FP7 Project on “Low Carbon at Work” (LOCAW) / 2011-2013

  • FP7 Project On “Low Carbon At Work” (LOCAW) / 2011-2013 1/1

Large organizations are responsible for a significant amount of greenhousegas (GHG) emissions. The emissions generated by large organizationsresult both from of their production processes andfrom the pressuresunder which they function within our economic system. As a result ofnew EU and national regulations, organizations have started toimplement mechanisms to reduce their GHG emissions. However, asstated in the EU Sustainable Development Strategy Review 2009, thesestrategies have not been sufficient to ensure significantreductionsin emission rates. If we are to make a significant impactin reducing emissions, we need to identify the barriers to anddrivers of sustainable changes in everyday workplace practices acrossdifferent types of organizations.

LOCAW is a theoretically and empirically-grounded analysis of everydaypractices in the workplace, and of the factors promoting or hinderingthe transition to more sustainable working practices and productionprocesses. The research undertaken has examined large private andpublicemployer-organizations in six different countries in ordertoilluminate the interactions among relevant actors at all levels(managers, workers as well as trade unions) both within and outsidethe organization and thus providing a detailed account of barriers toand drivers for cooperation in transitioning to a low-carbon Europe.These results are being translated into detailed policy andpractice-oriented descriptions of how to encourage sustainablepractices in the workplace. Moreover, opportunities are beingexplored for understanding how sustainable practices in the home andthe workplace can be transferredfrom one life domain to another.This understanding will contribute to the design of cost-effectivepolicy and the creation of conditions that would enhance and speed upsocietal-wide transitions to sustainability. 

Research has been developed in the following organizations: 

a) Volvo AB,Sweden.

b) ShellUK, Ltd, UK.

c) Enel Green Power,Italy.

d) Aquatim, Romania.

e) Municipality of Groningen, The Netherlands.

f) University of ACoruña, Spain.

The project has used a multi-methodapproach which included both quantitative and qualitative techniquesto identify the level of sustainable practices at work and tounderstand the factors promoting or inhibiting them. Participatoryscenario development workshops were then conducted to identifynecessary changes if the organizations are to become sustainable, andthe pathways to bringing about such change. They were also used toensure that our models are sufficiently grounded in reality and willconstitute useful tools to help organizations understand how topromote sustainability at work. Finally, agent-based modellingis being used as a key component of the results synthesis and inorder to explore the effects of adaptive policies at regional, national and EU levels. Models are formalized based on the outputs ofprevious stages.

Final video of Low Carbon at Work project  (interviews)