Greening Household Behaviour: Overview from the 2011 Survey - Revised edition

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July 2014
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Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Developing growth strategies that promote greener lifestyles requires a good understanding of what factors affect people’s behaviour towards the environment. Recent OECD work based on periodic surveys of more than 10, 000 households across a number of countries and areas represents a breakthrough by providing a common framework to collect unique empirical evidence for better policy design.

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.

Analysis comparing the data across countries, policy conditions and households’ 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 edition that was previously posted in 2011.