Local Businesses on Small Islands : Enabling the Transition to Sustainable Energy

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för strategisk hållbar utveckling

Abstract: Human activities pressure the socio-ecological system that maintains our quality of life by causing global repercussions such as climate change. The energy system, a major contributor to climate change due to its reliance on fossil fuels makes the transition to sustainable energy an imperative. The purpose of this thesis is to identify focus areas that support businesses in changing their energy habits. This leads to the research question: How can local businesses on small islands become drivers in the transition towards sustainable energy? The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) enabled us to employ a systems perspective, place sustainable energy into a comprehensive and scientific definition of sustainability, and align our findings’ relevance to a strategic approach. The Motivation-capability-implementation- results (MCIR) framework was a suitable tool for our needs. For data collection purposes, literature analysis and a case study on the French island Île d’Oléron were conducted. The main findings of the thesis are that in order for businesses to become drivers in the transition to sustainability energy, Awareness, Consistent and Proactive Political System, Engaged Community, Supporting Infrastructure, Financial Capability and Agile Approach need to be addressed. The six focus areas cover the many barriers and enablers for achieving sustainable energy. 

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