Waste Diversion and Reduction in a Green Office Building: A Social Practice Theory Lens
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A workplace, as an organisational setting, offers a suitable environment for reorienting employees’ daily routines toward the practice of environmental sustainability. This study addresses three central research questions: What discernible patterns exist in waste diversion and reduction practices over time within a workplace setting, both at the building-wide and tenant-specific levels? Does positive change in waste diversion practices within a workplace lead to a spillover effect, influencing employees' waste practices at home? How can shifts in waste diversion and reduction practices within a green office building be comprehensively conceptualized using the framework of social practice theory? Recognizing the importance of scale, this study employs a case study design to investigate the temporal evolution of waste diversion and reduction practices within a high-performance green building workplace context. By focusing on a specific case, the study examines how temporal shifts in these practices unfold, encompassing both tenant and building scales. Data collection methods encompass surveys to gather employee perspectives on waste diversion practices, waste assessments to analyse waste composition and generate quantitative insights, and daily monitoring of waste disposal activities to track and measure changes over time. Triangulating data from these sources ensures a comprehensive investigation. The findings reveal a positive trend in waste diversion practices at the building scale over time. At the tenant organizational scale, specific tenants exhibit significant improvements in both waste diversion and reduction practices, while others do not follow a similar positive trajectory. Moreover, this study underscores the workplace's role as a catalyst for sustainability beyond its boundaries. Positive changes in waste diversion practices at work can lead to a spillover effect, influencing employees to adopt similar practices at home. However, this effect is not immediate, with changes in home waste diversion practices showing a delayed response compared to the workplace. This research has significant implications for scholars and practitioners, emphasizing the importance of considering different scales, conducting temporal analyses, applying social practice theory, and recognizing the workplace as a catalyst for sustainability. Interdisciplinary collaboration and long-term impact assessments are essential for advancing sustainability practices within workplace environments. In summary, this study offers a comprehensive analysis of waste diversion and reduction practices in a workplace setting, shedding light on positive trends and variations across organizational scales. It underscores the workplace's potential to drive sustainability beyond its confines and provides valuable insights for scholars and practitioners seeking to promote environmental sustainability.
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Haimanot Moges (2023). Waste Diversion and Reduction in a Green Office Building: A Social Practice Theory Lens. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/19859