Ged Edwards on what motivates people

Dated 2007:

For the past year Ged Edwards has been conducting research in the village about what motivates people to participate in community carbon reduction schemes like ours and also what detracts from their participation. Ged is doing an MSc in Climate Change and Sustainable Development at De Montfort University in Leicester (on-line!).

Here is a summary of his findings. If you'd like more details, please ask Ged directly on the contacts below.

SUMMARY: Motivation and barriers
As part of his MSc in Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Ged Edwards carried out a survey this year focussing on those households in Ashton Hayes which had not been involved the 2006 baseline survey. He found that 99.4% of households are engaged in environmentally-friendly behaviour (EFB) motivated by some or all of:

  • environmental concern,
  • seeing EFB as a moral responsibility,
  • saving money,
  • friends and family encouragement,
  • being part of a community-based programme
  • pride in Ashton Hayes.

Barriers to further EFB were chiefly householders’ busyness and unwillingness to prioritise new EFBs in the face of other pressing demands and, to a small degree, cost of larger capital items. The retired were performing more EFBs than employed people.

35% of people had become more actively involved in village life through the Project. So, launching a carbon reduction project can help strengthen a community even if reducing CO2 emissions is not a main objective.

When planning such projects, base your efforts to increase EFBs on Social Capital Theory and Azjen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour. Details from (

Tel 0151 426 0190
Mob 07961 077299