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Centre of Studies for Sustainable Development

Within the IGEAT, the Centre of studies of Sustainable Development focuses on the study of sustainable development through the analysis of its concepts, principles, and applications. In particular, the Cedd is working to develop knowledge of the social, political, and technical context of sustainable development and improve the understanding of the implementation of its principles.


Surveys on the existence of a knowledge-base on sustainable development - 1999, 2002, 2005, 2009

See the reports on This research has been conducted for the first time in 1999 via a questionnaire investigation technique in the whole country. Its objective was to try to grasp the perceptions, behaviours and attitudes of the interviewees concerning environmental issues as well as issues related to North-South co-operation. Four major themes composed this study: (i) the level of knowledge of respondents and their perception of the information coming from the media, (ii) the interest of the respondents regarding both studied issues, (iii) their perception of Belgian authorities regarding these issues, (iv) the effective behaviours put into practice by respondents. A second survey was realized in 2002, again in collaboration with HIVA from KULeuven. Its objective was double: (i) the evaluation -in reference with the 1999 survey- of changes that might have occurred in the perception of interviewees regarding crucial issues related to sustainable development and North-South co-operation; (ii) the integration of a set of complementary issues newly developed these last years. Simultaneously, the quantitative survey was completed by a qualitative one concerning key-persons of Belgian political, economical and public life. This second aspect of the survey allowed to point out the perception of Belgian opinion leaders regarding sustainable development.  A new version of the surbey is in progress, in collaboration with the VUB, and deals more particularily with the future of energy.


Study of policy instruments aimed at reducing energy consumption in various socio-economic groups in Belgium

Construction of a energy consumption barometer for Brussels households

The study consists in developing a barometer that could assess the evolution of Brussels households' practices, knowledge and attitudes about residential energy consumption. The barometer should be repeated each year in order to give sense to the indicators. These indicators are indeed conceived for a yearly basis repetition. The barometer would have two parts: - macro data, that would be easily gathered each year by diverse institutions - data gathered through survey among a representative sample of the Brussels population. Survey results should be analysed according to different socio-demographic variables.

Specifying household profiles for more efficient energy demand side management

Our study aims at knowing how households consume energy, what their attitudes and motivations are, in order to be able to take their constraints and practice into account when it comes to designing and developing instruments intended to modify their behaviours.Our study is based on a qualitative analysis by ''focus groups'' and in-depth interviews, in order to reach a precise understanding of the attitudes and behaviours found in some consumption sectors. This analysis notably permits to determine which instruments are most likely to induce behaviour changes in the different profiles. Completed by field studies, this analysis allow to determine and refine the profiles according to their sensitivity to some ranges of instruments. In parallel with this profile identification work, an inventory and an analysis of the instruments developed in the field of RUE will be conducted, with a special attention to the criteria used in order to take into account the characteristics of the publics aimed at. We shall equally study the socio-technical dynamic of the installation within households of equipments consuming and saving energy. In this framework a particular attention will be paid to the intermediaries who play a part not only as senders but also as receivers of the instruments developed in the field of RUE. As the qualitative analysis does not allow a quantitative extrapolation of the results, it will be completed by a quantitative phase with a view to identify the most frequent attitude logic and to collect a range of data on the variables interfering with household energy consumption. It will then be possible to assess the impact of the information campaigns and other political instruments


Household Energy Consumption and Rebound EffectThe aim of the project is to study the rebound effects linked to the increased efficiency of energy use by Belgian households, and to analyse the policy instruments to attenuate, neutralize or possibly prevent the counterproductive phenomena of rebound.This project focuses on dwelling energy consumption (heating, electricity) and household mobility (work, leisure).

Identification of prioritarian product categories for the federal environmental product policy

Pursuying their objective to define a federal product policy, the Ministry for Federal Environmental Affairs asked the Institut de Conseil et d'Etudes en Développement Durable and VITO to identify - via an aggregated LCA-methodology - a series of prioritarian product categories for immediate action. The CEDD participated to this effort by organizing stakeholder validation of these priorities. This validation was achieved by organizing a national round-table with stakeholders. 

Climate change mitigation policies and social justice in Belgium

Case studies to explore convergence and contradictions between these two objectives

Integration of Standards, Ecodesing and Users in energy-using products

The ISEU (for Integration of Standards, Ecodesing and Users in energy-using products) project is conceived as an integrated socio-technological study about the manufacturing and the using of household energy consuming appliances. It relies on the skills of three partners in order to examine how standards and ecodesign could take into account the use phase and the different kinds of users. This shall be done by studying three topics in the domain of EuP: -	User's dynamics: How do users appropriate appliances? What do they expect from their appliances? Which role could play appliances in teaching more eco-efficient behaviours? -	Standard's dynamics: How are standards elaborated? How do ecodesign schemes fit in the construction of standards? -	Producers' dynamics: how do they take into account users' practices and needs in the design phase? Which options do they take/not take that have an impact on energy use, and why? The project will have a particular focus on the interface between appliances and users. This interface will be viewed from both points of view: -	users and their habits, practices and knowledge -	producers and the possibility to integrate ecodesign standards. In other words, the project will examine what is the actual room for manoeuvre in the elaboration of standards in order to ease energy demand side management in households. EuPs will be studied as an agency of constraints of different kinds:  technological, economical, ergonomic, social and cultural, health and safety, environmental. The aim of the project is to analyse how an eco-conception could reallocate these constraints. In which LCA phase should standardisation be carried out? Which norms should be implemented? The project will evaluate the potential for technological improvements from the point of view of energy consumption and will recommend policy measures making it possible to realize gradually this potential.