Articulations of sustainability transition agency. Mundane transition work among consulting engineers
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This paper analyses sustainability transition agency among consulting engineers, who exercise considerable influence in a wide spectrum of environmental decision-making through advice, calculations and design. They work in an ambiguous space of governmental requirements, environmental politics, cost considerations, and professional standards. Nevertheless, many consulting engineers engage with sustainability transitions in a mundane and modest way. To a varying degree, they combine four kinds of transition work: (1) sustainable technological problem solving, (2) persuasion work, (3) mediation work, and (4) institutional work. On this basis, we propose a model of sustainability transition agency where sustainable technological problem solving is the core activity as a precondition of necessary sociotechnical change. The three latter kinds of transition work may facilitate and support the core activity. The study also shows that environmental regulations, rules and standards are important to sustainability transition work among consulting engineers, guiding but also providing more space for such efforts.