Browsing by Subject "Global Sustainability"

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  • 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.
  • Ryöppy, Selja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    A systemic change in the current modes of production and consumption, a so-called sustainability transition, is required to overcome large-scale society-transforming phenomena such as the climate change. This in turn demands changes in socio-technical systems, i.e., the networks of actors, institutions, technologies, material artefacts, and knowledge creation. In this thesis, the Finnish construction and housing sector is used as a case study, and an example of one socio-technical system. By focusing on the socio aspect of the socio-technical, I analyse how actors who are involved in the current system may inhibit or enable a sustainability transition. I seek to answer the following questions: what the relevant definitions of and foci for climate-wise action are among stakeholders in the sector in Finland; how actor-related barriers manifest themselves; and which actors could enable or speed up the transition. This thesis builds on sustainability transition theories, especially multi-level perspective and strategic niche management, to better understand actor roles and relationships. Based on a literature review, I define three actor-related barriers to transition (misaligned vision and focus, small network, and pro-regime actor resistance) and one potential enabler (intermediaries). These are then applied to the Finnish context. In this thesis, I employed stakeholder analysis as the methodology, interviewing a pre-defined set of 21 stakeholders. The results were analysed using content and social network analyses. The results suggest that although the understanding of climate-wise construction and housing is gaining a more holistic perspective, the three barriers all still manifest in the sector in Finland: all the stakeholders are engaged in energy-related topics, but hold differing foci on household choices, low-carbon materials and circularity; the network amongst actors seems relatively dense and inclusive, but improvement points emerge with closer examination; although results suggest that development has happened in the recent years, industries and incumbents are still considered too slow-moving. The importance of intermediation is also recognised by many but defining and picking potential intermediaries out of the crowd is a complex task. Overall, the sector may be moving forward in the transition, but the stakeholders create and uphold both barriers and opportunities in the process.
  • Aula, Onerva (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This study aims to understand how cities adapt to environmentally induced hazards, like floods. Extreme floods are interesting firstly, because climate change is predicted to increase flooding in several places globally in the future, and secondly, because even a small risk could be realised in the right conditions. The methods are a case study of flood adaptation in Helsinki, qualitative content analysis, interviews, and a scenario. Land use planning is chosen as the context of the case study, because densification challenges flood preparedness. The material consists of the zoning plan of Helsinki, its flood risk management related appendixes and interviews with city experts. The qualitative content analysis aims to answer the first research question: How does land use planning consider extreme floods in Helsinki? The scenario, in turn, aims to answer the second research question: In what ways might an extreme flood challenge the current land use planning in Helsinki? The interviews are mainly used to support the other methods. The results lead to one main argument, for which I present several justifications. The argument is that the flood risk management and land use planning in Helsinki, the urban structure of which is densifying, do not sufficiently consider the risk related to extreme floods, even though climate change is increasing the likelihood of such. In the end, I present some policy recommendations to change this.
  • Hynynen, Outi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    A common understanding of partnership goals is widely acknowledged to be one of the most crucial factors of a partnership project’s success. This thesis examines a partnership between the city of Espoo and five company partners and looks for processes and conditions that support a common understanding of the project goals. The aim is to support future sustainability-partnerships by giving managers concrete tools for facilitating goal-alignment by answering the research question “how did the partners accept and adapt to a common sustainability goal?” The data consists of interviews conducted with the project employees from both the city and the private entities, the project contract and web communications published by the partners. The data was analyzed using theme categories derived from the literature, seeking to first find the answer of whether the official partnership goal was adopted an accepted by the partners, and then comparing those observations to the experiences that partners had had working in the collaboration. It seems that the project goal was adopted and accepted in this case, and based on the findings five key mechanisms for how that was achieved and what future managers can therefore consider were recognized: 1) the organizational goals of the partner organizations were sufficiently compatible with the partnership goal, 2) the partnership goal was broad enough to leave room for later adjustments, 3) the partners were further divided into smaller sub-tasks with supporting sub-goals, 4) there was a lot of mandatory group-work and 5) all of the above-mentioned features were taken into account already in the design-phase of the partnership, and programmed into the day-to-day activities of the collaboration.
  • 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.
  • Kolari, Tiia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Biodiversity is essential for human wellbeing and activities as it supports a diverse set of ecosystem services. Currently, biodiversity is rapidly declining. Biodiversity loss is the second significant global risk after climate change. To reduce environmental stress, there is a need to find sustainable alternatives to unsustainable raw materials and consumables. The chemical industry has an important role in developing environmentally friendly solutions such as bio- based products and solutions, which require utilization of biomass. However, extraction of bio- based raw materials creates more pressure on biodiversity and contributes to biodiversity loss. It is essential that companies who extract natural resources are transparent about their actions concerning biodiversity. By adequately sharing information in corporate reports, companies can enhance their legitimacy. This thesis contributes to scientific discussion on biodiversity reporting which is researched to a limited extent. Material of the thesis was collected from corporate reports and interviews with globally operating chemical companies. By using qualitative content analysis, this thesis describes how chemical companies report on biodiversity as part of their corporate reporting to maintain their legitimacy and how biodiversity is perceived within the chemical industry. Biodiversity is a complex concept and intangible system, which cannot be sufficiently measured yet. This may help to explain why biodiversity reporting within the chemical industry is varying and inconsistent. There is a need to improve companies’ understanding on biodiversity to enhance biodiversity reporting. Adequate reporting can help to understand complex natural processes, enhance environmental protection, and reduce the problem of greenwashing.
  • Lahti, Arttu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The need to develop and expand urban areas is increasing in most countries, but urbanization also increases the threat for global biodiversity. Some cities have acknowledged this challenge and formed strategies and action plans for biodiversity preservation. How can we ensure that such strategies are realized in city planning? Negotiations are a crucial part of urban planning, and therefore can be a leverage point of intervention to effectively implement strategies to pro-tect biodiversity. However, little is known about the dynamics of the actual negotiation process in city planning. I applied a game theoretic approach to study how information availability influences the suc-cess and efficiency of negotiations. A role-playing game was used to simulate a negotiation on specific measures to preserve biodiversity in a residential building project. Eleven urban devel-opment specialists played the game with different sets of information. In addition to the direct outcomes of the negotiation, I analysed the post hoc discussion and arguments used to gain in-sights into perceptions of biodiversity-related negotiations in urban planning. Results indicate that information availability can increase the efficiency of negotiations. Partici-pants favour principled and integrative negotiation, but incomplete information seems to push them to take a more positional stance. The post hoc discussion also reveals some issues rele-vant to the design of urban planning process for biodiversity. The overall results suggest that a simple game-theoretic framework, implemented in (a) game-like simulation with quasi-experimental control and (b) qualitative analysis of discussions, holds potential for both under-standing (i) how decision makers frame and resolve the negotiation with conflicting interests and (ii) how to design efficient administrative processes taking into account not only the partic-ipants’ preferences but also wider public interests, such as biodiversity preservation.
  • Holopainen, Sini (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    During the time of ecological crisis, it is important to find new approaches on how to produce welfare within planetary and ecological boundaries. Besides focusing on technical and societal changes I state in this thesis that there is a need for focus on human’s spiritual side to solve wide sustainability issues. Immaterial welfare is highlighted with people who are practicing spirituality, in this case meditation with Buddhist background. Enhancing immaterial welfare is important in the world in which overconsumption is dwindling biodiversity and planetary resources. In this master’s thesis I discuss how acknowledging peoples’ inner worlds is an essential part of holistic sustainability transition towards sustainable welfare and society. According to previous research spiritual practices such as meditation and mindfulness can support sustainable behaviour in many ways. People practicing meditation with Buddhist background try to live in a way that reduces their own suffering and suffering of living beings around them. When living in a mindful state it may be easier to make daily choices that are aligning with one’s values. Those who practice meditation may feel stronger connection to nature which can foster ecological behaviour. In this thesis I conducted nine interviews with nine meditation practitioners who are regularly practicing meditation with Buddhist background. I focused on their lifestyle that takes environmental aspects into account and how do they perceive that the meditation practice helps them to live in sustainable way. Central questions in the interviews included connectedness to nature, values and adapting and reacting to ecological crisis. I analysed the interviews using content-guiding theory analysis reflecting previous research. Meditation itself does not transform one to become more environmentally friendly but it can for example help to live by own values. Buddhist philosophy and spiritual lessons based in Buddhism play important roles in the meditation practices of the people I interviewed. Those lessons can motivate them to act respectfully towards all kinds of living beings and reduce their suffering. The people in this study live out environmentally friendly lifestyle in multiple ways. The interviewees highlighted many immaterial factors in their wellbeing from relationships to being in silence. In addition, spiritual practice can support them with difficult emotions that can arise from the news about the environment and climate. Altogether the sustainability science could benefit from considering human’s spiritual sides and the lost connection to self and the surrounding world.
  • 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)
    Mobility, the somewhat regular and recurring physical movement of people from place to place, is a very important part of a broader transition to sustainability. In Finland the transport sector accounts for 20 % of total greenhouse gas emissions and while emissions have been steadily declining, the pace is not sufficient to meet current emission cut targets. When looking at household generated greenhouse gas emissions, mobility is the single largest contributor. Previous research has focused a lot on technological advancements and individuals’ choices as causes and solutions to sustainable mobility. These approaches have been criticized for underemphasizing the importance of social conditions. Practice theories have been presented as an alternative way of understanding mobility behaviors, challenging the mainstream individualistic explanations. Practices are routinized human behaviors that are made of several elements of materials, meanings, and competences. This thesis adopts a practice theoretical view in analyzing people’s mobility before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim is to learn what practice theory can teach us about sustainable mobility, and how the pandemic has affected people’s mobility in Finland. Nine semi-structured interviews were conducted, asking the participants about their mobility practices before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, forming a comprehensive picture of their daily lives from a mobility point of view. The results were analyzed using qualitative theory-based content analysis. The results indicated that people’s mobility is a complex system which was largely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Various elements either enabling or hindering the use of different transport modes were identified, as were important connections between different mobility practices. Practice theory has been often used to research one mobility practice at a time and the broader look of this study, focusing on multiple mobility practices, is potentially the most important contribution this thesis makes to previous mobility research. While not providing direct answers to how people’s mobility could be made more sustainable, this thesis makes an important contribution to practice theoretical mobility research which in a Finnish context is very scarce.
  • 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.
  • Råberg, Mirka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Circular economy (CE) is often offered as a solution to mitigate climate change and more efficient resource use. However, the socio-cultural side of transformation to CE is widely overlooked in the academic literature (Kirchherr et al., 2018) and in the context of CE, consumer-citizens are often framed as “consumers”, “users” and in terms of “acceptance” of new products and modes of provision (Hobson & Lynch, 2016). In fact, taking part in CE can be quite laborious and the notion of consumption work highlights the time, skills and access needed to participate in circular consumption (Hobson et al., 2021). Existing research on CE skills are scarce, outdated and focused on only one practice at a time. The research gap of citizens’ CE skills has been identified by several researchers (e.g. Hobson et al., 2021; Wieser, 2019) and this thesis aims to fulfil the gap by adopting a qualitative approach. The data on which this research is based on, consists of semi-structured interviews with 20 Finnish citizens who have been active in implementing zero waste lifestyles and responsible consumption principles that are relevant for CE. By exploring their everyday practices related to CE, I identify six skill categories that the active citizens utilise to take part in CE. Particularly (1) manual skills were identified by the interviewees as central to performing circular activities. They include skills such as sewing and technical skills that enable repair and repurposing materials. The interviewees possess (2) divergent thinking skills and abilities to think creatively, for example about the ways you can use a certain item. They are also skilful in questioning consumption related social norms. (3) Research and communication skills are central for active citizens as they are trying to figure out the most sustainable options and inspire others with humour and positivity to take part in the circular economy. The interviewees describe often utilising (4) organising and prioritising skills that revolve around time management. They need to make decisions and prioritise certain actions that preferably are quite influential in terms of their carbon footprint. Moreover, when buying products second hand they should start looking for the items early and with rental options, the need should be anticipated and planned. Another identified set of skills are (5) household skills. They include maintenance skills of household goods and clothes, cooking skills to avoid food waste by using creativity and planning as well as recycling skills on sorting different fractions. The respondents also described (6) skills brought by experience. Knowledge on different second hand marketplaces and the skills to recognise good quality on materials and items enable circular practices. One of the main contributions of this thesis is consolidation of various sets of citizen skills relevant for the CE into a single framework. The findings further illustrate that consumer-citizens are doing a multitude of CE activities that require consumption work and certain skills. The findings provide information on how citizens engage and coordinate CE practices on the household level by prioritising and planning, a topic on which research has been lacking (Hobson et al., 2021). The skills of “thinking outside the box” are also a new set of skills that emerged from the interviews and it has a clear connection to the “unlearning” of noncircular consumption practices (Wieser, 2019). The identified skills could be taught more through formal and informal education channels, but it should be considered, how infrastructure, companies and services can ease people’s participation in CE. Findings of the thesis offer insight on the domestic reality of CE and how it could be improved in the Finnish context.
  • Vo, Quynh Le (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    As the effects of climate change have become increasingly more visible in recent years, interest in climate adaptation has grown in both research and policy contexts. However, although Southeast Asia is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change impacts, there has not yet been an effort to comprehensively track how Southeast Asian countries and communities are adapting to climate change. I apply a systematic review methodology developed for adaptation research to map adaptation responses identified in the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) projects in Southeast Asia in 2016-2020. My results show that close to a fifth of the ADB’s adaptation projects in Southeast Asia is implemented in Cambodia, while Thailand and Timor-Leste are the least covered countries. In general, the characteristics of my examined projects are relatively similar to global adaptation trends. Flooding, drought, storms, and other heavy rainfall events are the most frequently addressed climate hazards by both the projects I examined as well as by UNFCCC climate fund projects and by adaptation responses documented in scientific papers. The sectors addressed and actors targeted by ADB projects were also typical to multilateral funding institutions, focusing on the agricultural and water sectors as well as national and local governments and farmers. Capacity building was the most frequent adaptation response category, indicating that adaptation implementation as delivered by the ADB is still in a relatively early phase in most Southeast Asian countries. In addition to results related to climate adaptation in Southeast Asia, I also demonstrate the applicability of a systematic review methodology for tracking climate change adaptation responses implemented by multilateral development banks, given sufficient information is made available on relevant projects.
  • 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.
  • Tuuliainen, Suvi Tuuli Eufrosyne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Ympäristökriisi on yksi aikamme suurimmista globaaleista ongelmista. Voimakkaana tekijänä kriisissä ovat ihmisten valinnat niin arjen kuluttamisessa kuin yleisessä käyttäytymisessä luontoa kohtaan. Ympäristömyönteinen käyttäytyminen kumpuaa luontoyhteydestä, jonka nähdään rappeutuneen nyky-yhteiskunnassamme. Tästä johtuen lisäämällä ihmisten luontoyhteyttä voisimme edistää heidän ympäristömyönteistä käyttäytymistään. Tämä tutkielma käsittelee luontoyhteyden ja ympäristömyönteisen käyttäytymisen välistä yhteyttä. Tavoitteena on hahmottaa, millä tavoin tämä yhteys muodostuu, jotta voimme lisätä ihmisten ympäristömyönteistä käyttäytymistä syvällä ja perusteellisella tasolla. Tutkielmassa pyritään vastaamaan tähän systemaattisen kirjallisuuskatsauksen keinoin perehtymällä aiempien tutkimusten aihepiireihin ja niiden teoreettiseen pohjaan koskien luontoyhteyden ja ympäristömyönteisen käyttäytymisen suhdetta. Katsauksessa löydettiin 38 kappaletta soveltuvia artikkeleita, joita analysoitiin luokittelemalla niitä seuraavin perustein: 1) millaisia yhteyksiä aiempi tutkimus on luonut luontoyhteyden ja ympäristömyönteisen käyttäytymisen välille, ja 2) mitä välittäviä muuttujia luontoyhteyden ja ympäristömyönteisen käyttäytymisen välillä on havaittu aiemmissa tutkimuksissa. Tutkimuksen mukaan aineistosta voidaan muodostaa kolme kategoriaa, jotka ovat: 1) CTN-PEB, 2) x-CTN-PEB, and 3) CTN-x-PEB. Tutkimuksessa syvennyttiin eniten kategoriaan numero kolme, jossa luontoyhteyden ja ympäristömyönteisen käyttäytymisen suhdetta selvitettiin erilaisten välittävien muuttujien avulla. Jatkotutkimusta kausaalisen yhteyden selvittämiseksi tarvitaan.
  • Kuusela, Karoliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Digitaalisia teknologioita hyödynnetään lisääntyvästi kansalaisosallistumisen vahvistamisessa sekä vahvan ja osallistuvan demokratian toteuttamisessa. Tämän niin sanotun e-osallistumisen tai digitaalisen osallistumisen päämääränä on aktivoida kansalaisia ja madaltaa osallistumiskynnystä sekä rohkaista heitä keskusteluun julkisen hallinnon kanssa. Teknologiset ratkaisut lupaavat tiiviimmän ja reaaliaikaisenkin keskusteluyhteyden hallinnon ja kansalaisten välillä. E-osallistuminen koetaan myös ratkaisuna maaseuduille tyypillisten niukkenevien resurssien ja pitkien etäisyyksien haasteisiin. Kiinnostus e-osallistumiseen on tutkimusten mukaan kuitenkin vähäistä. Osallistumista tukevia teknologisia ratkaisuja olisi tarjolla, mutta niiden hyödyntämiseen ei olla innostuttu kunnissa. Tässä tutkimuksessa kartoitetaan, kuinka kuntaorganisaation viranhaltijat kokevat kuntalaisten osallistumisen sekä millaisia haasteita ja mahdollisuuksia he liittävät e-osallistumisen teknologisiin ratkaisuihin. Tutkimusaineisto koostuu 11 teemahaastattelusta, jotka kerättiin Mikkelin kaupungin eri palvelualueita edustavilta viranhaltijoilta. Haastattelupuhe on sosiaalisesti rakentunutta ja aineistoa tarkasteltiin teoriasidonnaisesti kehysanalyyttisella otteella. Analyysissa selvitettiin keskeiset osallistumiseen liittyvät kehystämistavat viranhaltijoiden näkökulmasta. Haastateltavat puhuivat osallistumisesta velvollisuuksien kehyksessä ja käytäntöjen kehyksessä. Vaikka osallistumista pidettiin tärkeänä, ristivetoa esiintyi velvollisuuksien (kuntalaki ja kuntalaisten osallistumismahdollisuudet) ja käytäntöjen (nykyiset toimintakulttuurit ja niukat resurssit) välillä. Edustuksellisen päätöksenteon ja kuntalaisten osallistumisen suhde osoittautui kitkaiseksi. Myös kuntalaisten näkökulmaa ja mielekkäitä osallistumisen tapoja olisi tulosten mukaan kehitettävä. Lisäksi kuntaorganisaatioiden nykyiset toimintakulttuurit kaipaavat osallistumisen huomioon ottavaa uudistamista ja riittävän resursoinnin varmistamisen.
  • Mäki, Ilona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Biochar is a porous, carbon-rich material, made from organic material by pyrolysis in low oxygen conditions, and it can be used to sequester carbon into the soil. This review aspires to give an overview of the economic dimensions of using biochar in Finnish (Boreal and sub-boreal) forests. A literature review was conducted to collect and summarize the information about studies and applications elsewhere, and how we could possibly apply them into Finnish forest ecosystems. This thesis is done as part of Helsus Co-Creation Lab -project, where our group was tasked with looking into how biochar could enhance biodiversity in soil and accelerate transformation to low carbon economy. From this larger topic, this paper is looking into the economic side, and whether it is economically viable to use biochar to enhance and uphold biodiversity. This is evaluated by reviewing and categorizing 164 papers and conducting a literature review. My conclusions are that the current biochar applications show lower economic efficiency than other carbon dioxide abatement technologies. The stability of biochar in soil is a key factor, as the half-lives of biochars may not be as long as commonly suggested. Furthermore, competition for biomass resource use can restrict the availability of feedstock, and make it more expensive. Subsidies for biochar application are required if biochar is to be- come a significant part of the national or global climate mitigation policy. The results in different articles are quite variable and there is currently no standard approach to them. There is a need for specific research on what kind of biochar benefits what soil and vegetation, which is expensive. A primary goal is to incorporate a consistent and standardized testing or analysis method for biochar stability into the certification programs run and administered by the International and the European Biochar Initiatives. In the foreseeable future, biochar by itself is unlikely to play a significant role in climate mitigation strategies. Biochar might be just one of several alternatives in a bundle strategy to re- duce carbon emissions. However, its potential use must still be researched more.
  • 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.