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

No less than 72 per cent 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 at 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 by developing a digital application to collect, monitor and analyse citizens’ environment and consumption data as well as co-research, co-develop, and uptake everyday life solutions to mitigate climate change.

The project will build a data-driven movement with and for the citizens to enable more sustainable lifestyles across Europe. The ambition of the project is to engage a total of four million European citizens in data collection through the PSL tool, with a particular focus on eight European countries: Estonia, Finland, Greece, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Turkey.

The web-based application PSL tool, will be based on the carbon footprint calculator ‘Lifestyle Test’, set up by the project partner Sitra in 2017. In the PSLifestyle project, an improved version of the PSL tool will be further developed and contextualised to align with the citizens’ local realities in the target regions. This will be done by co-creating a localised version of the application through living labs to understand the local capabilities, opportunities, and motivations of the citizens in engaging in more sustainable lifestyles. The PSLifestyle project will also work with other societal catalysts, including policymakers, businesses, civil society organizations (CSOs), and academia to design solutions based on citizen data.

The PSL tool will be available in a web version and in the pilot countries’ national languages. Users’ interaction will start with a measurement of their lifestyle carbon footprint. As a follow up, and based on their results, users will be able to select and commit to a variety of practical actions that can support them to improve their carbon footprint. Through the application, citizens can keep track of their progress and highlight some of the challenges and opportunities when implementing those actions.

Within the project, the CSCP will be responsible for:

  • The coordination of 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 PSL tool across Germany and the generation of application users and data providers
  • Coordinate and design engagement activities with CSOs, one of the project’s key stakeholder beneficiaries and support  engagement activities with industry sector, another important 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 European partners.

* Hertwich and Peters, 2009