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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Debby R E Cotton, Wendy Miller, Jennie Winter, Ian Bailey and Stephen Sterling

This paper aims to investigate students’ energy literacy at a UK university, and recommends ways in which it can be enhanced using a behaviour change model. Developing…

1527

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate students’ energy literacy at a UK university, and recommends ways in which it can be enhanced using a behaviour change model. Developing students’ energy literacy is a key part of the “greening” agenda, yet little is known about how students develop their ideas about energy use and energy saving at a university.

Design/methodology/approach

The research utilised a mixed-methods approach including an online survey (with 1,136 responses) and focus groups.

Findings

The research identified strengths and weaknesses in students’ energy literacy, and noted the relative influence of formal and informal curricula. The potential for aligning these curricula is highlighted through the 4Es model of enable, engage, exemplify and encourage.

Research limitations/implications

The research involved a single instrumental case-study site. The wider applicability of the findings should therefore be tested further in other institutions.

Practical implications

The research suggests ways in which universities might better support their students in making more sustainable energy-related behaviour choices, and it indicates the importance of knowledge as well as attitudes.

Social implications

The research may have implications for the energy-saving behaviours of individuals in the wider society.

Originality/value

Attempts to reduce energy use in higher education are widely seen in campus operations. This research provides an indication of the potential for enhancing energy-saving through different forms of curricula.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 February 2022

De-Graft Owusu-Manu, Rhoda Ansah Quaigrain, David John Edwards, Mabel Hammond, Mavis Hammond and Chris Roberts

Energy conservation literacy within households is a contemporary and topical issue globally. However, scant research has been conducted on energy-saving literacy amongst…

Abstract

Purpose

Energy conservation literacy within households is a contemporary and topical issue globally. However, scant research has been conducted on energy-saving literacy amongst Ghanaian households. To substantiate the problem, this paper aims to examine energy conservation literacy and behaviours among Ghanaian households in the Greater Accra Region.

Design/methodology/approach

The study assessed household electricity use and explored determinants of household energy conservation behaviours. Data was collected through a survey administered to households within the target region and analysed using descriptive statistics and Spearmen’s rank correlation.

Findings

Results showed electricity conservation among households is greatly influenced by the number of household occupants, household income levels, and the quality and quantity of appliances. The study also found that conservation behaviours are positively correlated to the number of occupants, household income levels, the quantity of electrical appliances, age of household members, number of rooms and level of urbanization within the home’s geographical region. Cumulatively, the findings suggest households held positive attitudes towards efficient energy practices. Enigmatically, the use of energy-conserving alternative technologies was not widely used by households; hence, this factor does not significantly affect household energy conservation.

Research limitations/implications

Although limited to Ghana’s capital region, the findings can be used to inform policy and regulations at the regional and national levels in designing an efficient and effective mechanism to reduce the country’s overall energy use.

Practical implications

Premised upon the findings, the study recommends an intensification of education and awareness-creation on various energy-saving regulations and initiatives and thorough education on the usage of standardized (approved) refrigerators to promote the consistent adoption of energy conservation measures among households.

Originality/value

This study pioneers investigations into the influence of household demographic variables on overall electricity conservation behaviours exhibited by Ghanaian households

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 September 2020

Unai Ortega Lasuen, Maria Arritokieta Ortuzar Iragorri and Jose Ramon Diez

This paper aims to present the results of a study aimed at performing a first diagnosis of energy literacy and energy use in a Faculty of Education, by means of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the results of a study aimed at performing a first diagnosis of energy literacy and energy use in a Faculty of Education, by means of identifying energy consumption patterns, as well as energy literacy and commitments regarding energy transition. This diagnosis is the basis for establishing the foundations of a path toward energy transition in the faculty and further designing energy saving and education strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative and qualitative data were collected in a mixed-method approach. A survey was arranged to assess the attitudes, habits and knowledge regarding the current energy system within the community of the Faculty (407 responses). Comparisons among the main collectives that make up the community were performed, i.e. students, teaching and research staff and management and services staff. In parallel, the general electric consumption of the faculty was monitored. The results of these diagnostics were presented at several forums and workshops on energy transition held in the faculty where personal commitments in favor of energy transition were gathered and further categorized (105 initiatives).

Findings

Positive attitudes toward energy saving were observed, reflecting in different generic habits. Additionally, some belief or hope for a technological solution for current and future energy problems was detected, as well as a lower level of implication or commitment when specifying personal attitudes. Similarly, widespread ignorance of the current energy context was revealed, regarding both the energy system and household energy consumption. Concerning the undertaking of personal commitments, low impact energy saving habits prevailed, and knowledge was not identified as being a necessary element of energy saving education in attitudes and habits.

Practical implications

This research provides relevant information for the design of educational interventions to promote energy literacy in higher education institutions.

Originality/value

The survey provides valuable insights regarding future educators’ and their current teachers’ energy literacy in a challenging energy context. The lack of general knowledge about the energy context in the community, together with the limited impact of the commitments gathered among students, stresses the need for integration of basic energy contents, both within education degrees and the management strategy of the faculty.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Abstract

Details

SDG7 – Ensure Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-802-5

Article
Publication date: 15 September 2022

Adi Ainurzaman Jamaludin, Nurul Emy Idayu Zulkifli, Saherra Bharin, Rohana Jani, Mohd Istajib Mokhtar, Sarina Abdul Halim-Lim, Wan Abd Al Qadr Imad Wan-Mohtar and Zul Ilham

This paper aims to evaluate the awareness level of university students on energy conservation by focusing on their knowledge, attitude and practice. Energy awareness is a…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to evaluate the awareness level of university students on energy conservation by focusing on their knowledge, attitude and practice. Energy awareness is a feasible energy conservation measure, but an inappropriate approach can cause the wastage of resources. The current number of reported awareness studies especially among the university student is quite limited, and focus is more given to the awareness on renewable energy, instead of energy conservation.

Design/methodology/approach

A paper-based survey using a set of questionnaires that involved 2,857 respondents. There are four sections in this questionnaire, which are basic background information of respondents, knowledge (yes/true or no/false choice of responses), attitude (a scale of 1–10, where 10 indicates “strongly agree” and 1 chooses “strongly disagree”) and practices (a scale of 1–10, where 10 indicates “Always” and 1 selects “Never”). The evaluation includes the correlation analysis of all awareness variables with an educational background to disclose the most critical aspects that should be highly considered in the forthcoming awareness campaign.

Findings

This research revealed that university students have a high level of awareness of energy conservation. They hold a high knowledge level and show a positive attitude with very good energy conservation practices. However, some issues require serious attention in preparing energy management plans. Effective approaches should be taken by considering the field of study, gender and family economic status to enhance the awareness level of the university students on energy conservation.

Originality/value

The absence of appropriate references complicates the preparation of energy management plans including the establishment of energy policy and strategies. The findings of this research can contribute some contextual information in the local perspective to ensure the effectiveness of the energy management program and strengthen academic leadership by emphasising the element of sustainability. This is crucial for developing an energy saving culture among the young generation that will be our future scholars and leaders.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 September 2020

Amanda Lange Salvia, Luciana Londero Brandli, Walter Leal Filho, Bianca Gasparetto Rebelatto and Giovana Reginatto

Considering the different roles universities can perform to contribute to sustainable development, it is through teaching and outreach that they might be able to connect…

Abstract

Purpose

Considering the different roles universities can perform to contribute to sustainable development, it is through teaching and outreach that they might be able to connect to the academic and local communities the most. The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which energy sustainability is being considered in campus teaching and outreach activities of different higher education institutions worldwide. In this context, this exploratory study was developed.

Design/methodology/approach

Through an online survey, a group of 36 universities from all continents was inquired about the level of sustainability in energy aspects of teaching and outreach activities, including curriculum change, training courses for staff and the regularity of outreach projects.

Findings

The results allowed global analysis concerning challenges and opportunities of these educational activities. This study also touches upon the interconnection between these practices and the contribution of universities towards the 2030 Agenda, and how universities can expand their activities and contribute practically to society. In terms of practical contributions, this study provides recommendations for higher education institutions to develop further in the area of energy sustainability through teaching and outreach.

Originality/value

Energy is a sustainability aspect relatively well covered by actions on campus operations, but there is a paucity of studies connecting this topic to teaching and outreach activities. This study is an approach to not only fill this gap but also reinforce the university role and contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1987

Robert T. Green and Trina L. Larsen

What happens to export markets when the nations in which customers reside experience a sudden, unanticipated change in a relevant aspect of the environment? Which goods…

Abstract

What happens to export markets when the nations in which customers reside experience a sudden, unanticipated change in a relevant aspect of the environment? Which goods exported to these nations tend to be affected more than others? The study reported in this paper examines the impact that the oil shock of the 1970s had on world export markets. This sudden environmental change caused some nations to obtain sudden wealth and others to experience instant economic problems. The findings of the study illustrate the range of consequences for export markets that can occur, depending on the manner in which nations are affected by sudden change.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Article
Publication date: 26 July 2022

Dirk Franco, Janaina Macke, Debby Cotton, Arminda Paço, Jean-Pierre Segers and Laura Franco

This study aims to explore students’ sustainability attitudes and behavioural intentions and their relation to energy use, to promote energy saving and decarbonisation in…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore students’ sustainability attitudes and behavioural intentions and their relation to energy use, to promote energy saving and decarbonisation in higher education settings.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a validated energy literacy survey to assess undergraduate students’ attitudes and behavioural intentions towards energy saving in two countries (Brazil and Belgium). The questionnaire, administered online, comprised 23 Likert scale questions and three questions eliciting socio-demographic information. Results were analysed using a linear regression model and compared with previous research using the same energy literacy instrument.

Findings

The research identified three dimensions of sustainable attitudes: citizens’ role, scientists’ role and government’s role, explaining 65.5% of respondents’ energy-related attitudes. Three dimensions of sustainable behaviours were identified, explaining 64.5% of energy-related behavioural intentions: consumption of eco-friendly products, financially driven behaviours and household energy saving. The linear regression model identified scientists’ role, consumption of eco-friendly products and financially driven behaviour as the key predictors of student energy use. Differences between the two contexts also emerged.

Research limitations/implications

Individual action to improve energy saving is necessary, but not sufficient for decarbonisation. However, student attitudes and behavioural intentions towards energy are an important element of campus decarbonisation: these “micro” experiments can become a “network” searching for synergies at the campus level (in collaboration with the neighbourhood) and act as a catalyst towards a more profound carbon-free society. Limitations of the research include the use of a survey to ascertain estimates of energy use; however, the study offers a model for further research and a mode of analysis that would be useful to other researchers.

Practical implications

This research enables universities to better understand the drivers and barriers to student energy-saving activities and thereby promote decarbonisation on campus. This is a crucial underpinning in the creation of sustainable universities, linking education and campus developments. This survey was one of the catalysts to set up a total new maintenance energy performance contract (MEPC) at one of the authors’ institutions, where energy efficiency was realised alongside other sustainability aspects, such as water saving, circular renovation and waste reduction.

Social implications

This research illustrates the challenges and opportunities of working with key stakeholders in university settings for university-based decarbonisation efforts. Intensive involvement of students and teachers in the new MEPC offers an example of co-creation with building “users” – which may have implications for other university building developments. Increasingly, universities need to consider the need for a new business model in which shared and multiple value creation is a key feature. Treating societal challenges as business opportunities is an important new dimension of corporate strategy and a powerful path to social progress, which higher education institutions should not overlook.

Originality/value

Student attitudes and behavioural intentions towards energy are an important element of campus decarbonisation and can act as a catalyst towards a carbon-free society. Although energy literacy research has been undertaken in the USA and UK, this research is the first of its kind for Belgium and Brazil, and the mode of analysis – using a linear regression model – differs from the earlier work, offering a novel methodological approach.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

SDG7 – Ensure Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-802-5

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2019

Laura Brianna Cole, Jerod Quinn, Aysegul Akturk and Briana Johnson

This study examines a general education, hands-on and 100 per cent online laboratory course to better understand the prospects for fostering green building literacy

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines a general education, hands-on and 100 per cent online laboratory course to better understand the prospects for fostering green building literacy through experiential online education.

Design/methodology/approach

The mixed-methods research design included pre- and post-course surveys (n = 42) together with semi-structured interviews mid-semester (n = 10) and four to six months post-course (n = 5). Data were collected for two semesters.

Findings

Students experienced significant increases in green building knowledge and skills, environmental sensitivity and pro-environmental behaviors from the beginning to the end of the course. Qualitative results indicate that the hands-on laboratory assignments were the primary pedagogical interventions affecting change. Interviews four to six months after the course revealed that motivation, convenience and supportiveness of the context were key factors impacting the pro-environmental behaviors that were maintained versus those that were discontinued by students when the course was over.

Practical implications

This paper shares effective approaches used to deliver an online course with hands-on laboratories that lead to positive increases in sustainability knowledge and behaviors stretching beyond the semester.

Originality/value

While online and experiential learning are both well-studied themes in higher education, very little empirical work examines experiential online learning, and this is particularly the case for online laboratory courses. The work here contributes to the understanding of general education online laboratories that are designed to increase knowledge and behavior change through hands-on experiential learning techniques.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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