Our sustainability research focuses on understanding the social and psychological factors which may help to understand and change (un)sustainable behaviours and practices. 

Our work examines a broad range of environmental issues from the local to the global. Much of this work is multidisciplinary in nature and aims to support environmental policy and management.

Key research areas

Our work falls within five key areas: 

  • Resources and energy
  • Transport
  • Sustainable consumption
  • Sustainable urban living
  • Waste, pollution and litter
  • Knowledge exchange.

Resources and energy

The depletion of non-renewable energy sources and materials and environmental pollution caused by the burning of fuels are major societal issues. Our work examines people’s perceptions of energy issues and their responses to energy-saving policies, interventions and technologies.


The transport modes people use for work and leisure have a major impact on the environment as well as the transport users themselves. Cars, can get people to places quick and easy but also cause noise, pollution and dangers.

Our research provides an environmental psychology perspective on transport choices and behaviours. It examines why and how people use different modes and how this affects them, their wellbeing, their social and environmental perceptions and their identities.

Sustainable consumption

One of the major challenges in today’s society is the rapid increase in- and replacement of the consumption of material goods and products. Excessive production and consumption of material products damages the natural environment and results in rapidly depleting natural resources.

There is also significant evidence that an excessive focus on material consumption is associated with lower wellbeing.

Our research examines how we can tackle excessive consumption in order to promote more sustainable lifestyles characterised by lower environmental impact and high wellbeing.

Sustainable urban living

This research is linked to the University's Urban Living Strategic Research Theme.

Waste, pollution and litter

This work examines how waste, litter and pollution in the environment affects human interaction and experiences with those environments as well as people’s awareness of this waste and pollution and their willingness to help protect environments and prevent and clean waste and pollution.

Knowledge exchange

Knowledge exchange and impact are central to a lot of the work we conduct withing the EPRG.

EPRG is co-leading (with the University of Exeter) a major ESRC investment that aims to champion environmental social science in the UK: ACCESS (Advancing Capacity for Climate and Environment Social Science).

The natural environment

The EPRG conducts a range of different research projects examining if, when and how people benefit from engaging with natural places. A key aim of our work is to contribute to the design and management of natural spaces and nature-interventions to maximise their benefit for all.