Dr Andrew Reeves

Job: Senior Lecturer in Energy and Sustainable Development

Faculty: Technology

School/department: School of Engineering and Sustainable Development

Research group(s): Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)

Address: IESD, Queens Building,De Montfort University,Leicester,LE1 9BH, UK

T: +44 (0)116 250 6569

E: areeves@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/iesd

Social Media: https://andrewreeves.our.dmu.ac.uk/

 

Personal profile

Andrew is a social scientist, educator and community organiser with interests in education for sustainable development, action research and the behavioural dynamics of engagement with climate change and sustainability.

His current role focusses on embedding Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) within taught courses, co-curricular activities and the wider student/staff experience.

Andrew is module leader for "Leading Change for Sustainability", a module within DMU's Energy and Sustainable Development Masters programme, which focuses on behaviour change and the practice of designing for change within social and organisational systems.

Current research activity includes the eTeacher project, which is exploring energy-saving behaviour change in buildings across Europe, using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to engage building users. Prior research has focussed on evaluation of locally delivered sustainable development initiatives.

Andrew currently co-supervises four PhD students, each looking at local sustainability initiatives in an international context (in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana and Ecuador) via cross-disciplinary approaches. Previous supervised PhD research has addressed climate change adaptation in small island developing states, community-based sustainability, nature-connection and wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviour change.

Previously at DMU, Andrew worked as a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Learning and Study Support (CLaSS), specialising in support for doctoral students and innovating in online and participatory approaches to teaching and learning. From 2010 to 2012, Andrew ran a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project to provide support to area-based climate change initiatives in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Andrew's PhD thesis explored the viability of achieving deep carbon emission cuts in existing social housing stock from an economic, social and technical perspective.

Outside of his role at DMU, Andrew has co-founded a number of Leicester-based grassroots sustainability initiatives and is currently a trustee of Leicester Masaya Link Group, a twinning and sustainability education charity. Andrew is also a qualified Social Enterprise Support worker, a mentor for the European Union’s Climate Change Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate KIC), and teaches and tutors students studying ecological design with the Permaculture Association.

Research group affiliations

Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)

Publications and outputs 

  • ICT for sustainability: reflecting on the role of ICT to enhance communication and empowerment of building users
    ICT for sustainability: reflecting on the role of ICT to enhance communication and empowerment of building users Morton, Ashley; Bull, Richard; Reeves, Andrew; Preston, Sam ICT solutions within a Smart City environment are often hailed as the low carbon, efficient and low-cost solution – but is this sufficient? These solutions often neglect user behaviour and treat users as passive consumers or even obstacles. Energy related ICT behaviour change is also starting to appear more frequently at the forefront of policy agendas and research funding calls as a prime focus for reducing energy consumption and improving efficiency across all energy intensive sectors. Research shows that improving and widening user engagement has the potential to foster greater acceptance and impact. Recent research has focused on behaviour change towards more sustainable energy use, often involving users co-designing interventions. As such, ICT is a prominent tool, with its application including feedback tools, apps, interactive dashboards and gamification. Frequent barriers are user engagement with ICT tools, both initially and over the long term, with research consistently showing that users are hard to engage, face a complex array of competing demands and easily become disengaged with energy programs and interventions. This paper presents a summary of some of the common problems relating to user engagement with energy interventions faced by many research projects, as well as presenting findings from eTEACHER, an EU H2020 project, aimed at empowering energy end-users by enabling behaviour change via a set of ICT solutions. eTEACHER, aims to employ principles of user-involvement and engagement to enhance the design of an ICT-based tool promoting energy conservation in buildings. eTEACHER has applied the ‘Enabling Change’ framework as a novel approach to ensure user engagement and stakeholder involvement. Results and reflections are offered from eTEACHER’s implementation of the Enabling Change framework and the engagement of building users within the eTEACHER pilot buildings, surrounding the design and implementation of an ICT-based tool. Reflections are given throughout on rethinking how we engage with citizens and our success in identifying, engaging and eliciting feedback from building users. The real world issues and constraints are explored alongside, and opportunities are identified for improving energy efficiency using an evidence-based intervention design in practice and discusses how ICT can aid the empowerment of building users towards their own energy use.
  • Classroom collaborations: enabling sustainability education via student-community co-learning
    Classroom collaborations: enabling sustainability education via student-community co-learning Reeves, Andrew Purpose: This case study explores co-learning classes, a novel approach to leveraging universities’ capacity to contribute to the local sustainable development agenda whilst enhancing students’ learning. These participatory classes were piloted on a UK university Masters module focussed on action for sustainability. The classes sought to combine knowledge exchange, reflection and social network development, by bringing together students and community stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach: The classes were run as a series of five free events, each focussed on sustainability issues relevant for local practitioners. These were either regular timetabled sessions opened up to the public or additional on-campus public events. Attendance was either face-to-face or online. Evaluation was based upon participation data, written feedback and module leader’s post-event reflections. Findings: The classes successfully secured participation from diverse community members, including local government staff, voluntary sector workers, and interested individuals. Both students and community stakeholders valued the participatory format, linkages of theoretical and practical knowledge and diversity of attendees. Research limits/implications: Findings are based upon a small-scale pilot study. Further research using a wider range of contexts is required to enhance understanding of the co-learning approach. Practical implications: This paper highlights some key practical issues to consider if employing co-learning approaches in other contexts, including using inclusive language, aligning with students’ motivations and choosing appropriate focal event topics. Originality/value: Opening up participatory university classes for the public to attend as co-learners is a rarely used approach and has little coverage in academic literature. This small-scale study therefore has value by highlighting some of the potential impacts, strengths and limitations of this approach. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Uniting the University around the UN SDGs - a UK case study
    Uniting the University around the UN SDGs - a UK case study Charlton, Mark; Frank, Regina; Reeves, Andrew Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the globe are increasingly engaging with the United Nations’ 2030 agenda expressed through the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were agreed in September 2015. During the 2017/18 academic year, it became apparent to senior leaders of De Montfort University (DMU), United Kingdom, that the institution had much to offer towards the progress of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and also much to gain from focusing on these. This paper offers an account of how this university has been strengthening its commitment to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in particular over the past year, culminating in the UN SDGs having become the focus of the university’s new strategic plan for 2018-2023, announced in July 2018. The paper presents areas of existing good ESD practice at DMU drawing upon the university’s diverse student and staff body and its inclusive and collaborative ethos; this is formalized in the university’s vision and current strategic framework, revealing particular strengths in learning and civic contribution via real-world experiences. The paper adds to the literature on the assessment of sustainability activities of HEIs and factors affecting the take-up of sustainability as a priority in HEIs. It reveals the impact of visionary leadership by the university’s Vice-Chancellor and top down management, when merging with existing bottom-up activities of staff engaged at grassroots level, and documents areas of successful practice that may have value in similar institutions.
  • Uniting the University around the UN SDGs - a UK case study. Submitted to the Global Master’s in Development Practice Secretariat in response to a call for evidence on Education and the Sustainable Development Goals. Vancouver: University of British Columbia.
    Uniting the University around the UN SDGs - a UK case study. Submitted to the Global Master’s in Development Practice Secretariat in response to a call for evidence on Education and the Sustainable Development Goals. Vancouver: University of British Columbia. Charlton, Mark; Frank, Regina; Reeves, Andrew Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the globe are increasingly engaging with the United Nations’ 2030 agenda expressed through the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were agreed in September 2015. During the 2017/18 academic year, it became apparent to senior leaders of De Montfort University (DMU), United Kingdom, that the institution had much to offer towards the progress of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and also much to gain from focusing on these. This paper offers an account of how this university has been strengthening its commitment to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in particular over the past year, culminating in the UN SDGs having become the focus of the university’s new strategic plan for 2018-2023, announced in July 2018. The paper presents areas of existing good ESD practice at DMU drawing upon the university’s diverse student and staff body and its inclusive and collaborative ethos; this is formalized in the university’s vision and current strategic framework, revealing particular strengths in learning and civic contribution via real-world experiences. The paper adds to the literature on the assessment of sustainability activities of HEIs and factors affecting the take-up of sustainability as a priority in HEIs. It reveals the impact of visionary leadership by the university’s Vice-Chancellor and top down management, when merging with existing bottom-up activities of staff engaged at grassroots level, and documents areas of successful practice that may have value in similar institutions. Submitted as evidence for a review of action by Education Institutions towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals coordinated by the Global Master’s in Development Practice Secretariat at the University of British Columbia.
  • Sowing Seeds and Promising a Harvest: Learning from the Delivery and Evaluation of a Local Sustainability Transition Initiative in the UK
    Sowing Seeds and Promising a Harvest: Learning from the Delivery and Evaluation of a Local Sustainability Transition Initiative in the UK Reeves, Andrew; Mitchell, Andrew Policymakers, practitioners and researchers increasingly understand sustainability transitions as requiring change within complex socio-technical systems. In parallel in recent years, many community-led initiatives sharing this systemic view of change, have sought to enhance sustainability on a local scale. Despite this alignment of understandings, many evaluations of local sustainability initiatives focus on measuring short term impacts, such as energy savings, rather than longer term shifts towards sustainable social practices. This paper uses the case study of a sustainable food, energy, and water project delivered by a team of staff and other partners in a UK market town to explore the impacts that such projects can achieve and how they can be effectively evaluated. We draw upon in-depth participant observation over four years, project documentation and the reflections of project stakeholders. We analyse the project impacts through three lenses: the process of project delivery; progress towards project-defined outcomes and indicators; and the concept of capacity building for sustainable living. Our findings point to building social capital to enable action for sustainable living as being the project’s key impact. As a result, the capacity building lens was the most appropriate framework to evaluate this initiative. Our findings suggest that a professionally delivered approach to enable sustainable living has value when it aligns well with qualities of the local community. We suggest that future evaluation work of such initiatives could focus on issues of process, indirect impacts and capacities for sustainable living. Future research could seek to put these ideas into practice, enabling evaluation to better reflect processes of community engagement and social change.
  • Exploring Local and Community Capacity to Reduce Fuel Poverty: The Case of Home Energy Advice Visits in the UK
    Exploring Local and Community Capacity to Reduce Fuel Poverty: The Case of Home Energy Advice Visits in the UK Reeves, Andrew Local delivery of support to householders to reduce the exposure to, and impacts of, fuel poverty is attracting increasing policymaker interest, but there is a dearth of empirical research that describes and evaluates local support schemes. Community organisations are viewed as having great potential to aid this delivery, but research on how this could be achieved is scarce. The research presented in this paper responds to these needs through an exploratory study of the delivery of home energy advice visits in the UK. Data were collected through interviews and supporting documents from twelve projects and analysis examined the inter-relationships between the process, delivered outputs and impacts of each project. The research findings suggest that long-term local professional initiatives appear to be most effective at reaching and providing support to fuel poor households across a local area. Community organisations appear to have some potential to fill gaps in local provision and can assist professional initiatives, particularly through signposting, but a lack of volunteer capacity ultimately constrains their impact. Issues identified for further study include: how local support services can be resourced and delivered nationwide; trade-offs between pursuing climate change and fuel poverty agendas; a need for more robust evidence of impacts. Open Access journal
  • Community Organisations and Household Energy: Final Project Report
    Community Organisations and Household Energy: Final Project Report Reeves, Andrew Policy makers and practitioners are increasingly looking to the community and voluntary sector to support delivery of social and environmental initiatives The Community Organisations and Household Energy project responds to this context by exploring the process, practice and impacts of household home energy visits delivered by or in partnership with community organisations in the UK. This was undertaken through semi-structured interviews and collection of supporting data for twelve projects across the UK, representing a diverse range of scales, contexts and delivery models. Four types of actor that lead projects were interviewed: Local authorities; Independent Specialist charities; Semi-professional charities; Voluntary groups. This research focuses on two issues: How community organisations can effectively engage fuel poor householders in undertaking energy efficiency measures through home visits; how these projects are organised and how this relates to their delivery mechanisms and impacts. A key finding that emerged from the study is that community organisations, in the sense of grassroots volunteer-run local bodies, may not be the best entities to effectively engage the fuel poor. Rather, larger funded projects either run by or commissioned by local authorities appear to be effective at playing that role, where the political will and financial support is made available to make this possible. In this context, the role of community organisations would be to facilitate access to vulnerable community members, refer contacts for support and engage in partnership working where this enhances the reach of the energy advice project. However community organisations pursuing carbon reduction goals may still be excellent leaders in supporting local householders to pursue a low-carbon agenda, an activity that may be unlikely to be funded through fuel poverty focussed initiatives.
  • Jump-starting transition? Catalysing grassroots action on climate change
    Jump-starting transition? Catalysing grassroots action on climate change Reeves, Andrew; Lemon, Mark; Cook, Diana The potential for community-led local sustainability initiatives to play a key role in a transition towards a low-carbon economy has been acknowledged by both policymakers and researchers. To date, such initiatives have predominantly been established through the efforts of volunteers, resulting in a scattered uptake across towns, cities and other communities in the UK and further afield. In a context where local and national Government are increasingly seeking to deliver local action on climate change in partnership with community organisations, is it possible or desirable for Government and other publicly funded bodies to successfully set up these grassroots initiatives “from the outside” where none exist already? This paper describes a project which explored this question through the provision of a 2-year programme of support for local action on climate change in a sub-region of the UK. Community development strategies were employed with a view to establishing new grassroots climate change initiatives in a range of different communities. The results indicate some potential for the strategy to meet with success, with several new groups and small-scale projects being established as a result. However, the short lifespan of many of the organisations set up and the relatively low impact on carbon emission reduction of their activities raises questions about the effectiveness of grassroots initiatives and how support of their activities can be delivered most effectively to maximise impact and improve cost effectiveness.
  • Hurdles on the way to the starting gate – the going’s good as long as we don’t fall at the water jump: a 3rd sector organisation delivering in partnership with local authorities.
    Hurdles on the way to the starting gate – the going’s good as long as we don’t fall at the water jump: a 3rd sector organisation delivering in partnership with local authorities. Lemon, Mark; Reeves, Andrew Knowledge Transfer Partnerships can raise the profile of the host organisation and provide greater access to new areas of knowledge and influence. They provide additional skills and opportunities for existing staff to benefit from wider knowledge. For the RCC (Leicestershire & Rutland) a vibrant, small, registered charity employing 15 people and working with large numbers of volunteers, hosting the Communities Cutting Carbon KTP project is a great opportunity; obstacles have been encountered on the way and others may yet present themselves. We explore a range of issues, from obtaining funding, to the management, time commitment and partnership issues surrounding it. Links to local authorities and existing RCC projects will be explored and we discus the supporting role that 3rd sector organisations such as RCC‟s play in identifying, enabling and supporting volunteers to deliver local community projects. The findings will highlight the precarious funding situation in which the 3rd sector often finds itself, and the barriers to progress that result. It will show the move towards partnership approaches between the sector and local authorities and the ability of volunteers to deliver projects with a little support from community development experts and partners.
  • Local support for community action on climate change: lessons from the Communities Cutting Carbon project.
    Local support for community action on climate change: lessons from the Communities Cutting Carbon project. Reeves, Andrew; Lemon, Mark; Cook, Diana Action by local communities on climate change has been recognised by researchers and policymakers as having great potential to support a transition towards a low-carbon UK economy. Support for such action from community development workers can assist projects and groups to develop, act, and achieve positive results. This paper explores the work of the Communities Cutting Carbon project to provide support to community groups acting on climate change in the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland sub-region. The project is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), which involves collaboration between the RCC (Leicestershire & Rutland) and De Montfort University, and is actively supported by all the local authorities in the sub-region. The current picture in the UK with regard to community action on climate change is introduced, along with a summary of the support available and strategies used by the Communities Cutting Carbon project. Initial outcomes from the project‟s first year are reported, alongside some early evaluation of its impact to date. The findings indicate the high demand for the support offered and point towards effective strategies that can be used to support the burgeoning “Communities and Climate” sector to grow and have a positive impact in future years.

Click here to view a full listing of Andrew Reeves' publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

Sowing Seeds and Promising a Harvest: Learning from the Delivery and Evaluation of a Local Sustainability Transition Initiative in the UK
Reeves, A. and Mitchell, A. (2016) Sowing Seeds and Promising a Harvest: Learning from the Delivery and Evaluation of a Local Sustainability Transition Initiative in the UK. Paper presented to International Energy Policy and Programme Evaluation Conference (IEPPEC), Amsterdam, 7-9 June 2016.

Exploring Local and Community Capacity to Reduce Fuel Poverty: The Case of Home Energy Advice Visits in the UK
Reeves, A. (2016) Exploring Local and Community Capacity to Reduce Fuel Poverty: The Case of Home Energy Advice Visits in the UK. Energies, 9 (4), pp 27

Jump-starting transition? Catalysing grassroots action on climate change

Reeves, A., Lemon, M. and Cook, D. (2014) Jump-starting transition? Catalysing grassroots action on climate change. Energy Efficiency, 7 (1), pp. 115-132

Making it viable: exploring the influence of organisational context on efforts to achieve deep carbon emission cuts in existing UK social housing.
Reeves, A. (2010) Making it viable: exploring the influence of organisational context on efforts to achieve deep carbon emission cuts in existing UK social housing. Energy Efficiency, 4 (1), pp. 75-92

Modelling the potential to achieve deep carbon emission cuts in existing UK social housing: The case of Peabody.
Reeves, A., Taylor, S. and Fleming, P. (2010) Modelling the potential to achieve deep carbon emission cuts in existing UK social housing: The case of Peabody. Energy Policy, 38 (8), pp. 4241-4251.

Research interests/expertise

Education for Sustainable Development

Sustainable Communities

Energy Efficiency

Conservation Psychology

Permaculture

Social Enterprise

Learning Development

Action Research

Areas of teaching

Module Leader: Leading Change for Sustainability (MSc Energy and Sustainable Development).

Deputy Module Leader: Dissertation (MSc Energy and Sustainable Development)

Qualifications

PhD         Energy and Sustainable Development (De Montfort University)         2006-2009

MMath     Mathematics (four-year masters degree, 1st class, hons)                  1996-2000

Membership of professional associations and societies

Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)

Conference attendance

Recent Academic Conferences:

  • "Co-curricular Learning and Sustainable Development Competencies: Towards Research Collaboration" (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Conference, Pittsburgh, 2018)
  • "Mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals: An Insiders' Account of change in a UK University" (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Conference, Pittsburgh, 2018 - with Mark Charlton and Regina Frank)
  • "Four modes of sense-making for sustainability development: environmentalists and the dilemma of taking long haul flights." (Behaviour Energy and Climate Change Conference, Washington DC, 2018)

  • "Bridging building user engagement through social science and engineering to enable behaviour change". (Behaviour Energy and Climate Change Conference, Washington DC, 2018  - with Richard Bull and Ashley Morton)
  • “Classroom collaborations: exploring multi-sector co-learning at universities for local sustainability”. (EAUC Conference, University of Keele, 2018)
  • “Valuing the Future: Linking the UN Sustainable Development Goals to Business and Business Education." (1st International Conference on Creating Value, De Montfort University, 2018).
  • "Barriers to implementing an ICT-based behaviour change programme in commercial buildings." (IEECB Conference, Frankfurt, 2018  - with Richard Bull and Ashley Morton)

Recent Other Presentations:

  • “Global Goals in Action” ('Global Goals, Local Action' student conference, Leicester University, 2018)
  • “How do people become sustainability activists? Exploring transformative collective experiences in early adulthood and at university.” (Regional Centre of Excellence East Midlands Conference, 2018)
  • "Not on the Label: The hidden story of how the everyday products we consume are made, and the coming circular economy revolution." (Cultural Exchanges Festival, De Montfort University, 2018)
  • “Where are the male students? Exploring gender-based differences in help-seeking behaviour linked to Learning Development provision”. (ALDinHE Conference, Leicester, 2018)
  • “Learning gain or logistical pain? Integrating synchronous e-learning into taught learning development provision for postgraduate research students in the UK." (ALDinHE Conference, Leicester, 2018)

Previous Conference Presentations At:

Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG) Conference, London (August 2017); International Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE), Leicester (June 2017); Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE) Conference, Hull (April 2017); International Energy Policy and Programme Evaluation Conference (IEPPEC), Amsterdam (June 2016); Chesshire Lehmann Fund Conference: "In Sickness and in Health: Evidence of the impact of fuel poverty on health and wellbeing, and the solutions", London (November 2015); "International Permaculture Conference", London (September 2015); "WholeSEM: What do we know about influencing household energy use?", Winchester (March 2015); "Inspiring Sustainability through Community Learning", Derbyshire Eco Centre, Wirksworth (March 2014); ECEEE (European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy) Summer Study, France (June 2009).

Consultancy work

Provided consultancy for the Energy Saving Trust on renewable energy supply chains in the East Midlands in 2009.

Current research students

  • Abimbola Okoya - 1st Supervisor (innovation in education and sustainable development in Nigeria)
  • Molla Alemu - 2nd Supervisor (sustainable land management and livelihoods in an Ethiopian national park)
  • Huraira Umar Baba - 2nd Supervisor (compressed earth blocks as a sustainable building material in Nigeria)
  • Lisette Phelan - 2nd Supervisor (soil and water management practices in cocoa production in Ghana and Ecuador)

Professional esteem indicators

  • Peer Reviewer for Energy Research and Social Science Journal (2017-)
  • Member of the East Midlands Regional Centre of Excellence (RCE) for Education for Sustainable Development (2017-)
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