This post is by Jason Chilvers and Helen Pallett of the 3S (Science, Society & Sustainability) Research group, at the University of East Anglia
The drive to engage wider society around energy and climate change in recent years has been impressive. There have been many examples of impactful government-led programmes, such as Sciencewise’s public dialogues, the Behavioural Insights Team, and community energy projects. An increasing appetite for engagement has also swept across civil society groups, academics and the private sector.
This post by Steven Johnson, founder of Collaborative Change, first appeared on Guardian Sustainable Business.
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. Read more
This post is by Green Alliance policy assistant Jonny Hazell, who worked on Waste Watch’s Our Common Place project, which has recently published a report on its first year.
Waste Watch’s Our Common Place programme emerged from the simple idea that just because an organisation is interested in an environmental issue – and is being funded to act on it – doesn’t mean other people will be interested. Read more
This post is by policy adviser Hannah Kyrke-Smith.
On Monday 25 June 2012, we brought together the residents from an inner London high rise estate and three of their local councillors to take part in the first of three workshops we’re holding in estates across the city under our Towering Ambitions project.
We are looking into the sustainable living challenges faced by people in tower blocks. Visions of a greener, cleaner future often involve people living and working happily in tall, shining towers, taking advantage of the benefits they offer of saving space, reducing waste and maximising efficiency. Sadly though, the reality of tower block life is a long way from this vision and they can be among the least green places to live. And this problem is acute in many parts of London where nearly half the population lives in high density accommodation. Read more
This is a guest post by Olly Lawder of sustainability communications agency Futerra.
Nothing is more engaging, distracting, entertaining or compulsive than video games. Don’t believe me? Then you either haven’t played them or you simply haven’t found the right one yet. And, if you’re one of those people who thinks that video games (and the people that play them) are stupid, then this post might change your mind, because video games could hold the answer to engaging millions in sustainability issues. Read more
This is a guest post is by Warren Hatter who advises on local low carbon policy and the use of behavioural insights.
When DECC published a report on consumption-based emissions reporting last week, the local perspective was only hinted at. But it jumped out at me during the evidence sessions that, in the absence of a localist (or at least pro-local governance) voice, the opportunity this presents for local areas could be lost.
This guest post, by Matthew Evans of Ipsos MORI, is based on recent international research conducted by Ipsos MORI.
Delivering behaviour change is essential if we are to have a more sustainable society. Meeting the UK’s climate change targets will require action at an individual as well as governmental level.
There is a variety of ways in which these changes in behaviour can be achieved. These include top down legislation, providing information to enable people to make informed decisions, and offering incentives to ease the financial cost to people of making changes to the way they travel, heat their homes and choose more environmentally-friendly products. But what do the public think about these efforts to change the way they live? Read more
This is a guest post by Prashant Vaze, Chief Economist of Consumer Focus and author of ‘Repowering Communities’ and the ‘Economical Environmentalist’.
How many airlines can say they have induced most of their customers to check in on-line, print off all their paperwork, board punctually, and curtail the holiday-goers natural inclination to pack their kitchen sink? This exemplar boot camp of behaviour change is also regarded, at least by its own estimation, as the country’s most popular airline.
As an environmentalist, albeit an economical one, it gives me little pleasure to reveal Ryanair as the firm. But the company gets the basics right. The planes are rarely late, its megaphone PR is clear in setting out its no-frills stall and its website is actually surprisingly clear about its nitpicking charges. And though its chief executive is rude its staff are friendly.
Policy wonks like nothing better than pulling policy levers to deploy sustainable energy technologies. But policy and technology cannot by themselves deliver sustainable energy use. The missing piece from the jig-saw is people: without people’s acquiescence no democratic politician will enact the new law, and new technologies will be poorly implemented. Read more