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Encouraging behaviour change

Posted on 26 January 2015

A new report has found that using locally relevant messages about climate change can encourage local communities to make greener choices.
The behavior change learning report produced and New Economics Foundation (NEF)  and Groundwork UK looks at the progress communities have made over an 18 month period, as part of the Big Lottery funded Communities Living Sustainably (CLS) programme. The five year programme, supported by Groundwork, provided up to £1 million to twelve communities to test ways of dealing with the potential impacts of climate change.

The report also highlights how locally relevant messages, practical action, pledges and follow-up contact can help influence behaviour change and help develop awareness and understanding about climate change at a local level.  Saving money, particularly in relation to energy efficiency and providing free products and services delivered through trusted third parties were important hooks to support greener behaviours.

The Manor House PACT is a Communities Living Sustainably project in London found that home visits have been successful in encouraging the local community to adopt pro-environmental behaviours.  

The home visit works with the resident to collate information about their energy use and property, followed by advice on energy and water saving behaviours and measures that could be implemented.  

The project has conducted over 500 home visits, with residents committing to a total of 2,437 energy and water saving pledges.  83% of residents had stuck to their pledges when contacted after a period of three months, with 90% of residents stating their initial visit had changed the way they use energy in their homes.

The report also highlights tools and approaches developed by the CLS projects to encourage and capture behaviour change within their communities.


Download the report

Download the summary report

Notes to Editors:

About Communities Living Sustainably
CLS will run for five years, with the communities taking part providing inspiration to other communities across England and sharing what they have learned with one another. The Big Lottery Fund programme is supported by the Groundwork UK Learning Partnership – five organisations with expertise in tackling climate change and helping communities to live more sustainably. The partnership comprises Groundwork UK, The Energy Saving Trust, The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens and The New Economics Foundation and Building Research Establishment.