Co-creating a Positive and Sustainable Lifestyle Tool with and for European Citizens

No less than 72% of the global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by lifestyle choices in areas such as housing, traveling, or eating*. Evidence shows that trying to change lifestyle patterns by simply pointing out the environmental threats does not lead to substantial behavioural change. Climate awareness is still not substantially followed by climate action at a citizen level.

Our project, PSLifestyle – Co-creating Positive and Sustainable Lifestyle Tool with and for European Citizens aims at closing the gap between climate awareness and individual action by engaging citizens to take an active role and endorse more sustainable lifestyles. It will do so through the Lifestyle Test, a consumption-based carbon footprint calculator, in the form of a free web app that supports people to learn more about their daily impact on the environment (through a quick test) and then inspire them to reduce it via tailored tips/actions on lifestyle choices. The test also supports them in keeping track of their progress (implementation of the tips and reduction of the carbon footprint).

The ambition of the project is to engage a total of four million European residents in data collection through the Lifestyle Test, with a particular focus on eight European countries: Estonia, Finland, Greece, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Turkey.

Beyond individual engagement, the results and the data stemming from the Lifestyle Test will then be utilised (anonymously) to provide more insights to decision makers and societal catalysts, including policymakers, businesses, civil society organisations (CSOs) and academia on how to advance and mainstream sustainable lifestyles and mitigate climate change.

In addition, given the potential of the Lifestyle Test, the project is considering to expand its presence in other countries beyond the current ones. The scope of the Lifestyle Test can also be narrowed to fit the needs of companies, municipalities or organisations, supporting specific groups/audiences (e.g., inhabitants of a city, customers of a company, students of a university and similar) to adopt more sustainable lifestyles. The project team is open to collaboration ideas on how to further expand and develop the Lifestyle Test.

The Lifestyle Test has been co-created with the residents from the 8 project countries in a series of Living Labs workshops. This has allowed the project to understand the local capabilities, opportunities and motivations of people to engage in more sustainable lifestyles as well as assess and design different functions and features that users thought should be integrated into the tool itself.

Within the project, the CSCP has different responsibilities, namely:

  • Coordinating citizen engagement activities through living labs in the eight pilot countries as well as act as a local living lab implementer in Germany
  • The large-scale deployment of the Lifestyle Test across Germany and the generation of users and data providers
  • Coordinating and designing engagement activities with CSOs, one of the project key stakeholder beneficiaries, and support engagement activities with industry actors as another key stakeholder group

The PSLifestyle project is funded under the European Union’s research program Horizon 2020 and it will be running over a period of 3,5 years (2021-2025). The project relies on the expertise of a consortium of 16 partners.

* Hertwich and Peters, 2009