (out of 9) were chosen to be investigated. They were
chosen given both will undergo major renovations in the near future. As such, there
was a feasible opportunity to implement some of the suggested measures, which
would also increase the willingness of the staff to participate as interview patners in
step 3. In one building (Building 3) 43 people have their ofces, while in the other
(Building 4) 50 people do.
Fig. 1 Evaluation of the organisations current state
Table 3 Standards evaluation and priorities of improvement measures
Effectiveness Feasibility Priority
Hand dryer Low Medium
(High technical,Low nancially)
Lighting retrot Medium Medium B
Thermostat ofce High High A
70 T. Bäumer et al.
As part of the implementation of the environmental management system at the
HFT, a variety of measures had already been assessed (see Table 3for selected
examples) regarding effectiveness and (technical/economical) feasibility. The ret-
rotting of the lighting systems shows for example technical barriers (limitation to
make architectural adjustments) regarding effective measures to improve it.
Although overall electricity consumption could be signicantly reduced, these
measures were given medium priority since they also required more individual and
local solutions. Hand dryers on the contrary are simple to replace. However,
investments relative to the outcome conclude an unfavourable improvement mea-
sure. Programmable digital thermostats in ofces were rated with a good technical
and economic feasibility and reduce the energy consumption signicantly, thus
indicating the preferability of this measure. However, from experiences with
thermostats in lecture rooms, some problems already appeared. Users of lecture
rooms individually attempt to adjust room temperatures depending on sunlight
level, number of occupants or sitting location that affect the perceived temperature.
The only adjustment room users can make is opening windows for fresh and cold
air, which causes the thermostats to provide more heat to keep the room temperature
level. Audits have shown that the interference by users results in windows that stay
open until the next user group arrives later in the day or even the next day while
thermostats attempt to maintain the intended room temperature.
2.4 Results Step 2 (Selection of Planned Measures)
Installing 24 efcient hand dryers for building 3 and 4 requires an investment of
26,376 EUR while the overall energy consumption will be reduced by only 0.02 %.
Despite the technical feasibility being considered high, the result is still a measure
of low priority (C).
An investment of 96,110 EUR on lighting retrots in 40 lecture rooms, with a
medium ease of implementation, improve the energy efciency performance of the
university by approximately 0.92 % and results in a measure of medium priority
(B). An investment of only 9,415 EUR on programmable digital thermostats in
ofces for the two buildings with the ease of implementation being very low,
improve the energy efciency performance of the university by approximately 15 %
and result in a measure of high priority (A).
From the examples mentioned above, we can learn that improvement measures
that are evaluated as effective still can be found ineffective during reviews and
audits. Furthermore they can even result in an increased resource use and costs.
Simultaneously, users may be dissatised with sustainability initiatives and per-
ceive it as a loss of comfort and autonomy. Decisions are usually made based on the
hard facts alone and do not incorporate users behaviour or the acceptance for
planned changes. When disregarding the user perspective, actions may remain
ineffective or the potential for improvements is not exhausted due to prevailing
consideration of hard facts during the decision making process. Thus, this per-
spective was integrated in a nal step.
So Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want 71
2.5 STEP 3: Evaluation of Measures from the User
It was decided to use qualitative interviews in order to assess the evaluation of the
selected measures. We employed a set of questions as a guideline, thus following a
semi-structured approach and making the interviews comparable but also open to
individual input. The qualitative approach was chosen because there was little
knowledge concerning the environmental attitudes and behaviour of staff within the
organisation. It was also hoped that participants would give a more detailed eval-
uation of their attitudes compared to an alternative quantitative approach.
In order to prepare participants for the interview, they were asked to ll out a
diary three days prior to the actual interview. In this diary they had to document
some of their energy consumption and energy saving behaviour. The reason for this
diary was to make people become aware of the topics that were to be addressed
during the interview.
The interviews took place in the ofces of the respective participants given the
main topic was energy use at the ofceand it was also convenient for participants.
The interviews, lasting from 30 to 60 min, were all conducted by the same inter-
viewer. The interviews started with questions regarding the position and working
routine of the participant, followed by the subjective evaluation of the atmospheric
environment in the respective ofce and how it could be improved. The main part of
the interview concerned questions about energy usage, waste of energy and pos-
sibilities to decrease energy consumption. Participants were asked to evaluate dif-
ferent methods promising to decrease energy usage, including the measures in focus
(hand dryer, lighting retrot, and thermostat in ofces). The interview closed with
questions about the attitudes towards environmental consciousness.
It was planned to draw a sample of 10 participants for each of the two buildings,
thus reaching 2025 % of total staff. In order to gather as many different views as
possible regarding the topic of energy consumption, different target groups were
included in the sample design: Professors as well as other employees, men and
women, andmost importantlyparticipants from each oor within each building.
Within each sample group, participants were selected randomly from a list of all
employees and then contacted by phone/email in order to set a date for the inter-
view. Due to some not being able to participate, the nal sample consisted of N = 7
interviews (building 3) and N = 6 interviews (building 4), respectively. In the end,
the total sample consisted of N = 13 interviews, which is about 15 % of all staff in
these two buildings. Gender was equally distributed, but only a few of the partic-
ipants were professors (N = 4). There were participants for each of the four oors
of the two buildings, with the exception of the ground oor in building 3.
The next section presents the evaluation of the three measures from the users
point of view. Two of the measures meet broad acceptance by the interviewed staff
members but the third one is seen far more critical. See Table 4for an overview.
At rst glance it seemed that hand dryers were not positively evaluated by users.
Staff members often reported that using toilet paper to dry off their hands instead of
using the installed hand dryers. However, the problem seemed to be the specic
72 T. Bäumer et al.
hand dryers installed in the building. Most bathrooms were equipped with out-dated
hand dryers that did not work well and also too few were installed, thus displeasing
staff members. Generally, hand dryers were very much desired, but only the newer
generations. Acceptance of this measure was generally very high.
Lighting retrot was also very positively evaluated, i.e. to use LED technology
in the lecture halls (and ofces), but only if the demands of staff members would be
heard when it comes to selecting the light colour, interior design and dimming
functionalities. Here some members doubted this would be the case. Acceptance for
this measure is thus on a medium level.
The third measure was programmable thermostats in ofces. Despite the fact that
some of the interviewed people have already made positive experiences with
programmable thermostats in their private households, the vast majority saw no
need to use these in their professional life. Most of them expected an additional
effort with programming these thermostats. Due to the need for regular replacement
of batteries and the programming efforts, it appears the majority of the staff did not
want upgraded thermostats in their ofces. They feared that this would increase
their workload and tighten their exibility regarding working hours. This measure
was not accepted at this stage.
3 Discussion and Outlook
In the reported case study three steps were used in order to identify potential
measures to reach sustainability goals in an organisation. In the rst step, by using
the FLIPO method, energy efciency was identied as an area with high potential
for improvement as well as area for high environmental impact. Specic measures
from this area were derived and evaluated in a following second step, based on the
dimensions efciency and feasibility. This led to a rank order of these measures
suggesting thermostats in ofcesas a measure with high priority and hand
driersas a measure with low priority. In a concluding third step, staff members of
selected buildings were asked to evaluate these measures, which added a new
dimension to the process.
Table 4 Evaluation of improvement measures including the user perspective
Effectiveness Feasibility Priority Acceptance
Hand dryer Low Medium
(High technical,Low nancially)
Lighting retrot Medium Medium B Medium
Thermostat ofce High High A Low
So Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want 73
According to objective evaluations, hand dryers were not a very effective and
also comparably expensive measure. However, staff members would highly
appreciate this measure, since it would not only reduce energy consumption (at least
to some amount), but also increase comfort. It might, thus, be an effective measure
to be implemented, because it would positively affect the attitudes of staff members,
especially when it comes to the whole process of making the organisation more
sustainable in the future. If the whole project and its outcomes were seen in a
positive light, staff members were more likely to support it, even if less pleasant
measures were to be implemented in the future. The overall acceptance would rise.
This measure could, thus, be used as an admission ticketfor the overall process.
To install programmable thermostats in ofces seemed to be an effective measure
based on objective evaluation, especially due to relatively low costs. Staff members
would have the opportunity to program the heating system according to their
individual demands. Some staff members were also already used to these ther-
mostats from their private homes. Surprisingly, there was little support for this idea
for their ofces. Staff members feared that programming would be a hassle (re-
ducing comfort) and would reduce their exibility, e.g. when they wanted to work
late some days and start early on others. Even though acceptance was low for this
measure, it does not mean that it is unacceptable per se, but, before implementing it,
concerns of staff members have to be heard and addressed.
Regarding the third measure (LED lamps), a comparably costly measure, there
was some doubt regarding the possibility to nd acceptable lighting settings for all
staff members. An additional problem arose due to the demand for dimmable
lighting. This would cause additional costs, thus decreasing the economic feasibility
of this measure.
To conclude, by taking the view of staff members into account, evaluation of
measures became more differentiated, but also somewhat more diverse. For
example, the dimension of increased comfort showed to be relevant to users when
evaluating selected measures. Generally, this underlines the necessity to include the
voice of staff members before implementing any of the suggested measures. By
giving them a voice during the decision process, acceptance for this measure might
rise. This aspect is especially relevant for organisations with low turnover rates,
such as a state university. But even for organisations with high turnover rate,
employers would only have to be asked once during the process of decision making
whenever a new process for other measures start, this might be necessary again.
This could be done, as suggested in the presented case study, by using qualitative
interviews as a viable way to reach staff members and to gain a differentiated and
deep understanding of their perspective. Qualitative interviews are though also
time-consuming. One might think about other ways to assess user evaluations in an
organisation in addition to or as an alternative to qualitative interviews. Quantitative
online interviews for example are a rather efcient method and could prove to be
successful if kept to an answer time of 510 min. Perceived anonymity could
increase the honesty of the answers, but dropout rate has not been tested so far.
74 T. Bäumer et al.
4 Conclusion
Through a case study, it was demonstrated that it is worthwhile to integrate the user
perspective when evaluating potential sustainability measures. Using a bottom-up
participatory approach does not only assist in identifying measures that are accepted
by users (e.g. hand dryers), but also to gain ideas in how to overcome barriers that
hinder acceptance for other measures (e.g. thermostats in ofces). In addition,
potential drivers could be derived based on relevant motives of staff members (e.g.
need for comfort). Taking this information into account would, in the long run,
increase the commitment to and support for the overall process at an organisation
trying to reach certain sustainability goals. In addition, the risk of resistance
regarding chosen measures and the general environment management process is
reduced (c.f. Tinker and Tzoulas 2015). It is, therefore, suggested to integrate the
user perspective into any planning process that (directly or indirectly) affects users.
It is benecial to integrate the user perspective at an early stage and continuously
e.g. into EMAS instruments such as HFTs EMAS-App for staff members
(Fridrihsone and Kettemann 2015). This would also lead to higher acceptance
within organisations and also outside by positively inuencing usersattitudes.
The EMAS process at the HFT will be complemented accordingly in the future.
Acknowledgments This research within EnSign project is founded by the Ministry of Science,
Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg, Germany. We also thank our reviewers for their
helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper.
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76 T. Bäumer et al.
... Such measures include the installation of programmable thermostats to save energy for heating, or the retrofit of older lighting systems to save electricity. However, it is not possible to meet targets without the employees' support as their individual attitudes and corresponding behaviors may influence other co-workers and a negative social norm may evolve from this (Bäumer et al. 2017). ...
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The complexity of social transformations requires participative approaches to research. One such approach to meeting this need is the so-called “Living Lab”, in which the participation of all stakeholders lies at the heart of the research process. This article presents a stage model as a way of describing the psychological aspects involved in participatory processes in an environmental context. The purpose of the model is to show the psychological parameters underlying a successful participatory process as a basis for finding suitable participatory measures for different project settings. It is the aim of this article to introduce the elaborated model with its different levels of environmental participation as well as to demonstrate its application. Three case studies demonstrating the application of the model are presented from the “climate-neutral city campus” Living Lab at the University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart. The case studies show participation opportunities using (1) interviews with employees about sustainability measures, (2) the integration of sustainability-related topics into teaching, and (3) the support of mobile apps for achieving climate-neutrality. So far, three important findings have emerged: (1) Depending on the degree of involvement, different forms of participation are appropriate. (2) Participation at higher levels of involvement is difficult to achieve when people’s motivations at the lower levels are not adequately addressed. (3) The participatory process in the environmental context can be described using the proposed model and it provides useful insights how to better implement appropriate measures in order to achieve social transformations.
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Research dealing with various aspects of* the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985, 1987) is reviewed, and some unresolved issues are discussed. In broad terms, the theory is found to be well supported by empirical evidence. Intentions to perform behaviors of different kinds can be predicted with high accuracy from attitudes toward the behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control; and these intentions, together with perceptions of behavioral control, account for considerable variance in actual behavior. Attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control are shown to be related to appropriate sets of salient behavioral, normative, and control beliefs about the behavior, but the exact nature of these relations is still uncertain. Expectancy— value formulations are found to be only partly successful in dealing with these relations. Optimal rescaling of expectancy and value measures is offered as a means of dealing with measurement limitations. Finally, inclusion of past behavior in the prediction equation is shown to provide a means of testing the theory*s sufficiency, another issue that remains unresolved. The limited available evidence concerning this question shows that the theory is predicting behavior quite well in comparison to the ceiling imposed by behavioral reliability.
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This paper presents a study using the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to explore environmental behavioral intentions in a workplace setting. The first stage of the research process was the development of a questionnaire covering TPB constructs, their antecedent beliefs, and environmental behavioral intentions across three scenarios (switching off PCs every time employees left their desks for an hour or more; using video-conferencing for meetings that would otherwise require travel; and recycling as much waste as possible), using best practice guidelines to ensure that it was specific and precisely defined for the target population. This was then administered to N = 449 participants, with the resulting dataset used to test hypotheses relating antecedent beliefs to behavioral intentions via the potentially mediating effect of TPB constructs. TPB constructs were found to explain between 46% and 61% of the variance in employee intentions to engage in three environmental behaviors, and to mediate the effects of specific antecedent beliefs upon employee intentions to engage in these behaviors. The results form a basis upon which interventions could be developed within the host organization, and are discussed in relation to their implications, in terms of theory, practice and future research.
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Although a flurry of meta-analyses summarized the justice literature at the turn of the millennium, interest in the topic has surged in the decade since. In particular, the past decade has witnessed the rise of social exchange theory as the dominant lens for examining reactions to justice, and the emergence of affect as a complementary lens for understanding such reactions. The purpose of this meta-analytic review was to test direct, mediating, and moderating hypotheses that were inspired by those 2 perspectives, to gauge their adequacy as theoretical guides for justice research. Drawing on a review of 493 independent samples, our findings revealed a number of insights that were not included in prior meta-analyses. With respect to social exchange theory, our results revealed that the significant relationships between justice and both task performance and citizenship behavior were mediated by indicators of social exchange quality (trust, organizational commitment, perceived organizational support, and leader-member exchange), though such mediation was not apparent for counterproductive behavior. The strength of those relationships did not vary according to whether the focus of the justice matched the target of the performance behavior, contrary to popular assumptions in the literature, or according to whether justice was referenced to a specific event or a more general entity. With respect to affect, our results showed that justice-performance relationships were mediated by positive and negative affect, with the relevant affect dimension varying across justice and performance variables. Our discussion of these findings focuses on the merit in integrating the social exchange and affect lenses in future research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Participatory approaches to developing and implementing environmental management in universities could be central in the successful integration of indirect aspects such as teaching and research. The aim of this research was to develop additional insights into the benefits and challenges associated with a participatory approach to environmental management. The objective was to undertake a case study of the participatory approach to environmental management followed by Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. The approach reported here comprised four stages: (a) an environmental review, (b) a stakeholder analysis, (c) participatory meetings and workshops, and (d) synthesis. The outcomes of this approach were a comprehensive management system covering twelve environmental aspects, including teaching and research; a management group chaired by a lead stakeholder for each aspect; a high level environmental strategy board; and university wide networks in facilitating collaboration in sustainability teaching and research. Benefits of increased capacity and reduced conflict were greater than the effort required for overcoming challenges such as securing commitment from and providing support to stakeholders. This chapter will be useful to universities planning to implement ISO 14001 and/or those that already have an environmental management system and are wishing to expand the scope to include teaching and research.
Currently, many businesses are implementing a proactive, strategic tool known as an environmental management system (EMS) to gain a competitive advantage. Companies can no longer simply use compliance plans to deal with environmental concerns; consumer demands for greener products and services, and operational efficiencies require long term strategic and sustainable approaches for environmental management. An EMS includes documentation of: commitment and policy; planning; implementation; measurement and evaluation; and review and improvement. Establishment and maintenance of an EMS can be costly and time consuming, therefore implementation should be carefully structured to assure success. This paper identifies human resource (HR) factors such as top management support, environmental training, employee empowerment, teamwork, and rewards systems as key elements of the implementation process of an EMS. Furthermore, the interaction of these factors is examined in terms of the five categories of an EMS mentioned above. Finally, a conceptual model of the EMS-HR factors is proposed to assist in proper facilitation of the environmental management program.