The Blue Angel – Environmental Communication for Children and Young People

The research project is aiming to establish the environmental label ‘The Blue Angel’ as a trustworthy source for independent environmental and product information around the subject of sustainable consumption. It also wants to improve the mental presence of “The Blue Angel” for the target group ‘children and young people’’ and to convey the label as a guideline for sustainable consumption behavior.

Research approach

The research project is outlined as a transdisciplinary project: From a social-scientific, environmental education and communication theoretical point of view, measures are to be developed to motivate young people to consume in a more sustainable manner . Here, current knowledge on design and brand communication will play an integral part. The focus will be on the development of a communication strategy that is taking the changing communication needs and profiles of young people into account as well as the demands of teachers and communication trainers. The communication formats and materials to be developed have to meet the standards of education for sustainable development (BNE). The young people’s common knowledge and everyday experiences have to be taken into consideration with the aim to convey creative competences: taylor-made communication formats and measures shall awaken the students’ curiosity and motivate them to gather information on the various options of sustainable consumption, to apply them in everyday life and share them with others.

Background

The values on which the term ‚sustainable development‘ is based are shared by a wide majority of the younger generation. It is therefore remarkable that environmental topics hardly play a role in young people’s media world and in their day-to-day life. That means that there is great potential for target group specific environmental communication in the media and particularly on the internet. Here, environmental and sustainability labels can serve as a guideline. The ‘Blue Angel’ is the worldwide oldest environmental label. Nevertheless, a target group analysis made by ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research shows that the ‘Blue Angel’ is perceived to a lesser extent by the age group of people under 35. Now, the challenge consists of making children and young people appreciate the aims of sustainable development in the field of consumption and to make them put those aims into practice.

Research and project partners

  • Leuphana University of Lüneburg – UNESCO Chair for Higher Education
  • Umweltlernen in Frankfurt am Main e.V.
  • University of Mainz – Study Unit Communication Design

Funding

The project „Environmental communication: taking the generation conflict into view – Improving the effectiveness of the ‘The Blue Angel’ for children and young people” is carried out on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency. UFOPLAN 2016 – FKZ 3716 37 310 0

Duration

2016/07 – 2019/07