Special Issue "Communicative and Behavioral Interventions to Increase Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Wim J.L. Elving
Website
Guest Editor
Communication & the Sustainable Society, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, The Netherlands
Interests: sustainability; communication; behavior; behavioral change; CSR; social media; stakeholder engagement; communicating change; energy transition
Prof. Carina Wiekens
Website
Guest Editor
Communication & the Sustainable Society, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen (NL)
Interests: sustainability; communication; behavior; behavioral change; CSR; social media; stakeholder engagement; communicating change; energy transition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The time for talk seems to have ended and it is time to act. How can we stop climate change and create a sustainable society? In this Special Issue, we would like to highlight research on interventions. How we can find interventions that help in encouraging (sustainable or less consumption) the use of fossil-free methods of transport, the implementation of renewable energy, etc. We invite you to submit your work to this Special Issue on “Communicative and Behavioral Interventions to Increase Sustainability” that contribute to the establishment of a sustainable future. We would like to collect a Special Issue that highlight evidence-based interventions to change behavior to establish the sustainable society.

This Special Issue is positioned to bring together the best work on communicative and behavioral interventions. It can include (but is not limited to) dialogue, stakeholder engagement, educational programs, nudging, community building, corporate social responsibility (CSR), social innovations, etc. We would like you to focus on evidence-based interventions and encourage practical insights or ideas for applications of findings.

Prof. Wim J.L. Elving
Prof. Carina Wiekens
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainability
  • communication
  • behavior
  • interventions
  • energy
  • dialogue
  • nudging
  • CSR
  • social innovations

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Effectiveness of an Energy Efficiency Behaviour Change Project on Well-Being Outcomes for Indigenous Households in Australia
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2285; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082285 - 16 Apr 2019
Abstract
The Koorie Energy Efficiency Project (KEEP) was a Victoria-based, Australian social marketing initiative designed to provide support to Indigenous households so they could better manage their energy bills by reducing or controlling their energy use. The program was delivered by trained, Indigenous project [...] Read more.
The Koorie Energy Efficiency Project (KEEP) was a Victoria-based, Australian social marketing initiative designed to provide support to Indigenous households so they could better manage their energy bills by reducing or controlling their energy use. The program was delivered by trained, Indigenous project employees who visited Indigenous households in metropolitan and regional parts of the state. During the home visit, they provided an energy efficiency audit, as well as specific energy efficiency tips and advocacy support. Minor draft-proofing products were also supplied to each household. As part of this project, dwelling and householder information was gathered during each home visit, as well as measures of energy efficiency knowledge, behaviours, and well-being of the main householder before and after a home visit. The results indicate that home visits to support the energy efficiency of indigenous households are effective in terms of encouraging new energy efficiency knowledge, behaviours, and broader elements of well-being. Furthermore, the home visit was found to be effective across all home types, but was significantly more effective in reducing energy related stress and discomfort in traditional houses and traditional apartments. These households were also often small and densely occupied. This suggests that when social marketing programs use methods that are culturally suitable and respectful, such as those used in KEEP, they become a powerful tool to help drive social change in Indigenous communities. The authors conclude that such programs in future will be hindered in their effectiveness unless property owners, such as those of social housing, do not urgently address the maintenance of their properties and ensure they provide fit living conditions for the tenants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communicative and Behavioral Interventions to Increase Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Examining German Media Coverage of the Re-Evaluation of Glyphosate
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1910; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071910 - 30 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study investigates media coverage of the re-evaluation process of glyphosate from 1 January 2015 to 31 March 2018. In a comparative, qualitative print media analysis, the promotion of claims and the use of narratives of Die Zeit, a weekly newspaper, and [...] Read more.
This study investigates media coverage of the re-evaluation process of glyphosate from 1 January 2015 to 31 March 2018. In a comparative, qualitative print media analysis, the promotion of claims and the use of narratives of Die Zeit, a weekly newspaper, and top agrar, an agricultural trade journal, are explored. Results identify noticeable differences in both media outlets’ news reporting. Whereas Die Zeit focused on potential health risks and the scientific controversy, top agrar’s coverage emphasized the harmlessness of glyphosate. The multifaceted use of narratives by Die Zeit contrasts with the comparatively low use of narratives by top agrar. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communicative and Behavioral Interventions to Increase Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Testing the Influence of Purity-Based Interventions on Pro-environmental Behavior
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1811; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061811 - 26 Mar 2019
Abstract
Environmental issues are often discussed in purity-related terms. For instance, pollution, contamination, toxicity, and degradation are all concepts that can evoke notions of (im)purity in an environmental context. In this paper, we assess the efficacy of purity-based norms as drivers of environmentally sustainable [...] Read more.
Environmental issues are often discussed in purity-related terms. For instance, pollution, contamination, toxicity, and degradation are all concepts that can evoke notions of (im)purity in an environmental context. In this paper, we assess the efficacy of purity-based norms as drivers of environmentally sustainable behavior. First, using a social media-based environmental cleanup campaign as a test case, we find that purity-based norms increase participation in the campaign. We then replicate and extend these findings in three behavioral experiments, finding that purity-based interventions do increase environmental behavior (Study 1), but that these effects are strongest for people who are more deeply connected with an in-group (Studies 2 and 3). Using an integrative approach to combine computational linguistics with behavioral experiments, we find that purity-based norms can be powerful motivators of environmental behavior, particularly if they emphasize the relation to one’s in-group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communicative and Behavioral Interventions to Increase Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
What Framework Promotes Saliency of Climate Change Issues on Online Public Agenda: A Quantitative Study of Online Knowledge Community Quora
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1619; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061619 - 18 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Though scientists have achieved consensus on the severity and urgency of climate change years ago, the public still considers this issue not that important, as the influence of climate change is widely thought to be geographically and temporally bounded. The discrepancy between scientific [...] Read more.
Though scientists have achieved consensus on the severity and urgency of climate change years ago, the public still considers this issue not that important, as the influence of climate change is widely thought to be geographically and temporally bounded. The discrepancy between scientific consensus and public’s misperception calls for more dedicated public communication strategies to get climate change issues back on the front line of the public agenda. Based on the large-scale data acquired from the online knowledge community Quora, we conduct a computational linguistic analysis followed by the regression model to address the climate change communication from the agenda setting perspective. To be specific, our results find that certain narrative strategies may make climate change issues more salient by engaging public into discussion or evoking their long-term interest. Though scientific communicators have long been blaming lack of scientific literacy for low saliency of climate change issues, cognitive framework is proved to be least effective in raising public concern. Affective framework is relatively more influential in motivating people to participate in climate change discussion: the stronger the affective intensity is, the more prominent the issue is, but the affective polarity is not important. Perceptual framework is most powerful in promoting public discussion and the only variable that can significantly motivate the public’s long-term desire to track issues, among which feeling plays the most critical role compared with seeing and hearing. This study extends existing science communication literature by shedding light on the role of previously ignored affective and perceptual frameworks in making issues salient and the conclusions may provide theoretical and practical implications for future climate change communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communicative and Behavioral Interventions to Increase Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Strategic and Operational Levels of CSR Marketing Communication for Sustainable Orientation of a Company: A Case Study from Bangladesh
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020555 - 21 Jan 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Companies’ increasing social awareness has led to the development of a corporate social responsibility orientation, whose implementation impacts on their overall marketing communication, both at its strategic and operational levels. The issue of integration of both levels is recognized as a research gap [...] Read more.
Companies’ increasing social awareness has led to the development of a corporate social responsibility orientation, whose implementation impacts on their overall marketing communication, both at its strategic and operational levels. The issue of integration of both levels is recognized as a research gap and is thus, the main interest of this article. A company’s CSR orientation depends on the context of social problems, specifically in our case, the need for women’s empowerment as well as the creation of sustainable (socially and environmentally) workplace conditions in Bangladesh. The aim of the paper is to investigate and propose ways of integrating strategic and operational levels of CSR marketing communication. We applied the case study research method and specifically with the use of exploratory and descriptive methods, which posits this study within the logic of abductive approach, representing a creative and pragmatic process. The results refer, on the one hand, to the proposition of CSR and sustainable orientation of the one-page strategic plan, but on the other to the merging of the commercial and non-commercial activities of Aarong, a Bangladesh based company. Relying on the one-page strategic plan (OPSP) as a tool of marketing communication at the strategic level, we demonstrated the process of creating a video script scenario as a useful tool at the operational level of marketing communication. The proposed approach to building marketing communication around CSR and sustainable orientation makes the marketing communication consistent and clearer to the audience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communicative and Behavioral Interventions to Increase Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
The Investigation of Consumers’ Behavior Intention in Using Green Skincare Products: A Pro-Environmental Behavior Model Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3922; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113922 - 28 Oct 2018
Cited by 12
Abstract
Increasing environmental awareness among societies is motivating consumers to use green cosmetic products. Green skincare products are the fastest growing sector in the worldwide market compared with other green cosmetic products. However, compared with general cosmetic products, the market share of green cosmetic [...] Read more.
Increasing environmental awareness among societies is motivating consumers to use green cosmetic products. Green skincare products are the fastest growing sector in the worldwide market compared with other green cosmetic products. However, compared with general cosmetic products, the market share of green cosmetic products in Indonesia is relatively low. The present research investigated consumers’ purchasing intentions toward green skincare products in Indonesia using the pro-environmental reasoned action (PERA) model. A total of 251 female consumers participated in this study. Structural equation modeling was conducted to reveal the relationships between the five factors in the PERA model. The results indicated that perceived authority support (PAS) has a positive effect on perceived environmental concern (PEC). PAS and PEC have positive effects on attitude (AT) and subjective norms (SN), and AT and SN have positive effects on behavioral intention (BI) to purchase green skincare products, with the key factor being attitude. The PERA model was able to describe 62.6% of the BI to purchase green skincare products. Green skincare companies are recommended to produce more green skincare products and market the products by involving public figures and emphasizing the green attributes. Furthermore, we recommend that green skincare companies produce quality and sustainable products using quality processes, and be involved in pro-environmental activity to increase consumer attention to the green skincare products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communicative and Behavioral Interventions to Increase Sustainability)
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