Browsing Cleaner Production Promotion Unit by Issue Date
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- ItemMethodology for a socio-technical approach to sharing knowledge and promoting dialogue via use of a knowledge and communication platform(MDPI AG, 2017) Oates, Michael; Barbano, Giulia; Bergs, Jessica; Dunphy, Niall P.; Lennon, Breffní; Landini, Alberto; Horizon 2020This paper outlines the methodology of a Knowledge and Communication Platform (KCP) as part of the Horizon2020 project Energy System Transition Through Stakeholder Activation, Education and Skills Development (ENTRUST). The ENTRUST project provides a mapping of Europe’s energy system and an in-depth understanding of how human behaviour around energy is shaped by both technological systems and socio-demographic factors. Central to the project is an in-depth engagement with six communities across Europe. The purpose of the KCP is to disseminate and share knowledge and to facilitate and promote dialogue on energy efficiency and transitioning to a low carbon system.
- ItemProject delivery configuration for satisficing building energy renovation activities(University College Cork, 2018) Dunphy, Niall P.; Menzel, Karsten; Cork University Foundation; Seventh Framework ProgrammeThe essence of this thesis is a transdisciplinary exploration of value within building energy renovation projects. How it is understood, from which activities it is derived, who is responsible for its creation, how it is distributed. The temporary multi-firm configurations that coalesce to deliver such renovations are central to the research. Adopting a life cycle perspective and selecting three primary measures of success – energy savings, avoided greenhouse gas emissions and financial return – the thesis examines how achieving these objectives can be incentivised. It looks at how project success (and increased renovation market capacity) can be encouraged through delivering adequate value, in whatever shape that may take, to key stakeholders in the value chain(s) associated with buildings and their renovation. This research required understanding of both construction activities, and the groups of entities that deliver energy renovations. This is achieved through the application of a transdisciplinary methodology that combines engineering and social scientific knowledge. In addition to knowledge about the construction activities, it requires the use of methodological understandings and approaches from the human and social sciences which are used to theorise, conceptualise, contextualise, and actualise the required research. This thesis posits that these groups are fundamentally social constructs, albeit guided by ‘rules’ in the form of contracts or governmental regulations. Acknowledging the social nature of the configurations, the research in the thesis draws on an anti-foundationalist ontology, and adopts a social-constructivist epistemology. Accordingly, in addition to significant review of the literature, qualitative data gathering and analysis techniques are used to understand the objectives of building energy renovation projects, the nature of the groups of stakeholders that deliver them, and the workings of the value chains within which the stakeholders operate. To understand construction and related functions involved with renovation projects, the lifecycle of a building was disaggregated to identify all the various activities which occur throughout a building’s life. These undertakings were then grouped into six phases of activity, which are labelled hubs of activity. This model was used to map stakeholders across the lifecycle of a building, this identification and characterisation facilitated an in-depth engagement with key stakeholders throughout the value chains that deliver building energy renovation. This engagement constituted face-to-face semi-structured interviews i.e., comprising open-ended questions which allow respondents to tell ‘their story’. The interviews were recorded and transcribed to form a valuable qualitative dataset. The interview transcripts were thematically analysed as a means of understanding stakeholder interactions, determining how key stakeholders define ‘value’ and to exploring ‘flows’ through the energy supply chain, including value, practices, norms and influences. The need to develop business models for building renovation which offer adequate value (i.e., satisfice) for stakeholders is recognised, as is the imperative that key stakeholders be incentivised to align their objectives with that of the energy renovation project. Simon (1955, 1956) coined the term ‘satisfice’, a combination of the words satisfy and suffice, for an alternative decision-making strategy that seeks to find an acceptable choice under a limited set of considered options. Findings from the interviews are presented with an exploration of the stakeholder relationships, power flows, drivers, conflicts, and potential synergies within building energy renovation projects. These findings are then discussed in the context of configuring project delivery of building energy renovation activities, such that the interests of all (important) stakeholders are satisficed and that they are appropriately incentivised to align their objectives with that of the project and in doing so deliver successful renovation projects.
- ItemSingle use plastics versus consumerism in the case of snack food packaging; evolving societal norms, culture and tipping points(International Sustainable Production and Consumption, 2018-10) Byrne, Edmond P.; Dunphy, Niall P.; Mullally, Gerard; Sage, Colin; Crowley, Shane V.
- ItemInnovative methods of community engagement: towards a low carbon climate resilient future(Environmental Research Institute, 2019-05) Revez, Alexandra; Mullally, Gerard; Emerson, Harriet; Dunphy, Niall; Watson, Clare; Lennon, Breffni; Glynn, James; Rogan, Fionn; Byrne, Edmond P.; Boyle, Evan; McGookin, Connor; Smith, Sonja; Fahy, Frances; O'Dwyer, Barry; Torney, Diarmuid; Brereton, Pat; Morrissey, John; Greene, Mary; Hugel, Stephan; Carroll, James; Doyle, Ruth; Farrell, Eugene; Carr, Liam; Schuitema, Geertje; Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Ireland; Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Ireland; Environmental Protection Agency
- ItemCommunity acceptability and the energy transition: a citizens' perspective(BMC, Part of Springer Nature, 2019-09-09) Lennon, Breffní; Dunphy, Niall P.; Sanvicente, Estibaliz; Horizon 2020Background: Every energy transition has had its winners and its losers, both economically and in terms of social justice and community cohesion. The current transition is no different given the complex, intersecting matrices of power and experience that influence the key stakeholders and actors involved. Local oppositions to the deployment of renewable energy technologies have been significantly higher than expected. In numerous instances, these oppositions have been in reaction to the disempowerment of local rights and entitlements associated with specific developments. Consequently, there is a clear need for governance structures and organisational formats that are participatory, inclusive and mindful of the lived experiences of local people. Despite the knowledge gaps and financial constraints that continue to persist, how can local communities become empowered to drive project development and meaningfully engage in the low-carbon energy transition? Methods: This paper presents a methodology for investigating citizen perceptions of the energy transition and the kinds of roles they see themselves having in its implementation. Working with six communities across five European countries (France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the UK), we conducted a series of iterative cross-sectional community engagements using a mixed methods approach. In addition, a number of innovative participatory action research tools were incorporated to engage citizens in co-designing their own energy transition pathways. Results: Participants expressed having restricted agency as citizens participating in the energy system. They also felt locked in to a limiting set of false choices as ‘energy consumers’ that do not translate into real or meaningful power, despite popular narratives to the contrary. The research also resulted in a co-designed characterisation tool to help local communities assess the energy democracy and citizen participation potential of a number of participatory business models. Conclusions: Citizens remain locked out of the decision-making processes of the energy transition. We outline a more integrated approach, using co-design and participatory action research, to incorporate citizen perspectives into the planning and implementation of more appropriate business configurations. This paper presents demonstrable examples of how extended stakeholder perspectives can improve procedural justice outcomes and ensure the rollout of more equitable energy configurations into the future.
- ItemCitizen or consumer? Reconsidering energy citizenship(Taylor & Francis, 2019-10-18) Lennon, Breffní; Dunphy, Niall P.; Gaffney, Christine; Revez, Alexandra; Mullally, Gerard; O'Connor, Paul; Horizon 2020The transition to more sustainable energy systems has set about redefining the social roles and responsibilities of citizens. Implicit in this are expectations around participation, though the precise contours of what this might mean remain open. Debates around the energy transition have been skewed towards a normative construct of what it means to be a ‘good citizen’, the parameters for which are shaped by predetermined visions of statist and/or market-driven determinations of the energy systems of the future. This article argues that concepts such as ‘energy citizen’ are co-opted to reflect popular neoliberal discourses, and ignore crucial questions of unequal agency and access to resources. Paradoxically, official discourses that push responsibility for the energy transition onto the ‘citizen-as-consumer’ effectively remove agency from citizens, leaving them largely disconnected and disempowered. Consequently, energy citizenship needs to be reconceptualised to incorporate more collective and inclusive contexts for action. Considering how much energy consumption occurs in (traditionally female) domestic spheres, do conventional notions of citizenship (especially with regards to its associated rights and duties) need to be recalibrated in order for the concept to be usefully applied to the energy transition?
- ItemPlastic-free UCC: exploring societal and marketing levers(University College Cork, 2020-12) Hughes, Aoife; Byrne, Edmond; O'Neill, Claire; Dunphy, Niall; Mullally, Gerard; Kirrane, Maria; University College CorkPlastic pollution is a visible symbol of the increasingly urgent environmental issues facing our world. Single-use plastic packaging comprises about half of plastic waste produced, much of which is used briefly before disposal (UNEP 2018). Meanwhile only approximately 9% of all plastic generated by 2015 were recycled (Geyer et al. 2017). Such figures highlight an entrenched and unhealthy reliance on single-use plastic (SUP) within the current dominant social paradigm which promotes unsustainable levels of growth in consumption and disposal. This research examines how sustainable practices can be facilitated and supported within University College Cork to transition away from SUP. This was done using a mixed method approach of surveys and interviews to examine how stakeholders and community members navigated sustainable behaviour and what barriers they encountered. The research highlights the persistence of cost, availability of alternatives, personal preferences and unsustainable defaults as barriers to sustainable consumption. Infrastructure also influenced behaviour with a lack of supporting infrastructure limiting the adoption of sustainable alternatives. The attitude-behaviour gap also emerged as a barrier to behaviour change re-affirming the need for systemic change rather than relying on individuals to drive changes. The research shows the importance of those in leadership roles prioritising sustainability and the importance of sustainable champions to drive middle-out change in behaviours and policies. Finally, the research highlights the need for stakeholder involvement and collaboration to sustain sustainability initiatives and for their feedback to be used to adapt initiatives.
- ItemLife cycle assessment of the use of decommissioned wind blades in second life applications(Elsevier, 2022-01) Nagle, Angela J.; Mullally, Gerard; Leahy, Paul G.; Dunphy, Niall P.; Science Foundation Ireland; U.S. National Science Foundation; Department for the Economy; Invest Northern Ireland53,000 tonnes of blade waste from on-shore wind farms will potentially be generated in Ireland by 2040. The recycling of blades, which are made from composite material, is costly and thus far no high volume recycling solution exists. Repurposing blades into second life structures is an alternative which is gaining in popularity, but has many challenges. Green Public Procurement has the potential to help drive demand for blade products in Irish public works. The Re-Wind project has generated a Design Atlas with 47 blade product concepts and these are screened for their ability to overcome repurposing challenges. Three Irish scenarios are developed based on this ranking, maximal utilization of the blade, and on the end customer. Life Cycle Assessment is used to determine the marginal environmental impacts of the raw material substitution provided by the use of blade material. Focusing on greenhouse gas emissions, an estimated 342 kg CO2 e can be saved for every tonne of blade waste used in these scenarios. Blade substitution of steel products was found to provide the most impact, followed by substitution of concrete products. Although repurposing is unlikely to offer an end-of-life solution for all Irish blade waste, the use of 20% of this material annually would divert 315 tonnes of blade waste from landfill, as well as avoiding emissions of 71,820 kg CO2 e. Green procurement has the potential to create a demand for repurposed blade products, which in turn could create jobs in high unemployment areas. Utilization of repurposed, local material could contribute to creating resiliency in supply chains. Both job creation and supply chain resiliency are essential for a post-Covid recovery in Ireland.