Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Publication
    University Climate Challenge. Research brief
    (University College Dublin. College of Social Sciences and Law, 2023) ; ;
    As the University implements changes to meet the evolving needs of its constituents, engagement with ongoing stakeholders is critical. To this end, the College of Social Sciences and Law provided our research team with funding to investigate students’ understandings of, attitudes towards and actions against climate change. The project was based on a collaboration between the School of Education and the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice. Where possible, we use establish psychometric scales that have been validated for use with student populations. For context, we compare the students’ scores across key metrics to those of Irish adult and or youth populations.
  • Publication
    The Four Day Week: Assessing global trials of reduced work time with no reduction in pay: Evidence from Ireland
    Research suggests that worktime reduction is a multi-dividend policy that can improve human wellbeing, organisational performance, and environmental outcomes. Social benefits include reduced stress and burnout for employees and more time for family, community, and self. Economic benefits depend on the form of worktime reduction. Where it is accomplished without loss or even gains in productivity, it is beneficial for companies’ bottom lines. Environmental benefits can accrue reduced energy expended in commuting, especially with four-day work weeks; increases in low carbon but time-intensive practices for households; and reduced carbon emissions due to trading income for a time. As the most popular form of worktime reduction, a four-day, 32-hour workweek has been gaining momentum in recent years. Given this growth in interest, Four Day Week Global (4DWG) began supporting companies and non-profit organisations that wanted to try a four-day, 32-hour workweek with no reduction in pay. Boston College leads the research team in partnership with University College Dublin, Cambridge University and other academic partners. We are constructing a sizeable quantitative database of employee outcomes across different countries and types of companies and organisations. We collected data on time use, subjective wellbeing, physical and mental health, labour market behaviour, and energy use with a wide-ranging instrument. In February 2022, 4DWG launched the first of several coordinated international trials. It involved 614 employees across Ireland, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. The research involved (i) surveying employees at the beginning, midpoint and end of the trial, (ii) compiling time-use diaries of employees’ days off, (iii) collecting monthly data on organisational performance and (iv) interviewing employees and managers at the end of the trial1. This report presents detailed results of a subset of Irish organisations and their employees participating in the trial. This group comprised 12 small to medium enterprises, primarily concentrated in the IT and professional services sectors.
  • Publication
    Inequality, emissions, and human well-being
    (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2023-06-08) ; ;
    Development strategies generally align with the assumption that economic growth and the use of fossil fuels, despite the resulting emissions, lead to improvements in human well-being. This logic suggests that reductions in emissions could harm human well-being. In addition to raising sustainability concerns, one component left out of such approaches is the role of inequality. This chapter highlights the importance of incorporating inequality into studies of emissions and human well-being. We review the relevant sociological literature and demonstrate how well-being, emissions, and the relationship between the two are shaped by inequality. We also summarize how the nature of these relationships vary by context and scale. We briefly outline two approaches to addressing climate change to protect the planet and promote human well-being: global climate negotiations and social movements for climate justice. We conclude by discussing directions forward for research and policy.
  • Publication
    Tertiary Education in a Warming World; Reflections from the field
    (Worldwide Universities Network, 2022-03-22) ; ; ; ;
    This report has been produced as part of the Education in a Warming World Research Consortium, supported by Worldwide Universities Network. The consortium comprises university academics with a broad range of expertise in education, sociology, climate change, science communication, health, sustainability, and human behaviour. The group has interest and experience in promoting sustainability and climate change education portfolios at the tertiary level. The consortium aims to contribute to the growing field of transdisciplinary work dedicated to understanding the evolving role of education in this era of rapid climatic change and overlapping socio-ecological crises. This report is a compilation of research, practical examples, and reflections from our own experience of advancing pro-environmental agendas at Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs). It is intended to be a resource to other academics and policymakers who are also grappling with promoting a robust climate change and sustainability agenda within IHEs. For this report, we define IHEs as universities and colleges engaged in teaching, research, and public service.
  • Publication
    Education in a warming world: Trends, opportunities and pitfalls for institutes of higher education
    Higher education institutes (HEI) face considerable challenges in navigating how to respond to the escalating and intertwined socio-ecological sustainability crises. Many dedicated individuals working in the sector are already driving meaningful action through rigorous research, teaching, knowledge sharing, and public engagement, while there is a growing consensus that sector-wide change is needed to ensure that aspirational declarations and positive individual actions translate into sustainable and transformative change. This article seeks to contribute to such efforts by illustrating a number of trends, examples, and reflections on how third-level educational institutes can act sustainably. We highlight the potential of five strategies HEI could employ to support the creation of a more sustainable future namely, (i) innovative approaches to climate change education; (ii) research agendas for societal transformations; (iii) providing climate change education for professional development; (iv) supporting public intellectuals; and (iv) investing in whole-systems approaches to greening the campus. The insights are the product of an interdisciplinary working group with members from across Europe, Australia, and the UK. These international examples provide insight and a sense of possibility for future application.
      26Scopus© Citations 6
  • Publication
    The Empowerment Paradox: Exploring the Implications of Neoliberalized Feminism for Sustainable Development
    (University of California Press, 2020-09-29)
    An extensive literature is dedicated to examining the proliferation of private sector-led, market-based approaches to address gender inequality. Drawing on insights from feminist environmentalism and environmental sociology, I explore how and why this phenomenon is connected to the environmental crisis. First, I analyze the World Bank’s gender strategy papers for 2001–2023. I highlight the organization's role in entrenching a neoliberal discourse of women's empowerment that erases socio-ecological contexts. Next, I provide an overview of Project Shakti, a women’s empowerment program run by Hindustan Unilever, a subsidiary of the Unilever conglomerate and a corporate partner of the World Bank. Secondary data on program outcomes show that the organization’s selective use of gendered ideologies has increased HUL's rural market share. On the other hand, the benefits for participants are less clear, particularly when considered in the context of the program’s social and environmental footprint. Finally, I present the Exxon Mobil's Foundation's gender portfolio to illustrate how exclusive networks and non-participatory program evaluations have been used by private sector actors to normalize an understanding of women's wellbeing that is devoid of environmental considerations. Together, these cases illustrate how feminist ideals have been used to support elite economic agendas with high environmental costs, while also marginalizing those who seek sustainable development through systemic reform. This phenomenon exacerbates an environmental crisis that disproportionately affects the people these programs purport to empower.
      46Scopus© Citations 3