Behavior Change

The latest developments supporting a shift toward sustainable consumption, as well as specific ways brands are encouraging less wasteful behaviors.

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Making Energy Efficiency Work for Utilities: New Findings

How can utilities be persuaded to help their customers use less electricity and natural gas? It’s entirely possible, starting with regulatory reforms that remove any linkage between the financial health of our hometown utilities and the amount of electricity and natural gas they sell. NRDC and diverse allies have dedicated literally decades of effort to getting such measures adopted, and a new study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy provides new insights on progress across the United States.

How to Get People to Reuse Their Hotel Towels

We’ve all faced this great moral dilemma whenever we stay in a nice hotel. The little sign in the bathroom reads, “Please help us protect the environment and conserve water by reusing your towel.” Even those of us who consider ourselves environmentalists often balk; we’re paying hundreds of dollars to stay in their hotel, and, darn it, we really want a clean towel.

From Behavior Change to Transforming Everyday Practices: The Latest in Behavioral Science

From Unilever’s ‘five levers for change’ to Volkswagen’s ‘fun theory’ and Nike’s Fuelband, behavior change has become a key concern for businesses re-orienting their goals around the promotion of sustainable lives. This represents an opportune moment for drawing on the latest thinking from behavioral sciences.

For Those Who’d Rather Give Than Receive, #GivingTuesday Marks True Start to Holiday Season

While thousands of retailers across the U.S. and cyberspace are dusting their shelves and crossing their fingers for lucrative Black Friday and Cyber Monday takes, respectively, thousands of organizations around the world are gearing up for an event that represents the true spirit of the holiday season, #GivingTuesday.

Greenpeace Praises Google, Apple, Facebook for Duke Clean Energy Breakthrough

Duke Energy Carolinas, which provides roughly 20,000 megawatts of electricity to approximately 2.4 million customers throughout the Carolinas through a mix of nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric power generation, announced on Friday the addition of a “Green Source Rider” that will offer its large customers an opportunity to purchase renewable energy, apparently in response to requests from some of said large customers.

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Why Water-Saving Advice Won’t Work

To the tune of Dolly Parton’s "Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman," I hear myself humming, "Sometimes It’s hard to be a sustainability person… giving all our love to just one plan."That plan — to educate, to warn, to inform, ergo ‘get people to use less water’ — is more than ambitious (especially in the UK). It is unproductively naive, unless we get behaviour change expertise involved at the front, middle and centre of our work. Here is why …

Sprint Offering Buyback Credit on All Phones to Encourage Trade-Ins on America Recycles Day

Despite being the No. 3 wireless carrier in the United States, Sprint leads the industry in phone recycling. Last year, Sprint reclaimed 4.4 million phones through voluntary collection programs — compared to AT&T’s 3.1 million and Verizon’s 3 million — and in September, Guinness World Records recognized Sprint for shattering the record for the number of cellular phones recycled in one week: 103,582 cellular phones, more than double the previous record.

Employee Engagement: Why Motivating the Elephant Is Better Than Rewarding the Rider

Many organisations are grappling with the same question: How do we create an employee reward and recognition programme designed to deliver widely adopted and sustained pro-environmental behaviours?

EOS Climate Launches System for Monetizing Harmful Refrigerants at End of Life

San Francisco-based EOS Climate, which incentivizes the complete life cycle management of harmful refrigerants, on Tuesday announced the launch of its Refrigerant Asset System™ (RAS), the first cross-sector business model that focuses on refrigerants as assets.

Investors Tell UK Firms Paying Living Wage Can Increase ‘Longevity and Productivity’

Here’s a novel idea: Paying people enough to live off comfortably motivates them to not only work harder, but stick around longer.In a recent letter published by the Financial Times, investors from local authorities, unions and charities, such as the CCLA, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Pensions Trust, said they wish to invest in companies that focus on the longevity and productivity of their business operations. The investors claimed there is “considerable evidence that paying the living wage helps to achieve these objectives.”

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Meet Bond, David Bond: Marketing Director for Nature

This weekend, the feature-length documentary film Project Wild Thing opens in independent cinemas in the UK.The film explores the increasing disconnection between British children and the natural world around them; kids’ roaming distance from their homes has reportedly decreased 90% in the past 30 years.PROJECT WILD THING - official trailer from Green Lions.

The Answer Is: The Human Condition

“We need to do something about the environmental damage in our heads.”(Time, 24 May 1993).

Unilever Expands 'Help a Child Reach 5' Campaign to Mark Global Handwashing Day

To mark Global Handwashing Day (GHD) — October 15th — Unilever’s Lifebuoy brand has announced a significant expansion of its Help a Child Reach 5 campaign. Launched in February in Thesgora, India, a rural village known to have one of the highest rates of diarrhoea in the country, the campaign aims to end preventable deaths of children under five by changing hand-washing behaviors, one village at a time. Today, Lifebuoy has confirmed it will extend this program to communities and villages across 17 countries globally.

McDonald's to Offer Educational Books in Lieu of Happy Meal Toys for National Family Literacy Day

Last week, McDonald’s USA announced the launch of a new Happy Meal Books promotion, coinciding with National Family Literacy Day on Nov. 1. From Nov. 1–14, Happy Meals will be accompanied by one of a series of four original books designed to encourage children to eat right and be more active.As part of the launch of Happy Meal Books, McDonald’s is collaborating with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the U.S., to help more children and their families discover the joy of reading. RIF will distribute 100,000 Happy Meal Books to children who do not have easy access to books.

Don't Just Sell Green, Sell Great

Heading into this year’s Sustainable Brands conference, I was looking forward to driving BMW’s electric prototype that was on display. In hindsight, however, the technical highlight of the show for me was the Tesla Model S. You know, the ones that people were actually driving, with coffee cups in the console and crumbs in the backseat.

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Why You Can’t Fight Fear with Facts

The field of environmental sustainability is fraught with emotional issues: climate change, water shortages, population growth, food purity, animal extinction … the list goes on and on.These complex issues are intricately entwined with national economics, social mores, political and religious beliefs and fear.Clients are always asking us to develop “education” campaigns to change attitudes or behaviors, thinking (logically) that if people only understood the facts, they’d change their behavior.

New Report Highlights Seven Headlines of Latest Behaviour Change Research

New research released last week explores the latest views of leaders in the study of encouraging more conscious and responsible behaviour. The Motivating Millions research, conducted by UK behaviour change consultancy Corporate Culture, was carried out online between March and May of this year. A quick distillation of the research reveals seven themes:

Are You a Happy Shopper?

Psychologists have found that buying life experiences makes people happier than buying possessions, but who spends more of their spare cash on experiences? We now know that extroverts and people who are open to new experiences tend to spend more of their disposable income on experiences, such as concert tickets or a weekend away, rather than hitting the mall for material items.In a recent study, we examined the responses of people who completed online questionnaires about their shopping habits, personality traits, values and life satisfaction. These habitual “experiential shoppers” reap long-term benefits from their spending: They reported greater happiness.

Report: More Than Half of Diners Willing to Pay More For Meals in Sustainable Restaurants

More than half (56 percent) of diners would pay more for a meal if they knew the restaurant was investing in reducing its environmental impact and taking its social responsibility seriously, according to new research from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). Some 43 percent of diners would pay up to 10 percent more for a meal in a sustainable restaurant.The Discerning Diner: How consumers’ attitudes to eating out have become more sophisticated is based on the findings of consumer research by the SRA, which was supported by Unilever.

Advancing Sustainability: From Revolution to Evolution

Sustainability, like brands, must not be a fight against or a vision outside society, but part of it. It is time to drop the proselytism, quit the “sacrifice for a better world” argument and above all stop trying to change people’s behaviours. In order to fully go mainstream, sustainability shouldn’t attempt to influence behaviour and, instead, make ‘the greener option’ desirable for everyone. Moreover, historically, experiments of standardization have often resulted from totalitarian regimes to dull aesthetics.

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