Towards sustainable energy culture in the industrial sector: introducing an interdisciplinary method for understanding energy culture in business industries

Virpi Oksman (Corresponding Author), Francesco Reda, Sami Karjalainen, Hassam Rehman, Zarrin Fatima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: There have been numerous research papers focusing on improving energy consumption and energy behaviour in domestic and residential contexts. However, workplaces and especially industry settings have gained less attention in scientific literature, even though the industry sector is one of the largest energy consumers in the world. This article introduces a methodological framework that utilizes the energy culture concept, to support understanding the factors that influence energy culture at business industry companies.
Methods: Building on the concept of energy culture, we introduce an interdisciplinary method, which assesses organizations’ energy culture from different perspectives and recognizes the possibilities for sustainability transitions. To validate this method, the developed energy culture survey has been verified by 27 expert participants from different industry-related companies located in Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Germany France, and Austria.
Results: Our analysis highlights the need to consider diverse, interdisciplinary aspects to create a successful method for enhancing energy culture in the industrial sector. This will take into consideration human aspects, related to cognitive norms, beliefs, and aspirations, as well as to human interaction with the material world.
Conclusions: Industrial energy cultures context differs from domestic and residential contexts, and the knowledge from one context cannot be transferred to another context as such. Based on investigated studies undertaken for residential, office, and other sectors and the lessons learned, we developed a systematic method for energy culture understanding in industries. Energy managers may use it, as well as other individuals involved in energy culture issues in the industrial business sector, to evaluate the state of energy culture and engage employees towards new energy related practices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalEnergy, Sustainability and Society
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • energy culture
  • sustainability culture
  • energy behaviour
  • energy efficiency
  • workplaces
  • industry
  • practice theory

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