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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.

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.

Sweeping Commercial Fishing Bans Could Create Sea Change in Global Seafood Industry

Western seafood lovers may begin to notice a change in the availability of some of their favorite fish varieties as a result of a number of new restrictions placed on commercial fishing in recent weeks, in an effort to preserve the integrity of marine ecosystems and the sustainability of fish stocks.

H&M, Inditex Join Campaign to Eliminate Endangered Forests from Viscose Clothing

Today, H&M and Zara/Inditex, the world’s two largest clothing brands, announced commitments to eliminate ancient and endangered forests from all of their rayon and viscose clothing. The retail and design leaders developed these new purchasing commitments in partnership with environmental NGO Canopy as part of an initiative to address the growing impacts of the clothing industry on the world’s forests, biodiversity and climate. Organic fashion brand Loomstate also joins EILEEN FISHER, Quiksilver, Patagonia and 17 other progressive apparel brands already backing the “Fashion Loved by Forest” campaign.

Durex Encouraging Lovers to #TurnOffToTurnOn During Earth Hour

While people, organizations and superheroes around the world are preparing to take part in Earth Hour — an hour of darkness to raise awareness of climate change — tomorrow at 8:30pm local time, Durex condoms is taking the opportunity to encourage people to “reconnect” with each other whilst the lights are out.

We're Only Human: Personal Concerns Weigh Heavily on Business Purchases

At Shelton Group we’ve been polling Americans regularly for nearly a decade to understand their attitudes and behaviors related to energy and the environment so we can best help our clients define and leverage their sustainability stories. Until late last year our studies were consumer-focused, though much of our client work is actually on the business-to-business side. So late last year we fielded our first-ever B2B Pulse study to better understand the role sustainability plays as business decision-makers are making purchasing decisions.

6 Cool Tools for Driving Behaviour Change and Innovation

When wrestling with the attitude-behaviour gap and grappling with the emotional and often-irrational nature of the human animal (aka any of your business's stakeholders), you’ll need all the help you can get. Whether you’re crafting a communications strategy to encourage positive behaviour change or facilitating a process to unleash new ideas and breakthrough innovation on a project, thankfully, digital media is facilitating the rapid sharing and diffusion of smart, practical ways to create change.

ExxonMobil Agrees to Report on Climate Change & Carbon Asset Risk

ExxonMobil for the first time ever has agreed to publish a Carbon Asset Risk report on its website describing how it assesses the risk of stranded assets from climate change. The report will provide investors with greater transparency into how ExxonMobil plans for a future where market forces and climate regulation makes at least some portion of its carbon reserves unburnable.

General Mills, Colgate-Palmolive Announce No-Deforestation Commitments; NGOs Weigh In

Not long after Mars jumped on board earlier this month, this week the deforestation-free consumer products bandwagon got even fuller with new commitments from General Mills and Colgate-Palmolive.

Earth-Friendly Diet Campaign Urges Americans: 'Take Extinction Off Your Plate'

As global meat consumption continues to drive accelerating deforestation, drought and other threats to endangered species, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) launched a new campaign this week urging Americans to “take extinction off your plate.” The campaign says eating less meat is one of the best ways people can reduce their environmental footprint.“Many people don’t realize the devastating toll meat production has on wildlife and the planet,” said Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director at the CBD. “The livestock industry has nearly driven animals like wolves extinct, and it’s responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than cars, trains and airplanes combined.”

Paris Imposes Car Ban After Air Pollution Hits Record High

In a bold and understandably unpopular move this week, the City of Paris banned half its motorists from driving their cars and motorcycles on Monday after a series of warm days and cold nights caused the city's worst pollution levels since 2007, BBC News reports.Part of a scheme to reduce the number of vehicles on the road — and the resulting pollution — the ban was originally planned for Monday and Tuesday; only motorists with odd-numbered number plates were allowed to drive on Monday, and only those with even-numbered plates were to be allowed to travel on Tuesday.

Michelin Asking Brits to Be More Mindful of Their Tire Pressure

According to global tire manufacturer Michelin, British motorists could be spending over £1B a year and needlessly emitting more than 2B tons of CO2 per year due to under-inflated tires.Michelin’s research suggests that three-quarters of Britain’s 31.5 million cars could have under-inflated tires, leading to unnecessary fuel consumption and excess greenhouse gas emissions.As an averagely under-inflated tire results in roughly 3 percent less fuel efficiency, the company says an average driver could be wasting in the region of £65 a year solely due to the increased rolling resistance. Potentially, more than one billion liters of fuel could also be wasted every year because drivers are not checking tire pressures regularly enough.

With GAR's Commitment, Over Half of World's Palm Oil Could Now Be Deforestation-Free

Singapore-based palm oil trader Golden Agri Resources (GAR) announced Friday it will extend its forest conservation policy across all of its third-party suppliers — pledging that all palm oil it produces, sources and trades will now be deforestation-free. GAR’s commitment, combined with the similarly sweeping commitment made by the world’s largest palm oil trader, Wilmar International, in December, means that over half of the world's palm oil is now covered by zero-deforestation pledges.

Greenpeace to P&G: Enough with the 'Dirty' Palm Oil

Greenpeace launched another massive campaign this week, this time demanding Procter & Gamble end its role in rainforest destruction through its careless sourcing of palm oil.

Kellogg Commits to Fully Traceable Palm Oil by End of 2015

Kellogg Company has announced a commitment to work with its global palm oil suppliers to source fully traceable palm oil, “produced in a manner that's environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable.”To do so, Kellogg is working through its supply chain — from suppliers to processors to growers — to ensure that its palm oil is sourced from plantations that uphold the company's commitment to protect forests and peat lands, as well as human and community rights.

Greenpeace Targeting 'Little Monsters' in Luxury Brands at Milan Fashion Week

Greenpeace certainly is on a roll, counting two major successes in as many weeks with commitments from fashion brand Burberry and retailer Primark to eliminate toxic chemicals from all of their products and production processes by 2020.

Caesars Entertainment First to Sign On to EPA's WaterSense H2Otel Challenge

Last week, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the launch of the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge to encourage hotels to use best management practices that will save water and money, while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change.

Subway Eliminating Controversial Compound from Its Bread Dough

Subway announced late last week that it is removing a curious ingredient from its bread — a compound known as azodicarbonamide (or E927), whose other common uses include increasing the elasticity of items such as shoe soles and yoga mats, according to CNN. Though Subway insists the compound is safe and it is commonly added to all types of breads, the company’s decision to remove it comes after pressure from blogger Vani Hari, otherwise known as “Food Babe,” who started a petition to have Subway eliminate the chemical.

Why CVS' 'No Smokes' Decision Is Big News for Forward-Thinking Brands

On Feb. 5, drugstore chain CVS Caremark announced that it will stop selling tobacco products.It’s a big deal. Here’s why.It signals a step towards more businesses saying, “It’s wrong. So we’re stopping.” Even when the financials — what the sustainability world calls “the business case” — don’t support it in the short term.I’d like to suggest that CVS’ announcement moves the ball downfield for more business decisions based on social and environmental impacts. It creates new, safe middle ground to operate more openly from the “morals” argument as a valued partner to the “money” business case argument.

Driving Sustainability: Lessons from Public Health

Experts in public health have struggled with enabling behaviour change for years. The sustainability sector should learn what it can from their experiences. Consumer behaviour change is the challenge of our time. As governments and brands are beginning to realise, upstream improvements are relatively easy to make compared with the herculean task of shifting consumer behaviours downstream. While the sustainability community is just beginning to get to grips with the gravity of this challenge, our colleagues in public health have been wrestling with it for decades. Great progress has been made, but hard lessons have been learned — costly, time-consuming lessons that we can all learn from.