About the project

Reshaping the Domestic Nexus is a project bringing together academics from leading research groups with policy partners in BEIS, DEFRA, FSA and Waterwise. The researchers are from research groups which have been at the forefront of new ways of understanding how householders’ routine activities end up demanding resources, including of energy, food and water. This project’s purpose is to make that understanding useful for informing actual policy processes with our policy partners.

The research is being led by Matt Watson at the University of Sheffield, with Mike Foden, David Evans, and Liz Sharp, also at the University of Sheffield, and Ali Browne at the University of Manchester.

The project is funded by the ESRC Nexus Network 

You can find out more about the project here.

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New report: Food waste, food safety and kitchen practices: implications for policy and intervention

pdf-iconFood waste and safety report – nexus at home

doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.10747.62243

This report, produced in consultation with the Food Standards Agency, is one of four reports introducing a new approach to understanding the role of everyday household practices in domestic resource consumption and addressing the policy challenges this presents. To demonstrate this ‘change points’ approach this report focuses on one such topic: household food waste and its relationship to food safety concerns. Reducing food waste has been a major UK policy concern for a decade. It has an important role to play in meeting future food demand while minimising environmental impact. Households account for 70 per cent of post-farm-gate food waste; reducing household food waste is therefore a key challenge for food policy. Responses to this challenge can, however, sometimes sit in tension with food safety advice. This report synthesises evidence to help understand how householders negotiate these conflicting concerns on a daily basis and how food ends up being discarded in home kitchens. Continue reading

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New Report: Food waste and kitchen practices: implications for policy and intervention

pdf-iconFood waste report – nexus at home

doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.23212.56960

This report, developed for and in consultation with Defra, is one of four reports introducing a new approach to understanding the role of everyday household practices in domestic resource consumption and addressing the policy challenges this presents. To demonstrate this ‘change points’ approach this report focuses on one such topic: household food waste. Reducing food waste has been a major UK policy concern for a decade. It has an important role to play in meeting future food demand while minimising environmental impact. Households account for 70 per cent of post-farm-gate food waste; reducing household food waste is therefore a key challenge for food policy. This report synthesises evidence to help understand how food ends up being discarded in home kitchens. Continue reading

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New Report: Fats, oils, grease and kitchen practices implications for policy and intervention

pdf-iconFOG report and kitchen practices – nexus at home

doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.13146.24005

This report, developed for and in consultation with Waterwise, is one of four reports introducing a new approach to understanding the role of everyday household practices in domestic resource consumption and addressing the policy challenges this presents. To demonstrate this ‘change points’ approach this report focuses on one such topic: household disposal of fats, oils and grease (FOG). The problem of FOG in UK sewers has attracted increased attention in recent years. Industry responses focus on removing sewer blockages and reducing the FOG that enters sewers from commercial sources. However, around three quarters of sewer FOG comes from domestic sources, making household disposal a key priority for change. Continue reading

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Talking FOGs with Pennine Water Group

PWG_Logo_NBEarly in the project we worked with our partner organisations to identify four specific issues, through which we can explore the new light that nexus thinking, together with a focus on everyday kitchen practices, can shed on ongoing policy challenges. One such issue, identified in collaboration with Waterwise, is the widespread disposal of fats, oils and grease (FOG) via kitchen sinks, leading to severe blockages in drains and sewers.
On 16th March two of the project team, Liz Sharp and Mike Foden, presented initial findings from our work on FOG to some of the water engineers in the University of Sheffield’s Pennine Water Group, as part of their regular seminar series. Our aim was to test out our ideas and get some feedback from a more technically minded audience.

Continue reading

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Sustainability in turbulent times, Westminster conference

Just over the Thames from Parliament, the project was featured at Sustainability in Turbulent Times. This major event, attended by around 350 and featuring a range of high profile speakers, was the culmination of the work of the ESRC funded Nexus Network. In a wide ranging programme, we covered issues around the challenges and opportunities of pursuing change towards sustainability in light of contemporary political and economic changes and what they represent. Continue reading

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project prominent in nexus network report

reportThe project Reshaping the Domestic Nexus was featured prominently in the Sustainability in Turbulent Times report which accompanied the conference of the same name, the culmination of the ESRC Nexus Network programme. The report can be found here.

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The evidence-policy gap | seminar contribution | London

The challenges of getting evidence and ideas from research into policy was the focus of a workshop at the Friends Meeting House in London today. Matt Watson presented on some of the basis of the Reshaping the Domestic Nexus project as a contribution to a rich afternoon’s discussion, which went well beyond the usual prescriptions of how to engage policy audiences. The Evidence-Policy Gap was the final event in a series of 9 funded by the ESRC on Behaviour Change, and organised by Fiona Spotswood from the University of West England.

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