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Critical Review of Data for Environmental Impacts of Household Activities - SD0418

Description
This research proposal aims to provide a response to DEFRA’s need to develop an evidence base for policy making in the area of sustainable consumption and production. It aims to provide a comprehensive and critically evaluated summary of available data sets and resources that may be used as evidence, and a well developed but simple model of household consumption and associated practices. Such an approach will make available to policymakers an overall understanding of the issues and impacts of household consumption activities, a clear view of the integrity of the evidence available and recommendations as to further studies that will need to be completed if evidence is lacking in key areas. This work is highly relevant to policy makers at all levels in the UK, and indeed, elsewhere. Progress towards sustainable development, eco-efficiency, more effective use of resources, impacts of actions on global climate change, on waste disposal, on food supply, housing provision and many other areas, is often constrained by a lack of sufficient credible data, or a limited synthesis or evidence base for those charged with making policy. This piece of work is both timely and vital if policies are to be made that seek to influence the behaviour of individuals and households, as only secure evidence will be accepted by society. Society is increasingly wary of taking policy decisions on face value and demands convincing evidence if policies are to be generally accepted, especially where those policies may have an influence on the actions of the individual or family. The key output of this short research project will be to provide DEFRA with a comprehensive report answering the research questions posed by DEFRA, but also including datasets and databases, summaries and syntheses of data, as well as critical evaluations of data, and of methodologies. Any further dissemination will be dependent on DEFRA’s willingness to allow the BRASS Centre to use the research to develop a range of academic and user orientated papers.
Objective
The objectives of the research proposal are to
1. Bring together data on a wide range of household consumption activities to determine the nature, scale and source of the main environmental impacts of these activities
2. Provide a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the current scale and source of the environmental impacts of consumption, using a range of easily accessible formats
3. Identify ways in which such measures and the patterns they reveal can be used to inform policy development, implementation and monitoring
4. Investigate ways in which the consumption activities of households can be communicated through the use of simple models, and monitored through the use of those models building on the baseline data provided by the research project once completed
Project Documents
• Executive Summary : Critical Review of Data for Environmental Impacts of Household Activities   (1211k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2004

To: 2005

Cost: £19,193
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ESRC Centre-Bus.Relationships,Accountability,Sustainability & Society
Keywords
Corporate Issues              
Economic Research              
Sustainable Development