Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why are some people greener than others?

Date:
June 12, 2012
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
Differences in attitudes and cultural values could have far-reaching implications for the development of a sustainable global society, according to a new analysis.

Differences in attitudes and cultural values could have far-reaching implications for the development of a sustainable global society, according to an analysis to be published in the International Journal of the Sustainable Economy.

Rune Ellemose Gulev of the University of Applied Sciences Kiel, Germany, has explored the cultural values associated with sustainability that makes some people more inclined to adopt what might conventionally be considered as sustainable attitudes and behavior. Asking what promotes sustainable attitudes in different people has until now been a question to which little scientific insight has been applied. In order to explore the various biases and the ethical stance taken by individuals Gulev has collated a set of values and attitudes from different demographic groups throughout Europe. These have then been contrasted with what are considered to be sustainable behaviors by definition.

In the face of climate change, rising sea levels, melting icecaps, the depletion of natural resources, the destruction of rainforests, species extinction and many other environmental concerns, the notion of sustainability is high on the agenda. If we are to address the environmental issues then finding alternative ways to maintain or improve our lifestyle without further damaging the environment is essential to progress. The concepts of gender and income inequality, literacy rates, education possibilities, life expectancies and poverty alleviation must also be incorporated into the sustainability equation.

To explore the root of sustainable behavior, values and attitudes of different populations were probed and correlated against sustainable behavior. The values pivoted around the basic beliefs different populations harbored towards actions that may support sustainability. For example, being unselfish is an important quality to encourage as is being prepared to do something to improve the conditions in your community. The attitudes also hinged on priorities individuals set when considering sustainable agendas. For instance, sustainable development should be a priority for society while the social responsibility of business leaders should be high towards society.

Both data sets were correlated against sustainable practices within the focus countries. From these correlation tests, the researchers noticed that the majority of positive correlations existed between attitudes towards business practices and sustainable behavior along both environmental and social sustainability. That is, countries in which the populace expressed concerns towards e.g. having high social cohesion, or having tolerance and respect being important qualities that children should learn, also scored highly with regards to environmental and social sustainability. Overwhelmingly positive correlations such as these support the notion that the greater the inclination to such values and attitudes, the more likely it is that environmental sustainability and social sustainability are priorities for domestic stakeholders.

The strong correlations suggest that it is possible that adopting sustainable practices can reinforce the attitudes that prompted the initiative towards greater sustainable behavior in the first place. As such, having attitudes that make a small shift towards promoting greater sustainable business practices may be the starting point for building sustainability agendas. Sparking the sustainability debate is a first step and once the ball is rolling this might imply that businesses would be more pro-sustainability, which would then cause a further shift towards greater sustainable attitudes in the populace. The overwhelmingly strong positive correlations evidenced between attitudes and practices certainly seem to support this theory of reinforcement, says Gulev.

"Taken holistically, the results provide clear indication that some attitudes and values in people do facilitate sustainable behavior and that these attitudes and values can be fostered to create greater sustainable behavioral practices," Gulev concludes. "It is hoped that the results initiate a debate and further motivation for research into sustainable practices."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rune Ellemose Gulev. Exploring cultural values connected to sustainability: why some people are more likely to act in a sustainable manner than others. Int. J. Sustainable Economy, 2012, 4, 286-299

Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Why are some people greener than others?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120612101448.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2012, June 12). Why are some people greener than others?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120612101448.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Why are some people greener than others?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120612101448.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins