Variety and Trajectories of New Forms of Organizing
Cover page of the book.
The sharing economy is one of the most influential developments of the last decade. The emergence of new forms of organizing it brings with it has affected modern (business) life at multiple levels: sharing organizations have blurred the distinction between the individual roles of provider, user, and employee; they have introduced organizational practices of coordinating members and communities; and they have sparked societal, political, and economic debates in multiple fields.
In one of its focal areas the Evolution2Green project aimed to identify obstacles and path dependencies in the field of electromobility, to identify successful approaches to the transition
to electromobility, as well as necessary measures. The facts summarized in the roadmap answer many questions that are currently being raised in the field of electromobility:
According to a current study by researchers on the BMBF project „Strategies and Potentials to Initiate and Promote Sustainable Consumption” (SPIN), 14.4% of the adult German population make a decision to consume significantly less than they could financially afford. Such people can be described by the term voluntary simplifiers.
In this study, environmental impacts and abatement costs of reducing food waste in the life cycle of bread were calculated by connecting life cycle assessment with environmental life cycle costing. The life cycle includes production, processing, sale, consumption and disposal of mixed grain bread in Germany. The functional unit (FU) was set as 1 kg bread consumed.
The production and consumption of food has an impact on the environment. In this context we question the importance of food waste. To analyse this, we quantify the agricultural and food sectors along the entire value chain. Food waste can often be avoided with relative ease. In different case studies we study the main points and reasons for the creation of waste and examine different ways to reduce them.
The final goal of this project is to develop and validate a toolbox of instruments and methods for small and medium sized enterprises (KMUs) that help to integrate sustainability in the whole food industry chain. Furthermore, the goal is to learn more about motives of action, structural and psychological barriers – respectively the behavior of the employees and the companies that have business relationships. It will also be evaluated how to establish transparency between the resource and the consumer and how to tackle insufficient consumer willingness to get product information.
The focus of this project is on the question, if and how design related, technical, economical, and social innovations can contribute to a prolonging of the use phase of garments. The preconditions for a successful diffusion of innovative offers for more sustainable garments into mainstream milieus are another research topic. For this the factors hindering or promoting sustainable clothing consumption are explored. Cooperation with actors in the areas of production, retail market, and recycling of clothing are of great importance for the project.
Are bioplastics in production, use and at the end of the life cycle really more sustainable than the fossil competitors and which challenges are caused by the sustainability assessment? Which ecological potential provides the cascade use? What is the common level of knowledge of bioplastics and how does the general public assess the use of bioplastics? Which information mediums are effective, if the topic has to be communicated adequate for the customer? These and further question are in the focus of the research platform BiNa.
KoBeFisch has the hypothesis that European fisheries policies has not been able to prevent overfishing due to its current responsibility structures. In the current EU fisheries management, it is governmental actors that have the responsibility. For example, the council of ministries determines many regulations, including the catch quotas. At the same time, fishermen and fish consumers have almost no opportunity to influence the catch quotas in order to shift to more sustainable fishing. In KoBeFisch, alternatives are researched and developed on how governmental and non-governmental actors could share more responsibility for sustainability. Traditional coastal fishermen are considered alongside fish consumers as a point of special interest in the analysis.
Ornamental plants are an integral part of people’s life and consumption. Three out of four households buy a decorative plant at least once in the year. The project will take use of the big sustainability potential of the ornamental plant industry by developing new business models. Currently, the environmental conditions in the production sites are aligned to growth performance and sales quality, but not to later everyday – and environmental conditions at the consumers’ households. As a result, ornamental plants show there stress symptoms. In addition, many consumers lack the necessary competence in plant care. Product failures are the result.
The project demonstrates the potential of LivingLabs in the Green Economy. Within the project, innovations for assistance systems in the key areas of sustainable consumption (“living”, “retail”, “mobility”) are developed. In three German LivingLabs, companies and research organizations create and test new prototypes and business models with specific engagement of users.
Whether a regulatory framework based on producing and disseminating risk information on chemical substances can contribute to the stated normative goals by inducing behavioral change of the relevant market actors is an unanswered empirical question. The project focuses particularly on the potential of demand driven changes in the market as a result of a change in consumer behavior. By studying consumers risk preference and perception of risk (information) the project aims at deriving policy implications regarding consumer protection rights with respect to the disclosure of information about products and chemicals. Furthermore, it is examined to what extent other societal actors can remedy the information asymmetry by making risk information stemming from scientific and regulatory contexts accessible and understandable to consumers.
The project aims to assess the sustainability potential of peer-to-peer sharing. With the help of a strong partnership with practioners, the project shall contribute to a professionalization of the platforms and their establishment as a sustainable consumer alternative. Through a dialogue with practice partners from sectors such as mobility (Drivy, flinc), accommodation (Wimdu) and clothing (Kleiderkreise), the environmental and social impacts of peer-sharing will be examined. The project will also determine to which extent rebound effects can occur
The main objective of logistics is to co-ordinate activities in a way that meets customer requirements at minimum cost. In the past this cost has been defined in purely monetary terms. As concern for the environment rises, companies must take more account of the external costs of logistics associated mainly with climate change, air pollution, noise, vibration and accidents. ILoNa is examining ways of reducing these externalities and achieving a more sustainable balance between economic, environmental and social objectives. Through a better understanding of the interaction of consumer behavior and logistics services, ILoNa intends to develop innovative, integrative models and concrete measures for sustainable economic activity with forward-looking options.
The aim of the project is to significantly increase the share of more sustainable travel options in all booked travel products. Thus it is necessary that such travel products are visible (labelling) and bookable (within the information and booking systems). Targeted consultation by the travel agency staff regarding the realization of sustainable holidays can increase the sense of responsibility, efficiency and potentially sufficiency. Accordingly two aspects can be achieved: The advantages and chances of sustainability become visible to travelers and travelers have the possibility to specifically book sustainable products. Thus the sense of responsibility, efficiency and potentially sufficiency can be combined: The traveler consciously and frequently decides to travel sustainable. Hence travel products will be promoted, which use less resources, are bound to a favorable economic and social contexts and thus better correspond to the sustainability criteria.
Severe environmental problems seem to require a substantial and near-term shift towards greater sustainability in our production and consumption patterns. While many individual initiatives already exist in practice, comprehensive governance approaches targeted towards substantial transformations of whole socio-technical systems are lacking. In this respect, there is a great public need for systemically oriented and field-proven recommendations for forms of (more) successful governance of transformation processes.
The overall objective of the project is the development and testing of a heuristic, and the drafting of a manual planned as an E-Book to support practitioners in contributing to the initiation and in actively shaping socio-ecological transfor¬mation processes.
The Green Economy and related concepts such as Green Growth and the Green New Deal were seized upon with increasing frequency during the recent global financial and economic crisis. The concept of the Green Economy aims to identify new ways in which economic growth can go hand in hand with ecological sustainability, social inclusion and fairness.
The project’s potential for application is to be found first of all in the political arena. Additionally, the project’s findings will help businesses and NGOs to better perceive their role in the transformation to a Green Economy.
Businesses based in the out-of-home dining sector (Außer-Haus-Gastronomie, AHG) work continuously on a range of dishes that are healthier and more sustainable to cope with these changes in lifestyles and demand. To do that they further develop their supply in response to consumer needs with the help of dialogues with them. This project aims to initiate and disseminate trans-formative processes for more sustainable production and consumption in the out-of-home dining sector.
The project aims at improving transparency in the mining and supply chain of mineral raw materials. An in-depth analysis of existing standards and their institutional designs along with a multi-stakeholder process serves as a base to develop a blue print of a generic standard and its institutional design. The process will particularly account for impacts and chances for the various stakeholders including mining companies in Germany, down-stream companies in the supply chain and finance industry interested in sustainable financing but also consumers.
Over the last years, mindfulness was successfully used to reduce chronical stress and increase well-being as well as the ability to concentrate. Education for Sustainable Consumption (ESC) and mindfulness training are combined in the BiNKA-project by focusing on the long-known problem of ESC, the discrepancy of individuals’ ecological attitude and their actual behavior. ESC aims at enabling people to consume more sustainably and is known as a crucial lever for the implementation of Sustainable Development. Overcoming the so called “attitude-behavior-gap” is one of the central challenges of ESC. Existing theories of the effects of mindfulness training suggest that practicing mindfulness strengthens awareness of one´s own core values, attitudes and behavior. Mindfulness might thus provide a tool to overcome the gap, potentially aligning values and behavior sustainably.