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How to Make People Make a Change – Using Social Labelling for Raising Awareness on Sustainable Manufacturing

Roeder, Ina; Scheibleger, Matthias; Stark, Rainer

FG Industrielle Informationstechnik

Raising awareness on sustainable manufacturing, especially when it comes to low qualified target groups, remains a challenge. After a decade of considerable campaigning work, the majority of German population still does not understand the holistic concept of a sustainable development, let alone its manufacturing aspects. More effective communication methods are required. The main challenge lies within stirring people's willingness to gain knowledge and to actually consider it when making behavioral choices. In the reported research, the socio-psychological concept of social labelling is introduced as a method for raising the awareness on sustainable manufacturing of non-professional target groups and for triggering durable behavioral change. A social label is largely independent from actual knowledge, attitudes or behavior; it rather enforces attributed personal traits. A field experiment, in which the influence of social labelling on the awareness and behavior of young recipients of an informational event has been measured, has verified the method for the purpose of sustainability communication.