The Centre for Environmental Justice and Sustainable Futures (CJSF) at Franklin University Switzerland supports research, teaching, and community activities at the intersection of cultural practices and the environment.

Image: © Alison Pouliot
ABOUT CJSF

Our focus grows from the conviction that to engage effectively with the environmental and societal challenges facing today's world, researchers and educators need to work together not only across the social sciences, natural sciences and humanities, but also beyond university walls. Finding solutions for a world increasingly shaped by climate change and social injustice requires stakeholders to collaborate with one another across generations, between town and gown, and among disciplines. Our mission is to provide a vibrant platform to bring together interested researchers, artists and authors, students, alumni and community leaders to conduct research, and collaborate on projects, events and educational and outreach initiatives across Switzerland and Europe.

Education

The CJSF acts as an educational hub for Franklin's programs in Social Justice and Sustainability, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, Art History and Visual Culture and the Zurich Program in Sustainable Cities. These programs allow students to explore issues of sustainability and justice through the lenses of literature, art, history, cultural studies, film, creative writing and environmental sciences/studies, encouraging the exchange of ideas across the ever-changing definitions of what it means to be environmentally and socially sustainable in the various domains of human activities.

Franklin is committed to an interpretation of the liberal arts that is both topic-based and hands-on. We encourage our undergraduate and graduate students to go beyond the classroom in a number of programs, including our signature Academic Travel program, our Zurich Program and our internship program In the Environmental Humanities, to understand how to apply different kinds of knowledge and different disciplinary perspectives to the world. This sort of experiential learning helps us conceptualize thoughtful and effective responses to climate change and environmental injustice.

The CJSF supports research projects among undergraduates, graduates, postdocs, professors, and members of different local and national communities, and builds networks among researchers and practitioners at universities across Europe and Switzerland, and North America through research collaborations, conferences, lecture series and the Sustainable Cities Forum, a symposium dedicated to student research that takes place every May at Franklin University Switzerland. The ambition of the CJSF is to educate change agents for a just, climate-friendly and ecological future.

RESEARCH

We invite and support research from inter-and transdisciplinary perspectives, including artistic practices, and we encourage our faculty, our postdocs and our students to tackle environmental and social justice problems through the combined lenses of narrative, film, art, history, environmental and justice studies.

Current research projects address topics such as change agents in Swiss biodiversity, urban sustainability, refugee studies, migration and social justice, and soil. Our researchers have received grants from the Bundesamt für Umwelt (The Federal Office for the Environment, FOEN), the SAGUF, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and Franklin University's Faculty Development Fund.

PUBLICATIONS
Why not promote promotion for green consumption? The controversial role of regulatory focus

The purpose of this paper is to empirically test the effects of regulatory focus (RF) orientation (promotion/prevention) on decisions to purchase green products. The two experimental studies conducted aimed to test whether individuals in a prevention (promotion) state were more (or less) inclined to buy green products.

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Time Horizon and Green Consumption

This study investigates the effect of time horizon in patterns of green consumption. Previous studies have shown that consumer behavior is influenced by an individual’s willingness to delay or expedite receiving gains and losses (i.e., take a time horizon orientation). This paper describes the effect of short-term or long-term conditions in complying with green and not-green consumption. The paper also reports the results of an experimental study showing that time horizon plays an important role in driving consumer behavior, especially when green consumption is expected.

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Being green: from attitude to actual consumption

Interest in issues associated with environmental sustainability is continuously growing and sustainable consumption is now a mainstream topic at the top of the international public administration agenda. However, the many studies about the general inconsistency between green consumer attitudes and green consumption have not considered two individual differences that seem to be interesting in order to explain the ethical consumer attitude–intention gap: regulatory focus and time horizon.

 

Regulatory focus, being the strategic orientation individuals use to pursue their goals, might enhance consumers’ sense of duty towards environmental issues. Time horizon represents the consumers’ perceived time lag between their decision and its outcome, and can induce them to immediately engage in a specific behaviour. With this goal in mind, the present work illustrates the results of three experimental studies that focus on individual differences (regulatory focus and time horizon) that might influence consumers to comply with green consumption. Results show that prevention-focused individuals demonstrate a higher compliance with green behaviour, both in the short-term and in the long-term outcome horizons.

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The great Millennials’ trouble: leading or confused green generation? An Italian insight

The paper purpose is to investigate the green consumption behaviour of the Millennials generation. The paper aims to understand if all Italian Millennials are similar in terms of green consumption and if there are diferences in adopting and consuming green products. As Millennials are considered the driving generation of the sustainable movement, thanks to their lifestyle and behaviours, our study tries to comprehend whether these consumers can be considered the leading “Green Generation”.

 

We performed a cluster analysis, using the non-hierarchical method by applying the k-medium algorithm, segmenting Millennials. The segmentation was performed according to the reasons underlying and against green consumption. Then, green values and green consumer behaviour of the segments were analyzed. The results of our research reveal the existence of diferent clusters of Millennial consumers in terms of green attitude. Some confusion about green issues in the Millennials generation emerges, contrasting with the literature. Our results do not necessarily imply a negative attitude towards green values by Millennials, but diferent green attitudes among the clusters.

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Team

Directors

Caroline Wiedmer
Co-Director, Professor of Comparative Literature a
nd Cultural Studies

Christoph Kueffer
Co-Director, Affiliate Professor of Environmental Humanities

Grace Bacon
Assistant, Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainable Futures

Peyton Warmack-Chipman
Assistant, Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainable Futures

Affiliated Members

Gabriel Gee
Professor of Art History, Franklin University

Giulia Miniero
Professor of International Marketing

Johanna Fassl
Professor of Art History, Franklin University

Brack Hale
Professor of Environmental Science

Clarice Zdanksi
Instructor of Art History and Studio Art

Alums

Ariane Tanner
Post- Doctoral Fellow, History of Science, ETH Zurich

CONTACT

Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainable Futures (CJSF-FUS)
Franklin University Switzerland
Caroline Wiedmer
Via Ponte Tresa 29
6924 Sorengo
Switzerland
CJSF@fus.edu