Consumption, innovation and the environment

Greening Household Behaviour: Overview from the 2011 Survey



Greening Household Behaviour

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This edition completely replaces the edition that was previously posted in 2011.

Developing growth strategies that promote greener lifestyles requires a good understanding of the factors that 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 a data overview of the most recent round of the survey implemented in five areas (energy, food, transport, waste, and water) and 11 countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Israel, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The new survey confirms the importance of providing the right economic incentives for influencing our decisions. The findings indicate that "soft" measures such as labeling and public information campaigns also have a significant complementary role to play. Spurring desirable behaviour change requries a mix of these instruments.

The OECD series on Environmental Policy and Individual Choice (EPIC) is an invaluable resource for all those interested by the challenging issue of finding ways to encourage "greener" behaviour, from policy makers to academics and individual citizens.

Table of contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1. The Environmental policy context
Chapter 2. General household attitudes towards the environment
Chapter 3. Household behaviour and energy use
Chapter 4. Household behaviour and transport choices
Chapter 5. Household behaviour and water use
Chapter 6. Household behaviour and food consumption
Chapter 7. Household waste generation, recycling and prevention 
Chapter 8. Household attitudes across environmental domains and time
Annex A. OECD 2011 Survey: Questionnaire
Annex B. OECD 2011 Survey: Implementation


Multilingual summaries
Chinese Dutch English French German Hebrew
Italian Japanese Korean Portuguese Russian Spanish

How to obtain this publication

Readers may access the full version of Greening Household Behaviour: Overview from the 2011 Survey by choosing from the following options:

  • Subscribers and readers at subscribing institutions can access the online edition via OECD iLibrary, our online library.
  • Non-subscribers can purchase the PDF e-book and/or paper copy via our Online Bookshop.
  • Order from your local distributor.

Additional information

Further Reading

  Household consumption (EPIC)
  OECD Environmental Outlooks
  Valuing children's health



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