Households are responsible for most direct and indirect resource use and environmental impact (e.g. 65 per cent of the global carbon footprint and 48 per cent of the global raw material use). Despite this, private households are not given a strong stake in the political debate. The prerequisites and opportunities of sustainable lifestyles are too often out of focus in the discussion on how to reduce e.g. climate change. Therefore, the sustainability transformation of society, an indispensable challenge in the 21st century, requires attention to the opportunities changes in lifestyles can provide. Households of different social and cultural background should be encouraged to adopt and spread innovative solutions and consumption patterns that affect radically lower footprints. Simultaneously, providers of innovative business solutions facilitating sustainable lifestyles should be involved and supported in going mainstream.
The project aims at mobilizing more than 70,000 private households in seven countries (Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, Spain, Mexico, India) to analyse their material and carbon footprints, and to plan and implement footprint reductions by behavioural change. The project develops also the tools for further up-scaling the approach.
ACCELERATOR serves to accompany and support such a transition. It consists of five tasks. Initially, existing online and offline tools and household studies are identified in order to better understand the state of the art in the partner countries. The knowledge gained in this way is incorporated in the following task of footprint calculation, individual roadmapping and experiments to reduce the household's footprints. During three rounds with an increasing number of households, a web tool and a communication platform will be developed to accelerate the sustainable lifestyle in the seven partner countries.