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Risk perception and worry in environmental decision-making - a case study within the Swedish steel industry
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Risk Research, ISSN 1366-9877, E-ISSN 1466-4461, Vol. 20, no 9, 1173-1194 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sustainable development is an important issue for the industry in order to fulfil legislation requirements and to be able to use green marketing as a competitive advantage. The Swedish steel industry has implemented a large number of environmental improvements, for example, within energy efficiency, raw materials and recyclability. Technical improvements can help the industry decrease its environmental impact; however, in order to reach sustainable development, more factors need to be considered: an effective environmental decision-making process, for example. This process may be influenced by personal factors such as risk perception and worry, which are factors that will not contribute to an effective decision-making process. The aim of this study was to investigate if personal worry and risk perception influenced environmental decision-making within the Swedish steel industry. Thirty-eight interviews were performed at 10 Swedish steelworks using the Q-methodology. The major perceived environmental risks with the facility and personal worry were assessed, compared to the day-to-day work. It was concluded that the major perceived risks were emissions of carbon dioxide, use of non-renewable energy and emissions of particulate matter. The decision-makers were mainly worried about emissions of carbon dioxide, emissions of dioxin and use of non-renewable energy. The environmental issues that were prioritised in practice (day-to-day work) were emissions of carbon dioxide, emissions of particulate matter and emissions of metals. Even though emissions of carbon dioxide were given the highest priority in the Q-sorts, there was in general no clear relationship between risk perception and personal worry with the prioritised environmental issues at the steelworks. The quantitative analysis of the Q-sorts and the qualitative interviews both showed that the day-to-day work was unaffected by personal worry and risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2017. Vol. 20, no 9, 1173-1194 p.
Keyword [en]
Decision-maker, Q-methodology, Risk perception, Steelwork, Worry
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Natural Science, Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-28705DOI: 10.1080/13669877.2016.1153498ISI: 000407463100005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-28705DiVA: diva2:645807
Projects
Stålkretsloppet
Funder
Mistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research
Available from: 2013-09-05 Created: 2013-09-05 Last updated: 2017-08-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Environmental preferences among steel stakeholders
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental preferences among steel stakeholders
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Emissions of carbon dioxide, dioxins, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter as well as use of non-renewable resources and energy are some important sustainability challenges for the Swedish steel industry. Much effort has been made, mainly by technical solutions, which to a high degree have decreased the emissions during the last 30 years.

Technical solutions however will not be sufficient to reach sustainable development, stakeholder involvement is also necessary. Stakeholder theory states that stake­holder involvement must include a dialog between the stakeholders involved and the operation. The first step in this process is to identify which key issues the stakeholders find most important and then the organisation needs to start interact with its stakeholders. This thesis deals with such issues.

Stakeholder preferences for environmental issues were assessed with conjoint analysis, Q-methodology and focus group discussions. The theory of planned behaviour was used to assess how attitudes were connected to background factors and a potential pro-environmental behaviour.

Five studies have been carried out in the framework of this thesis. The studies include: a literature review, method evaluation, evaluation of environ­mental objectives in stakeholder groups, screening of relevant factors, evaluation of steel environmental characteristics, identification of barriers to the introduction of new materials and the im­pact of worry and risk perception on strategic environmental decisions.

It can be concluded that the methods applied in the studies work well in eliciting preferences. It has been possible to show how different stakeholder groups as well as individuals prioritise environmental objectives and sustaina­bility issues. Since individuals within a stakeholder group vary considerably in preferences, the results from this thesis show the importance of illustrating results on an individual level instead of the traditional group level. Also, a method has been tested where the results were brought back to the respondents in order to stimulate discussions between different stakeholder groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kalmar: Linnaeus University Press, 2013. 148 p.
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations, 145
Keyword
conjoint analysis, environmental communication, focus group, light weighting, PLS, preferences, Q-methodology, risk perception, steel, stakeholders
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Natural Science, Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-28310 (URN)978-91-87427-46-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-09-20, Fullriggaren, Barlastgatan 11, Kalmar, 09:30 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Mistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research
Available from: 2013-09-09 Created: 2013-08-20 Last updated: 2013-09-09Bibliographically approved

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Alriksson, StinaFilipsson, Monika

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