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Behavior Change

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

It's Not You, It's We: Why Values Alone Aren't Enough for a Sustainable World

“The circumstances of the world are continually changing….That which may be thought right and found convenient in one age, may be thought wrong and found inconvenient in another. In such cases, who is to decide, the living, or the dead?”Thomas PaineIt’s not you, it’s weThe world abounds in theories (and models) of change, from Theory U to Kotter’s 8 Step Change model, McKinsey’s 7S model and many more.At the heart of all of these, and of many sustainability campaigns, is a focus upon the role and importance of values in supporting and driving any form of change.

First Fossil-Free Index Launched in US

Fossil Free Indexes LLC (FFI), an environmental, social and governance (ESG) index and research company, has released its first index covering the US equity markets.Fossil Free Indexes US (FFIUS), based on the S&P 500 and screened to exclude the largest oil, gas and coal companies, is the first index to leverage the long-term growth of US large cap indices while protecting investors from the risk of a carbon bubble. The company says evidence over the past decade indicates a high correlation between returns on FFIUS and the S&P 500, suggesting that index investors need not sacrifice returns when choosing not to invest in the biggest carbon resource companies.

Report: Doing Nothing to Cut GHGs Is ‘Risky Business’

It’s not too late for businesses to avoid the most severe risks from climate change through early investments in resilience and immediate action to reduce the pollution that causes global warming, according to a report by the Risky Business Project.

Education Doesn't Change Behavior? I Might Have Been Wrong.

If you’ve heard me speak at a conference, you know there’s a point in the presentation where I typically say, “Don’t try to educate your audience into changing their behaviors.” Then I ask the audience to raise their hands if they can think of at least one thing they know they should do on a daily basis to be healthier but that they don’t do. Nearly every hand goes up, and I say, “See, knowing a thing doesn’t mean you’re going to do a thing.”But I might be wrong.

Plan Could Save $303 Billion Annually in US Health Care Costs

The United States could save $217-303 billion in annual health care costs if businesses and governments adopt existing evidence-based health promotion and chronic disease prevention methods, according to a new report released by the Vitality Institute.The report, developed by the Vitality Institute Commission on Health Promotion and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases in Working-Age Americans, is the result of more than a year of research and debate among some of the country’s top public health experts. It specifically notes that improving health promotion and chronic disease prevention efforts among working-age individuals is essential to strengthening America’s economic competitiveness.

Tesco Ireland Removing Sweets, Chocolates from Checkout Areas

Tesco, the UK’s largest grocery chain, recently announced plans to remove sweets and chocolates from all checkouts across all of its Irish stores. The change will be fully implemented by the end of the year across all 146 stores and is a Tesco initiative to support a healthier Ireland. Tesco Ireland is the first retailer in Ireland to commit to having all checkouts sweet-free.

Tesla Opens Up Patents to Advance EV Movement

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on Thursday announced that his company is removing patent barriers currently protecting its intellectual property in an effort to advance the development of electric vehicle (EV) technology.In a blog post on Tesla’s website, Musk writes that the company was “created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport” and “if we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal.” Moving forward, Musk says, Tesla will not “initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.

Ceres: Water and Climate Risks Growing Threat to US Corn Production

Water and climate change risks are rising in the $67 billion U.S. corn sector, contributing to production and price volatility and growing concern by corn buyers that the nation’s largest crop needs to be grown more sustainably, according to a new Ceres report.

Energy Upgrade California Aims to Promote Energy-, Water-Saving Behaviors

California recently launched Energy Upgrade California, a statewide education campaign to help Californians manage their energy usage, save money and help the state meet its climate goals. Energy Upgrade California will engage people to better manage energy and water through a multi-cultural advertising campaign, a comprehensive website, retail education, community-based outreach and education, and social media.

Reports Explore Corporates’ Climate-Related Risks — and What They Can Do to Mitigate Them

Two reports released this week examine the increasingly urgent risks to which major corporations around the world are vulnerable thanks to climate change, along with their own part in exacerbating those risks and how they could act to mitigate them.Gap, HP, PepsiCo and over 50 other S&P 500 companies are feeling climate-change-related risks increase in urgency, likelihood and frequency, with many describing significant impacts already affecting their business operations, according to a new report from CDP.

Shelton Continues to Drive Changes in Behaviors, Attitudes Around Energy Efficiency

Shelton Group, known for its 2011 “Wasting Water Is Weird” campaign, has set its sights on helping consumers understand and improve energy efficiency in the home through a series of campaigns, partnerships and interactive tools. We spoke with CEO Suzanne Shelton about their impacts to date, the “holy grail” of consumer engagement, and the missing ingredient for doing it effectively.Tell us about your "Do 5 Things" (aka Fiveworx) platform — when and how was it developed? How is it different from other tools for engaging people in energy efficiency?

Fossil-Free Financial Portfolios Up 50 Percent from 2013

The number of investment professionals in the US offering fossil fuel-free portfolios to investors jumped by more than 50 percent over the past year — from 22 percent to 36 percent, according to a new survey by First Affirmative Financial Network.The 2014 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey found that 76 percent of respondents believe that there are growing risks associated with investing in fossil fuel extractors/manufacturers. Nearly half (49 percent) of survey respondents say institutional investors are interested in fossil fuel-free investing. And 62 percent responded that retail investors want fossil-free investing choices.

City of Austin Partners with Keep America Beautiful to Increase Residential Recycling

Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council have announced that the City of Austin is the first city to partner on their “I Want to Be Recycled” multimedia public service advertising (PSA) campaign, which aims to motivate Americans to recycle every day.Created by San Francisco-based ad agency Pereira & O’Dell and sponsored by Alcoa Foundation, American Chemistry Council, Anheuser-Busch, City of Austin, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Nestlé Waters North America, Niagara Bottling, Unilever and Waste Management, the bilingual multimedia campaign illustrates that recyclable materials can be given another life when someone chooses to recycle.

Coca-Cola Enterprises, OpenIDEO Challenging Consumers to Improve Recycling Habits

Coke bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has teamed up with online innovation platform OpenIDEO to try and break the habit of poor recycling performance in homes across Britain and France. Only roughly half of all plastic bottles sold currently collected for recycling in the two countries.The two organizations have launched a recycling challenge to co-create solutions that will help improve at-home recycling habits. The 11-week challenge will draw on OpenIDEO’s 60,000 members from across the globe as part of CCE’s ‘Recycle for the Future’ campaign.

Turlington to Fashion Industry: 'One Preventable Death Is a Death Too Many'

When over 1,100 garment workers died in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in April 2013, it shined an unflinching light on the untenable conditions that many in the industry have long been forced to endure. Since then, consumers, activists and other stakeholders around the world have demanded that brands take immediate action to ensure that workers are not only safe, but paid fairly while they’re constructing the clothing we wear every day.

H&M's Clevercare Labels Helping Customers Extend Clothing Life While Saving Energy, Water

At the Copenhagen Fashion Summit last week, designer Stella McCartney made an appearance via video to announce the launch of H&M’s new Clevercare garment labels.Developed in collaboration with Swiss global standard wash care label company Ginetex, the Clevercare labels provide explicit care instructions designed to help customers get the most out of their clothing through proper care — which also leads to water and energy savings through less frequent machine-washing and drying, as well as guidance on ironing and professional laundering techniques.

REI Foundation Awards $410,000 to Groups Engaging Youth in Nature

The REI Foundation has awarded a total of $410,000 to nonprofits that work to engage younger and more diverse populations in the outdoors. Children & Nature Network (C&NN), Futuro Media Group, Outdoor Foundation and YMCA of the USA were the chosen recipients.“The REI Foundation’s mission is to better connect the next generation of adventurers and environmental stewards with the outdoors by partnering with key organizations,” said Marc Berejka, president of the REI Foundation and REI's Director of Government and Community Affairs, in a release.

APP Announces Plan to Protect, Restore One Million Hectares of Indonesian Rainforest

Just over a year after Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) launched its sector-leading Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), which committed to an immediate and permanent cessation of natural forest clearance across its supply chain, the Indonesian paper giant today announced a detailed plan to restore and support the conservation of one million hectares of rainforest across Indonesia.

Survey Reveals Shocking Truth: Kids Don't Spend Enough Time Outside

This week, the Nature Conservancy released the results of the first global survey to capture not only how much time kids spend outside, but also parents’ perspectives on the importance and benefits of time spent in nature.The survey, funded by Disney, included parents of children between the ages of three and 18 in the US, Brazil, China, France and Hong Kong and revealed the following:65 percent of US parents see it as a “very serious” problem that kids are not spending more time outdoors. According to the survey, this is equal to their concerns about bullying, the quality of education and obesity. Of the other places surveyed, only parents in Brazil and Hong Kong share this concern.

P&G Upgrades Palm Oil Policy After Extensive Greenpeace Campaign

After a recent rash of new commitments from a number of its fellow consumer goods giants and a number of not-so-subtle hints from Greenpeace (including a high-profile protest at the company’s Cincinnati headquarters last month), Procter and Gamble (P&G) has announced a new “no deforestation” policy that pledges to eliminate palm oil-related forest destruction from its products and provide full traceability for all the palm oil and derivatives it uses.Greenpeace has welcomed the move as a huge step forward in protecting Indonesia’s rainforests and the communities that depend on them, but the NGO warned that much work still remains.