Objective. Changes in thinking and behavior of consumers are required to solve global environmental problems. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems may play a significant role for increasing attention to energy issues and behavioral change. The present study focuses on a concept of “psychological proximity to PV systems”, that is, a feeling that regards PV systems as a symbol and attachment object, and aims to revealwhether and how it affects energy-saving behavior based on the Value-Belief-Norm (VBN) theory in the social-psychological field. Questionnaire surveys were conducted with 281 households which send their children to three nursery schools (two with and one without PV systems) in Iida city, Nagano prefecture. The questionnaire comprises about 20 questions such as the psychological proximity to PV systems, awareness of energy issues, energy-saving behavior. The collected data was statistically analyzed to find causal relationships between the psychological proximity of PV systems and variables in the VBN theory. In addition, an intervention study to increase the psychological proximity to PV systems at a nursery school was carried out to observe changes in VBN variables associated with the proximity increase. Results and Discussion. The results of covariance structure analysis show that the psychological proximity to PV systems positively affects some VBN variables, suggesting that it encourages energy-saving behavior through activating the altruistic and biospheric value, and might directly promote two types of energy-saving behavior (i.e. domestic energy-saving behavior, support of energy saving policies). Furthermore, statistical analysis of the intervention study data finds that there is an almost significant relationship between two increases in the psychological proximity to PV systems and the altruistic and biospheric value. Consequently, the psychological proximity to PV systems may directly and indirectly facilitate to engage people in more energy-saving behavior. Conclusions and Perspectives. The present study revealed a possible mechanism to generate energy-saving behavior when PV systems exist in our daily living area and we have a positive feeling for them. An important conclusion is that the mechanism seems to be different from those to explain behavioral change by conventional energy and environmental education. In the future, authors will collect data by using more long-term follow up survey to thoroughly analyze the mechanism. In addition, we plan to improve the intervention study, and provide effective measures to increase the psychological proximity of PV systems.
Objective. The objective of our supermarket case study is to make consumers aware of the carbon footprint of products (CFP). 130 products were calculated on their CFP and a publicity campaign was undertaken to inform consumers of the CFP. In the publicity campaign, we introduced the CFP in combination with human health. Quick calculation of the CFP is important in increasing the number of CFP product. We introduced a semi-automatic calculation system so that we can shorten the computing time of the CFP. Results and Discussion. 50 of the 130 products with the CFP have been sold with the CO-OP Sapporo private label. We designed a package for the private label in order to announce the CFP to consumers. The design is so simple and specific that the consumers can recognize the CFP at one view. We have also distributed pamphlets in which our approach for the CFP is written. We introduced the CFP in combination with nutrient factors both in the package design and in the pamphlets. We expected that consumers would become interested in the CFP together with nutrient factors. Our developed semi-automatic calculation system picks up the data in a data acquisition file in which raw data on the production process of each product are recorded. CO2 emission factors and transportation distance are automatically obtained by searching in installed databases and Google Maps. Results of the calculation are stored in a Microsoft Excel file. The computing time of our system is one-tenth to two-tenths as long as that of manual calculation. We carried out questionnaire surveys in 2014 and 2015 in order to examine our approach. The results indicated that a ratio of consumers who knew our private-label of the CFP increased after our approach. Conclusions. Our approach for the CFP in supermarkets contributed to an increase in the number of consumer who knew about the CFP of specific products. However, many consumers did not recognize the CFP label even though they read the designed package. Our approach shows that it is difficult to provide CFP-labeled products and influence consumer behavior through CFP products.