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Newsletter, February 2007

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Sustainable lifestyles event

Most of us with the threat of climate change upon us are concerned about our future and what effect certain factors will have on our lifestyles. Sarah Alder attended the SPONGE event ‘Eco Chic or Eco Geek? The Desirability of Sustainable Homes’ at the end of January to gain a better understanding of the dialogue, communication and engagement activities that have taken place to date.

In a nutshell, a series of focus groups and questionnaires resulted in the report outlining that home owners are prepared to pay more to live in a sustainable home, with 92 percent of people surveyed keen to see sustainability features offered on new homes, and 64 percent suggesting that these should be compulsory. A number of key actions for both government and house-builders also came out of the study and it will be interesting to see how everything continues to progress with the three year project on Building the Market for Sustainable Lifestyles being delivered by the SPONGE Sustainability Network.

As climate change hots up as an issue the need for public engagement around the implications is going to grow. Policy-makers will need to know how fast the necessary changes can be introduced, while the public will need to feel able to influence them. In our next newsletter we hope to focus on how, specifically, we think public and stakeholder engagement can best help to facilitate positive public responses.


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