Browsing by Subject "Global Sustainability"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-20 of 39
  • Katila, Anni-Sofia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Meat consumption in the world is increasing, which has significant negative effects on the ongoing climate change. There is a need to make people change their diets towards more plant-based. One of the problems is that there is a negative atmosphere around veganism and vegans that prevents the change. In order to get people more plant-based, that negative atmosphere around veganism and vegans should be reduced. The aim of this study is to find out what kind of arguments are used against veganism and vegans, and what rhetorical strategies are used in these arguments. Previous studies have shown that there is still a strong belief that meat is a necessary part of the diet to keep one healthy. Studies also show, that the reason people do not change their diets can be attitudinal, for example that people think they are meant to eat meat, or practical, for example that there is not enough information available. The material for this study is from the Finnish online discussion forum Suomi24 and consists of messages that are against veganism and vegans. The Suomi24 data was retrieved from the KORP interface, where it was possible to search messages related to veganism. There is no information about the people behind the messages, because they are anonymous on the forum. The material was analysed with content analysis and strengthened with rhetorical analysis. Categorization was part of the analysis and categories were coded to the material in the Atlas.ti program. As a result, there were seven main categories and 28 sub-categories under two parent categories. The most common arguments against veganism and vegans were related to health, vegans as individuals and how vegans act. The most commonly used rhetorical strategies were factual argumentation, categorization, extreme expression and taking distance from one’s own interests. As a conclusion, to be able to increase plant-based food in people’s diets, more available information is needed, and positive encouragement without incrimination to build up an attractive atmosphere around veganism and vegans.
  • Luomaniemi, Virve Kaarina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Behavior change can be seen as one cornerstone in transiting to more sustainable energy cultures. Various implemented behavioral intervention experiments have been popular and successful in creating behavioral change during and/or right after the intervention period, however follow-up research examining the persistence of changed behavior has been limited. The empirical material of this thesis builds on a set of data collected in a European research project ENERGISE. The analysis utilizes the data collected from two Finnish living lab experiments performed in 2018, focusing the examination on the closing interviews conducted by the research team and the participants’ self-reported practices in the follow-up survey three months after the intervention. The analysis examines the formation of new practices in relation to their persistence in everyday life. Answers to open questions presented in the follow-up survey are also examined in the analysis, to fuller the representation of events. The sample of the research is not enough to make comprehensive statistical generalizations, instead it gives interesting insight on the durability of the effects of one energy intervention. The research questions guiding this thesis are: How did household practices change when households participated in an intervention? How persistent are the observed changes in practices post-intervention? What contributes to the persistence of treatment effects? This examination observed persistence of behavioral change post-intervention. This examination suggests that these encouraging results may be supported by a number of different factors; the broad perspective of energy practices that the intervention designed on practice theory provided and the making of household routines visible to participants to question and experiment with. In addition, the intervention techniques used as making commitments, goal setting, social comparison elements and providing energy feedback, which corroborate with prior intervention follow-up studies that have noted the importance of a carefully thought intervention design with these techniques, to support creating permanent behavioral change. Intervention designs should also in-clude a longer-term evaluation and further study investigating the factors contributing to creating permanent change should be implemented.
  • Ruippo, Lotta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Innovation in food packaging interlinks many sustainability challenges ranging from food loss and waste through the value chains, to resource extraction and growing amounts of plastic waste globally. Food packaging innovations arising from regulation often focus on material waste and ignore other facets of sustainability such as food loss and waste. Simultaneously, conventional notions of innovations are focused on firm growth and competitiveness. This study investigates the perceptions of sustainability in food packaging among expert actors in Finland. Moreover, it examines how notions of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) are reflected in the research and development processes in the field. Here, RRI is understood as a framework for examining the role of socio-ethical considerations in research and development. The study aimed to find out which packaging attributes are considered sustainable, what motivations actors in the field have, what type of obstacles exist to innovation in the field, and which actor groups are perceived to be responsible for accelerating the food packaging transition towards sustainability. Semi-structured expert interviews were conducted with 14 participants, and the interview data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis (QCA). The results show that perceptions of sustainability in food packaging vary across the field. However, reducing food waste and loss was considered the most important facet of sustainability in food packaging. Actors in the field are motivated by personal reasons and the anticipated profitability of sustainable innovations. However, innovations in the field are slowed down because of regulatory issues, food safety requirements, unpredictable future changes, and technological lock-ins. Finally, the results of this study indicate that actors in the sector believe the Finnish government and brand owners in the food and beverage industries should be responsible for driving innovation towards improved sustainability. However, the qualitative approach taken here limits the generalizability of the results. The results suggest an ongoing narrative shift in innovation towards greater inclusion of social and ethical considerations in the research and development process.
  • Lehtonen, Ilmari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    In this paper, I examine the discussions around the concept of carbon sinks. From those discussion of Finnish forestry, I identify frames based on a media material of 108 news articles combining the methodologies of frame analysis and content analysis. I aim to contextualize the carbon sink discussions of the latter half of 2010s and examine how the natural science-based term is used to support varying policy agendas. Building from background literature on the media as a societal actor and a context around Finnish forest discussions and mismatches between science and forest policy, I reflect on the ways that Finnish media frames and contextualizes carbon sink-related forest discussions. Eventually, I identify three dominant and eight secondary frames that describe the ways of using and the transforming of carbon sink as a term in detail. The dominant frames divide the discussion into two clashing ways to communicate carbon sink issues and a third middle ground way of understanding and using the term. The middle ground frame identifies the conflict between the clashing frames and suggests reaching to an understanding as a priority goal in terms of optimal climate change policy. I discuss the results in terms of the frames' policy implications. In addition, I ask how they signal potential developments in forest and climate policy and discourse. The analysis shows that the clearest disagreements in the carbon sink conflicts raise from how forestry restricting policies are seen to affect carbon sink levels and how prominent a role should forest industry have in meeting national and international climate policy targets. The study confirms that carbon sink as a term transforms into altering forms to support distinct, even controversial policy goals because of both definitional and calculative uncertainties.
  • Sarasma, Juho Johannes (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Ihmisten arkinen liikkuminen paikasta toiseen on tärkeä palanen laajemmassa kestävyysmurroksessa. Liikenne muodostaa Suomessa 20 % kansallisista kasvihuonekaasupäästöistä ja vaikka päästöt ovat tasaisesti vähentyneet, nykyinen tahti ei ole riittävä tämänhetkisten päästövähennystavoitteiden saavuttamiseksi. Kotitalouksien kulutuksen aiheuttamista kasvihuonekaasupäästöistä liikkuminen on suurin yksittäinen päästöjen aiheuttaja. Aikaisempi tutkimus on keskittynyt suurelta osin teknologisiin ratkaisuihin ja yksilöiden valintoihin syinä ja ratkaisuina kestävään liikkumiseen. Näitä lähestymistapoja on kritisoitu siitä, että ne eivät anna riittävää painoarvoa sosiaalisille tekijöille. Käytäntöteorioita on esitetty vaihtoehtona ja vallitsevien yksilökeskeisten lähestymistapojen haastajana arkisen liikkumisen ymmärtämiseen. Käytännöt ovat rutiininomaisia ihmisten käyttäytymismalleja, jotka koostuvat useista elementeistä: materiaaleista, merkityksistä ja kompetensseista. Tämä tutkielma analysoi ihmisten liikkumista ennen COVID-19-pandemiaa ja sen aikana käytäntöteoreettisesta näkökulmasta. Tavoite on selvittää mitä käytäntöteorioiden avulla voidaan oppia kestävästä liikkumisesta, sekä miten pandemia on vaikuttanut ihmisten liikkumiseen Suomessa. Tutkielmaa varten tehtiin yhdeksän puolistrukturoitua haastattelua, joissa osallistujilta kysyttiin heidän liikkumisestaan ennen pandemiaa ja sen aikana. Tulokset muodostavat kokonaisvaltaisen kuvan osallistujien elämästä liikkumisen näkökulmasta. Tulokset analysoitiin käyttäen kvalitatiivista teorialähtöistä sisällönanalyysia. Tuloksista selvisi, että ihmisten liikkuminen muodostaa monimutkaisen systeemin, johon pandemia vaikutti merkittävästi. Tutkimuksessa tunnistettiin lukuisia elementtejä, jotka joko mahdollistivat tai hankaloittivat eri liikkumismuotojen käyttöä. Käytäntöteorioita on usein käytetty tarkastelemaan yhtä liikkumismuotoa kerrallaan, ja tämän tutkielman laajempaa näkökulmaa voidaan pitää yhtenä sen tärkeimmistä ansioista liikkumisen tutkimukseen. Vaikka tutkielma ei tarjoa valmiita vastauksia siihen, miten ihmisten liikkumisesta saataisiin kestävämpää, se tarjoaa tärkeää uutta tietoa käytäntöteoreettiseen liikkumisen tutkimukseen, joka on Suomessa ollut todella vähäistä.
  • Heikkinen, Panu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis is a case study that examines the reasons for the lack of citizen participation in the planning process of Kalasataman keskus, and, more generally, in the planning of megaprojects. The main observation of this thesis is that there are several reasons for this. Based on the interviews of main characters taking part in the planning of Kalasataman keskus and the planning documents of Kalasataman keskus (as well as the previous research on the topic) the reasons for lack of citizen participation were: the location of planning area with few inhabitants, the large size of the planning project, technical difficulty of the planning project, the weight on the commercial aspects of the planning, and the view of the planners (relying on experts in the planning). When these results were viewed together with the previous research, it was noted that, as the previous research suggests, the traditional practices of urban planning hinder citizen participation in planning. (For example, seeing that urban planning relies on the technical knowledge of experts.) Moreover, based on the findings of the thesis as well as the previous research, it is possible to see that when the tradition, which emphasizes expert knowledge, is paired with a planning project where the city has a commercial partner, the structures and procedures of planning tend to exclude citizens’ views from the planning process. Partly based on such findings, the thesis suggests that, if the intention is to strengthen citizen participation in, especially large, planning projects, the city should aim to strengthen, for example, local community organizations.
  • Peters, Dana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Concern about global warming can lead to climate change anxiety, a form of anxiety characterized by excessive worry about the climate crisis and associated consequences on the natural world and human society. It has been suggested by previous research that humor can be used to manage feelings of anxiety. This study seeks to determine if this phenomenon can be applied specifically to climate change anxiety. The research combines a comprehensive literature review with an online survey that leveraged climate change themed internet memes as a proxy for humor to gather opinions about the intersections between these two topics. The survey data supplemented claims made by existing literature, indicating that climate change themed internet memes and humor in general can be useful coping mechanisms to mitigate feelings of climate anxiety. The survey was completed by 93 respondents; most of these participants were women, located in the US, and/or between the ages of 20 and 29. Results from the survey showed that people tend to feel best about their environmental anxiety when they are taking active steps to solve the problem. Conscious decisions such as reducing waste or participating in activist movements are easier to recognize and self-report than more passive coping skills. Reliance on humor was reported as a supplementary coping skill, but many respondents indicated that looking at humorous climate change themed memes did influence their feelings about climate change overall. The scope of this study was relatively small in scale, therefore the results presented in this thesis may not be indicative of broader social trends and likely require further research.
  • Syrjälä, Sami (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Electronic waste is the fastest growing type of waste stream in the world, and this development results from the rapidly accelerating digitalization. Electronic devices become obsolete on an accelerating speed, as there are constantly more powerful devices coming to the market. The most significant environmental impacts of this development are greenhouse gas emissions and natural resource consumption. Circular economy has been proposed as a solution to these environmental challenges, and the goal of this approach is to preserve the value of the materials in the circulation as efficiently as possible. One way of implementing the principles of circular economy is the product-as-a-service-based business model. This research examines the differences between the product-as-a-service-based model and ownership-based model in terms of the environmental impacts that are related to the laptop and tablet procurements. The results of this thesis will be utilized in implementing the actions of the City of Helsinki’s Roadmap for Circular and Sharing Economy. This research was conducted as streamlined life cycle assessment, in which the systematic literature review was used for tracking the environmental impacts of the products’ life cycle stages and components. In addition, expert interviews were carried out in order to collect information about the reuse and recycling practices of the supplier companies that follow these previously mentioned business models. Finally, based on the results of the systematic literature review and the interviews, the company specific differences were assessed in terms of the greenhouse gas emissions and material waste that result from the procurements. The City of Helsinki’s annual procurement volumes were used in this assessment. Based on the results of this research, production and use are the most significant life cycle stages in terms of the devices’ greenhouse gas emissions. Printed circuit boards/printed wiring boards, integrated circuits, displays, and casings are the components with the most significant impact. The results suggest that increasing the lifespan of the devices provides opportunities for significantly lowering impacts in both impact categories, if the devices are efficiently recycled after this.
  • Lyytikäinen, Veera (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    It is widely acknowledged that previous efforts to communicate the severity and rate of climate change have failed. Science communication has for decades relied on the presumption that more information leads to more informed decisions, thus so far, the scientific consensus about human-caused climate change has not resulted in required changes in behaviour. Previous communication efforts have, for the most part, attributed inaction to the lack of information, but in doing so, have excluded many social and psychological elements of communication. Although raising the level of awareness about climate change has been successful, climate change remains to be perceived to be a distal threat. Recently, more sophisticated approaches have been developed to meaningfully communicate climate change, drawing attention to the framing of the communication. In this study, a new approach to science-based environmental communication is evaluated. The case study seeks to address how immersive Virtual Reality (VR) can be used as a tool in science-based environmental communication for policymakers in a locally relevant context. Via immersive VR, information about forests’ role in climate change is mediated to forest policymakers. In the science communication, climate change is framed as an experiential, local, and present risk, promoting a problem definition that focuses on the climate effects of forest utilisation. I evaluate the success of the science-based environmental communication by measuring participants’ personal responses. I focus on measuring enjoyment, interest, trust, and usability. The study participants are members of the Parliament of Finland and governmental officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; and the Ministry of the Environment. The study material consists of feedback forms from participants (N=65) and interviews of the key actors (N=7). To consider the historical background and many conflicting interests in Finnish forest and climate politics, I focus on the comparison between the natural resource position and the environmental position. The results of this study offer compelling evidence for how differently policymakers representing these two positions perceive the usage of immersive VR in science-based environmental communication. The environmental position indicated significantly higher levels of success on all measured components. Considering that the science communication framed forest utilisation as an environmental issue, it is not surprising that participants holding the environmental position perceived the science communication to be more enjoyable, interesting, trustworthy, and usable. Accordingly, the study results provide additional support for the idea of Finnish forest policy as a polarised field of policy with two main positions. With the means of immersive VR, I was able to induce strong personal responses to the science communication. Participants holding the natural resource position were more likely to challenge the legitimacy of the information and the use of VR in science communication than participants holding the environmental position. The results point to the likelihood that communicating climate change via immersive VR can induce strong negative emotions in the participants, but when the communication is comparable with the policymaker's policy preferences, they respond more positively. The study results also suggest, that to communicate climate change more meaningfully, immersive VR should be further explored as a supplementary tool in science communication.
  • Aapio, Fanny (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Food literacy is a noteworthy topic to be studied due to food’s considerable environmental and health effects. When food literacy and its characteristics are known, food literacy can be used as a tool to improve people’s health and the condition of the environment. Thus, this thesis aims to reveal the extent of food literacy among Finnish upper secondary school students. In this context, food literacy emphasises food-related environmental and health knowledge. Environmental knowledge is understanding of the global environmental impact of food. Health knowledge, on the other hand, is the familiarity with the relationship between excessive meat consumption and Finnish common diseases along with beliefs regarding diets and food products as a source of protein. This thesis also aims to identify to what extent does the food literacy differ based on gender, study year and living area. This study was performed as a quantitative sample survey and the data was collected using an online Typeform -questionnaire. The questionnaire reached respondents from many different Finnish localities, mainly from cities. The final data consisted of 1320 individuals and it was analysed using IMB SPSS Statistics 24 software. The following methods were used to analyse data: frequency analysis, an Independent Samples t Test, a One-way ANOVA, and a Post-hoc LSD test. Gender, study year and living area were used as grouping variables to examine the differences between groups. The results show that the students named school as the main source of food literacy. Moreover, the results indicate that awareness regarding food production, dietary health and proteins increase significantly from the first to the third study year. The students acknowledged food production causing environmental problems and that the share of food in the consumer’s climatic impact is considerable. Nevertheless, the students underestimated the climatic impact of cheese and they were unaware of the more specific characteristics of food’s environmental impacts. They also had food-related environmental misconceptions considering packaging, transportation and meat consumption. Moreover, approximately half or more of the students were aware of the connection between excessive meat consumption and the increased risk of distinct common diseases. Most of the students acknowledged a versatile vegetarian diet as being a healthy choice. The study also reveals that female students had notably higher dietary health knowledge than male students. This Master’s thesis study mainly supports the findings of previous studies on food-related knowledge. The results elucidate the extent, characteristics, gaps and misconceptions of students’ food literacy. These findings may be utilized to improve school education on food literacy, alter misconceptions and fill the gaps of knowledge in pursuit of improving the health of people and the condition of the environment.
  • Jokinen, Toni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In this thesis I focus on a novel disaster response and preparedness mechanism called forecast-based financing. The mechanism is linked to the changing paradigm of humanitarian response that calls for more localized and more resilience building solutions to addressing and preventing humanitarian crisis. It is also in the core of the anticipation agenda which argues that waiting for disasters to happen is not a sustainable option and that forecast data and pre-agreed triggers and actions should be used in order to prevent both loss of lives and mitigate the cost and impact of disasters. Main hypothesis is that climate related hazards to livelihoods and food security seems to be the sector where forecast-based financing could have most potential for increasing resilience and sustainability. Slow onset crises with long lead-time allow for better targeting and more variety of actions. As the lifetime of the action is longer, there is less chance of action which is in vain. Furthermore, the actions which are more localized, for example direct support to farmers, can decrease their vulnerabilities. I aim at taking a critical approach to assessing this potentiality associated with the forecast-based financing mechanism through case study. The three cases (Mongolia, Kenya, Zimbabwe) were selected from pilots implemented by the main actors: the Red Cross, World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Start Network. This thesis uses a combination of evaluative and heuristic approach to qualitative case study analysis. To answer the first research question, 1) is the forecast-based financing mechanism successful in prioritization of actions in a way that best address the needs and resources of vulnerable populations, I aim at finding out if mechanism is effective (or potentially effective) in delivering impact. For the second research question, 2) are the actions sustainable and do they bring socio-economic benefits that go beyond meeting acute humanitarian needs, I will see if new pathways are found for confirming the defined hypothesis. I am using heuristic approach in terms of finding new links e.g. between actions and needs of either donors, actors or beneficiaries. I asses and analyse available reports and evaluations (secondary data) of the selected operations. I conducted eleven (11) semi-structured key informant interviews (primary data) using practitioner’s perspective for retrieving qualitative data, for further understanding and for triangulation. All key informants were affiliated to the cases. My analysis show that the potentiality for development impacts and long-term transformation of the forecast-based financing is there but it is not utilized in the cases reviewed nor is it perceived in a same way across practitioners of different backgrounds. Currently the mechanism is used more for effective response, not for addressing the root causes of vulnerability. In general, the entitlement or empowering of a person who is affected by disaster currently does not go beyond securing bridge over lean season, avoiding negative coping mechanisms or e.g. better yield or survival of livestock. Sustainability potential of the forecast-based financing seems to be currently underutilized and international funding envelopes do not offer an alternative to the humanitarian funding launched case-by-case. Most of the practitioners interviewed were clearly in favour of linking and using forecast-based financing in some way to long-term programming, thinking outside of the framework of humanitarian response, extending lead time significantly and adding positive reinforcement inputs. I argue that with a lead time that goes long in advance, towards development actions, the mechanism needs to be reframed for the donors and the sources of funding might need to be reconsidered. To implement meaningful resilience actions in slow onset cases, triggers need to be early enough and actions in two phases: 1) anticipatory and benefiting from forecast and 2) early response. At beneficiary level the actions should be geared up to better address underlying socio-economic vulnerabilities and take advantage of the long lead time.
  • Virtanen, Tia-Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Earth’s overshoot day marks the date when humanity’s ecological footprint exceeds Earth’s biocapacity for the year. As the day fell on earlier every year it shows that our current consumption pattern is unsustainable. One of the main human sources of greenhouse gas emissions is related to household consumption and thus companies play an important role in developing consumption practices more sustainable for consumers as they are the main providers of products and services. This research examines the ways three Finnish companies guide consumers towards environmentally sustainable choices as well as drivers and barriers related to consumer guidance. The objective is to enlighten companies’ consumer guiding methods as part of corporate responsibility and understand which factors encourage and hinder companies to guide consumers. The research was conducted as a qualitative multiple-case study. The case companies were Valio, S Group’s grocery stores and Fazer. The research data was collected via companies’ sustainability reports and focused semi-structured interviews by interviewing the case companies’ employees working with corporate responsibility, environmental management and communication. The data was analyzed by data-driven content analysis. The findings show that the case companies use guiding methods to steer consumers to environmentally sustainable choices: information provision, choice editing, nudging and financial incentives. The current trends related to sustainability and responsibility as well as a potential competitive advantage, the protection of brand image, the benefits of a forerunner, and a corporate strategy in which sustainability is an integral part encourage companies to guide consumers. Whereas, the principle of consumers’ freedom of choice, the responsibility of a big operator as well as risks related to the development of innovations and being a forerunner cause tensions in consumer guidance. The results confirm that various tensions are related to guiding consumers towards sustainability. Especially, the concept of consumers’ freedom of choice is firmly embedded in the mindset of business. Therefore, future research could examine the ways to bring these tensions and underlying contradictions more strongly into the public discussion to find solutions to promote sustainable consumption for consumers among companies.
  • Pakarinen, Tytti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    On a global scale the amount of meals consumed outside home setting continues to increase, which means that food service sector has a significant role in reaching global sustainability goals. Finland has a long tradition of public food services and a significant part of Finnish people enjoy a government-subsidized daily lunch. As a student restaurant UniCafe participates in Kela-funded meal scheme, thus UniCafe’s meals follow Finnish Nutrition Recommendations’ nutritional criteria for meals. This research examines the ways UniCafe guides its customers to making environmentally sustainable choices in their restaurants. This thesis also reviews UniCafe’s environmental sustainability measures, most significant of which are offering sustainable meal options, sourcing responsible ingredients and products, proper waste sorting and reducing food waste. This research also dwells in to the reasons behind these environmental measures and examines UniCafe as a forerunner company in the food service sector. The level of acceptability of different customer guidance ways are also evaluated on a general level and within UniCafe clientele. This research was conducted via qualitative case study research approach. The data for this research was col-lected via semi-structured theme interviews by interviewing UniCafe and Ylva restaurant and support services staff. Additionally, primary research data also comprised of Ylva’s online publications on responsibility and business operations. The data was analyzed by qualitative theory-guiding content analysis. According to the results, UniCafe is a forerunner company due to its unique customer and ownership base. UniCafe is expected to take environmental sustainability into account in their daily operations and selections. Five different customer guidance ways used by UniCafe were identified in this research: forced choice re-striction, choice editing, nudging, financial incentives and informational strategies. Most UniCafe customers accept the use of these different customer guidance methods but UniCafe perceives forced choice restriction as problematic, particularly on campuses that do not have many UniCafe restaurants. The results show that UniCafe guides its customers in many ways to promote environmental sustainability of their operations and their customers. In addition, the results confirm that methods such as informational strat-egies are perceived as more acceptable but simultaneously less effective than methods that restrict freedom of choice. In general, UniCafe customers approve environmental sustainability measures and customer guidance. On the other hand, UniCafe’s unique position in the student lunch market in Helsinki metropole area means that the results of this research cannot be generalized to apply to other food service sector operators.
  • Huuskonen, Heli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Socio-ecological transition refers to a fundamental change in the structure, culture, and practices of a socio-ecological system. Socio-ecological transitions have been studied especially from an ecological perspective. In recent years, cities have been studied more as socio-ecological systems. The role of individual actors in socio-ecological transitions has not been on a focus of previous research of socio-ecological systems. The study intends to fulfill this gap. This master's thesis examines two cases in Helsinki, namely the evacuation of the residents of Myllypuro Alakiventie in 1999 and the Kyläsaari waste incineration plant in 1983 as socio-ecological transitions. The purpose of the study is to describe the progress of the socio-ecological transition in both cases by placing the course of cases in adaptive circles. The second aim of the study is to find out whether the Helsinki City Administration was able to promote or slow down the progress of the socio-ecological transition, which is being studied in relation to other actors in the socio-ecological transition. As research material consist article from Helsingin Sanomat newspaper and documents from the City of Helsinki Archives. The Master’s thesis describes the progress of the socio-ecological transition in both cases, as well as the role of the actors in the transition. The results show that the City of Helsinki administration had a limited opportunity to promote and slow down the progress of the socio-ecological transition. Other actors in the socio-ecological transformation, such as the townspeople, were also able to influence the progression of the socio-ecological transformation, which made it difficult for city governments to slow down or promote the transformation. In particular, the conflict between the city government and the Helsinki citizens slowed or prevented the city government from reaching its goals. However, the study finds that the city administration was not able to prevent the complete socio-ecological transition in the study cases. Better communication with the citizens and the avoidance of conflicts would help the City of Helsinki's administration to influence the progress of the socio-ecological transition more effectively in the future.
  • Lammensalo, Linda Sofia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The intersections of climate change and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) have increasingly received attention from international organisations but also from academia. For some, establishing these intersections is about reducing human pressure on the Earth systems, while for others it is about the human rights of vulnerable individuals and communities. Many have lauded these connections for providing a win-win solution for both. While these benefits are championed, there has been little reflection on the underlying motives and justifications for establishing these connections in the first place. Given the problematic past of population control policies, understanding these justifications is necessary to break away from the neo-colonial practices of the past. This thesis investigates the motives and justifications for establishing such intersections between SRHR and climate change. Specifically, the thesis addresses two questions, namely: 1) In what ways are the interconnections between SRHR and climate change justified in academic literature? 2) What are the implications of the ways in which these interconnections are justified? By drawing on a postcolonial feminist theoretical framework rooted in understanding this nexus critically, and carefully reflecting on the implications of these discourses, the thesis answers these questions by systematically drawing on a sustained body of research. The data consist of 88 academic publications that are systematised through discourse analysis. The findings identify six distinctive intersectional discourses which reflect the ways in which SRHR, and climate change are justified, namely: public health, population dynamics, reproductive rights, critical, sustainable development and environment discourses. Largely reflecting adherence to liberal feminist and populationist frameworks, these findings imply that the discourses, justifications, and motives do not sufficiently address the neo-colonial practices and structural inequalities that shape intersections between SRHR and climate change. Analytically, therefore, this thesis suggests that postcolonial feminism offers a more effective way for understanding intersectional discourses because it recognises how power inequalities manifest in the discourses, while contributing towards more justice-based approaches to sustainability.
  • Kettunen, Anni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Environmental problems are usually complex in nature, encompass uncertainties and affect multiple actors and groups of people in multiple ways. Hence, managing these problems requires transparent decision making that takes into consideration diverse values, perceptions and knowledge of those groups. Decisions that are made in a participatory decision-making process are more likely to express public values and local knowledge than decisions made in top-down management processes. Collaboration has become a ubiquitous concept within the context of participatory planning and environmental management. It is used in describing a wide array of participatory approaches and it is often used as a tool in managing wicked problems. However, participatory approaches do not guarantee better success in solving environmental problems. Hence, it is crucial to deliberate what kind of approach is used and what kind of situations it suits. This master’s thesis examines Metsähallitus’ participatory natural resource planning (NRP) process through the concept of collaboration. The study encompasses two mutually supporting parts: a case study about Metsähallitus’ natural resource planning process for Southern Finland 2017-2022 and an equality analysis encompassing altogether four cooperation groups from natural resource planning processes. The aim of the study is to find out how trust building, commitment, social capital and stakeholders’ opportunities to influence decision-making were realized in the NRP process of Southern Finland. In addition, aspects of equality in natural resource planning are examined. Data of the case study consists of seven qualitative semi-structured interviews. Data is analyzed according to the principles of qualitative content analysis. Data of the equality analysis consists of six NRP cooperation groups’ participant lists and the data is analyzed with quantitative content analysis. Based on the results, opportunities to participate actualize most efficiently in the operational level of the cooperation group. The methods used and facilitator’s contribution enhance the realization of equality within the cooperation group. Stakeholders reported a few defects concerning equal processing of values and interests. For example, topics regarding forestry overweighs other topics. The representativeness of stakeholders was considered good. Representatives of public agencies are most frequently participating of all stakeholder groups. Every fifth participant was a woman. What comes to social capital, one of the main results was increased mutual understanding among stakeholders that resulted from learning from each other in the process. Stakeholders’ perceptions of their opportunities to influence decision-making were labeled partly by contentment and realism, but partly by a low level of expectations. Opportunity to influence in decision-making is a remarkable factor for commitment and motivation to participate. The context of NRP-process also affects the planning and its results, but further research on this topic is needed and I propose this as one future research topic. More research is also needed to evaluate on how one of the main principles of collaboration, sharing decision-making power, affects natural resource planning and its results, if adopted.
  • Kaivosoja, Arttu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Planning process for the Arctic Railway was initiated by the Ministry of Transport and Communications in 2017 and lasted until early 2019. The proposed railway line would cut through the homeland of the indigenous Sámi, which received harsh criticism from the Sámi Parliament for its adverse effects on the traditional Sámi culture and livelihood, both protected by the Constitution of Finland. In this thesis the claims of these two actors are analysed using the Justification theory and Justification analysis to gain insight into the underlying justifications that were used to either oppose or support the Arctic Railway. The results will also illuminate how the MTC’s use of justifications resulted in the constitutional rights of the indigenous Sámi being disregarded during the planning process. At the end of this thesis the reader should have a greater understanding of the Arctic Railway’s planning process, the main arguments and justifications of the two key actors, and how they were used to either resist or support the railway’s construction.
  • Sellman, Oona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Several studies have stated that social media has the potential to promote sustainable lifestyles. The purpose of this master’s thesis was to study the contents made by “eco-influencers” who make video blogs about sustainable lifestyles on YouTube. This thesis investigated what topics eco-influencers' videos deal with and what kind of means of argumentation are used. The theoretical background included research on sustainable lifestyles and consumption as well as the potential role of social media in promoting sustainable lifestyles. The study was conducted as a qualitative study and the video material was collected from YouTube according to criteria defined by the researcher. The channels of 20 influencers were selected for the final data. From each channel 1-2 videos were selected. At the end, a total of 39 videos were selected. The material was selectively transcribed, and that text served as the basis for the data-driven content analysis. The results show that the contents of the videos emphasize sustainable consumption and responsibility, especially individual responsibility. However, the videos had only a little content about the three most important aspects of a sustainable lifestyle: housing, mobility, and food. According to eco-influencers, sustainable lifestyles are closely linked to the concept of well-being. Sustainable consumption was considered a very important aspect of sustainable living. Eco-influencers mainly use their own experience, opinions, and comparison as a means of argumentation in their videos. Often the arguments were not substantiated with many scientific references. The results suggest that eco-influencers perceive complex sustainability themes as important but want to communicate them in a way that even laypeople understand. This will also make it easier for more non-experts to approach the matter and change their lifestyles. Justifying arguments with opinions and personal experiences can be based on the personal, even entertaining, format of the video blog, or on the fact that experiential knowledge or expertise is valued in social media. Based on the contents of the videos examined in this study, it seems unlikely that they would contribute to great lifestyle changes.
  • Koutonen, Heini (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Globaali väestönkasvu ja lisääntyvä kulutus ovat johtamassa muiden ongelmien ohella luonnonvarojen ehtymiseen ja maa- ja vesiekosysteemien saastumiseen. Eräs tapa ratkaista näitä ongelmia on siirtyä kohti resurssitehokkaampaa kiertotalousperiaatteiden mukaista luonnonvarojen käyttöä. Sekä taloudellisten ohjauskeinojen kautta syntyvät kannustimet että yritysten oma aloitteellisuus ovat keskeisiä kiertotalouden mukaisiin toimintatapoihin siirtyessä. Kokonaisvaltaisen muutoksen edistymistä helpottavat konkreettiset kiertotalouden indikaattorit ja mittaustavat. Ramboll Finland Oy:n ja Luonnonvarakeskuksen luoma alueellinen resurssivirtamalli huomioi kattavasti sekä raha- että materiaalimääräisten resurssien liikkeet tarkastelualueella. Tämän tutkielman tavoitteena on laajentaa kyseistä mallia ottamaan huomioon myös yksittäisen yrityksen näkökulma. Tutkimuksessa noudatettiin konstruktiivista lähestymistapaa, jossa luotiin alueelliseen resurssivirtamalliin uusi ulottuvuus yritystason analyysin muodossa. Keskeisenä menetelmänä käytettiin alueellista ympäristölaajennettua panos-tuotosanalyysiä. Tutkielmassa kehitettiin teoreettinen yritystasolle laajennettu alueellinen resurssivirtamalli, jonka toimintaa testattiin numeerisesti Lapin maakunnan kattavasti käyttäen esimerkkiyrityksenä kuvitteellista paperiteollisuuden yritystä. Muodostettuun malliin kytkettiin kiertotaloutta edistäviä taloudellisia ohjauskeinoja, joita olivat maa-ainesvero, vedenottovero, vedenkäyttövero, sekä arvonlisäverokannan lasku valituilla toimialoilla. Lisäksi tutkittiin yrityksen oma-aloitteista muutosta energianlähteiden käytössä. Mallilla pystyttiin havainnollistamaan, kuinka alueen raha- ja materiaalimääräiset resurssivirrat muuttuvat uuden yrityksen tullessa alueelle. Lisäksi muodostetun mallin avulla pystyttiin tarkastelemaan kiertotaloustoimien vaikutuksia sekä yrityksen että aluetalouden raha- ja materiaalimääräisiin resurssivirtoihin. Tutkielman tulosten mukaan ohjauskeinojen vaikutukset sekä yrityksen että alueen talouteen jäivät varsin pieniksi. Ympäristövaikutusten mallinnuksessa huomattiin, että mallin jatkokehittelyssä tulee tehdä rahamääräisen kokonaistuotannon irtikytkentä ympäristövaikutuksista todenmukaisempien tulosten saamiseksi. Vastaava malli voidaan tutkielmassa käytetyllä menettelyllä muodostaa kuvaamaan haluttua aluetta ja siihen voidaan kytkeä minkä tahansa yrityksen tiedot.
  • Pitkälä, Salla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Aviation emissions are on the rise as a result of growing numbers of air passengers and more efficient emission reductions in other industries. There are, however, a number of different means to achieve emissions reductions in aviation as well: these include, for example, technological solutions, taxes and different emissions compensation systems. In addition to these, a change in air travel behaviour has been suggested as a means to achieve emission reductions. However, there is no agreement about which solution or solutions should be prioritized. My thesis examines attitudes related to air travel and climate change in 17 Finnish blog texts. The blog texts were analysed using a qualitative attitude approach. The texts were analysed as collections of reactions to the claim that because of climate change, individuals should fly less. Based on the differences and similarities in reactions, or arguments, I categorized them and formed four groups of attitudes which highlight different ways of thinking about reducing individual air travel. The four groups of attitudes are the following: 1) attitudes that agree that individuals should fly less, 2) attitudes that question the claim, 3) mixed attitudes, and 4) attitudes that attempt to avoid the issue. As a part of the analysis, I also examined the bloggers’ perceptions about who should bear the responsibility for reducing aviation emissions and I also examined how these perceptions differ between the four groups of attitudes. The bloggers’ understandings of air travel vary between air travel as an unnecessary luxury and a view that flying is a crucial part of modern world and giving up air travel is not realistic. To achieve emission reductions, some bloggers are willing to switch from flying to travelling by land and sea, or they are ready to reduce travel altogether. Other bloggers stress the importance of technological solutions and policy measures in reducing emissions. Among the visible themes is also a tendency to stress the importance of doing things in moderation, which also applies to air travel. Some bloggers also wonder whether there are some reasons that could justify air travel from time to time. In any case, it is typical that bloggers show varying attitudes towards air travel and consider counterarguments to their initial arguments. In the blog texts, reducing aviation emissions comes across as a complex issue. Studying attitudes can help build knowledge about which means of reducing emissions are considered fair and desirable. Studying attitudes can also help locate barriers to environmentally friendly behaviour. In Finland, there is little research on attitudes towards air travel, and the results of my thesis can be utilized, for example, in planning transport policies or campaigns that promote sustainable travel. However, it should be noted that using blogs as research material poses some questions about the validity and the generalizability of the results. The public and potentially commercial nature of blogs may affect which kinds of attitudes are expressed. Because of this, it is important to study attitudes towards air travel by using different methods and material as well.