What makes people make greener decisions?
I’m coming to the end of one of my favourite ever projects – some research into what motivates a client’s employees to make greener decisions. I started off with a review of the academic literature and what struck me was how inconsistent it was. I’ve just checked for any new academic papers published in the meantime, and I found the same. Every study or meta-study I read came up with different conclusions, which is very frustrating.
If I had to nominate the three, highly interlinked, factors I think make the most difference, I would plump for:
- Leadership: commitment flows from the top, and transformational leadership is required to deliver the scale of change required.
- Culture: few people will stride out on their own, they need to feel they have their peers at their side.
- Participation: directly involving people in Sustainability is the surefire method of getting them enthused and will give them a deeper understanding of the issues than any lunchtime lecture.
OK, that’s just a gut instinct answer, but given the paucity of evidence from academia, it seems as good a guide as any.
What do you think?