When people carpool to work, they save fuel and therefore energy. Collaborative consumption of this type - also known as "sharing economy" - is becoming much easier and more widespread thanks to online platforms. But does sharing really save energy?
This is the question addressed in the present project. Out of 157 "sharing" products, a team of experts selected two that then served as examples for the energy consumed in the context of collaborative consumption, namely carpooling and the accommodation platform Airbnb.
The researchers’ investigations led to a surprising conclusion: depending on its type and its handling, collaborative consumption can incite people to consume more rather than less energy. Airbnb, for example, leads to an overall increase in energy consumption by both guests and hosts.