Student Energy-Saving in Higher Education Tackling the Challenge of Decarbonisation

Franco, Dirk, Macke, Janaina, Cotton, Debby, Segers, Jean-Pierre and Franco, Laura (2022) Student Energy-Saving in Higher Education Tackling the Challenge of Decarbonisation. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 23 (7). ISSN 1467-6370

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Purpose: This research aimed to explore students' sustainability attitudes and behavioural intentions and their relation to energy use, to promote energy saving and decarbonisation in higher education settings. Methodology: We used a validated energy literacy survey to assess undergraduate students’ attitudes and behavioural intentions towards energy-saving in two countries (Brazil and Belgium). The questionnaire, administered online, comprised 23 Likert scale questions and 3 questions eliciting socio-demographic information. Results were analyzed using a linear regression model and compared with previous research using the same energy literacy instrument. Findings: The research identified three dimensions of sustainable attitudes: Citizens’ role, Scientists’ role, and Government’s role, explaining 65.5% of respondents’ energy-related attitudes. Three dimensions of sustainable behaviours were identified, explaining 64.5% of energy-related behavioural intentions: Consumption of eco-friendly products, financially driven behaviours, and household energy saving. The linear regression model identified Scientists’ Role, consumption of eco-friendly products and financially driven behaviour as the key predictors of student energy use. Differences between the two contexts also emerged. Originality: Student attitudes and behavioural intentions towards energy are an important element of campus decarbonisation and can act as a catalyst towards a carbon-free society. Although energy literacy research has been undertaken in the US and UK, this research is the first of its kind for Belgium and Brazil and the mode of analysis - using a linear regression model - differs from the earlier work, offering a novel methodological approach.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Energy literacy, Decarbonisation, Campus
Depositing User: Ms Raisa Burton
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2022 11:14
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2022 13:33

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