Why aren’t we acting?

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How do you get people to change their behaviour? A simple question, perhaps, but with no simple answer.

When it comes to driving change, communication campaigns can play a key role.

Traditionally, sustainability interventions have focused on providing information to the public to raise awareness and change attitudes, with the assumption that giving the compelling argument will automatically lead to the desired behaviour. But research is indicating that many times green intentions do not translate into actions.

Information is necessary for change, but human behaviour is complex and is affected by more than just our level of knowledge. Altering it, therefore, becomes equally complex. So how, then, can we induce people to adopt new, more environmentally friendly behaviours?

Behavioural scientists and social psychologists have explored factors and techniques that can trigger a change in behaviour. Borrowing perspectives from the behavioural science discipline and using these to develop engaging environmental communication strategies can help to maximise the potential of campaigns aimed at motivating behavioural change.

Among others, Arctik currently leads the communications for an EU-funded project DOMINO, using a range of engaging online and offline communication techniques to target the energy-saving habits of 3,400 European households.

To optimise the campaign’s effectiveness, the project draws on behaviour change approaches, such as ‘stage theories’, viewing behaviour change as a journey that happens over time, and the paradigm of ‘binding communication’, linking persuasive communication and commitment theory. By engaging people to commit themselves to the DOMINO Smart Plug Challenge, the project aims to make these individuals more receptive to the subsequent messages on energy saving. This ‘preparatory act’ of signing up is essential as it engages individuals; it converts recipients into actors, increasing the probability that the individual will take concrete action in response to the message.

To find more information on the DOMINO project, please visit www.dominoenergy.eu and follow us on social media www.facebook.com/Dominoenergy/

To learn more about Arctik and to discuss how we can help you, feel free to contact us at info@arctik.eu

The DOMINO project is funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, Grant Agreement number 696074.

DOMINO Consortium: adelphi (Germany), Plugwise (Netherlands), Arctik (Belgium), Institut Bruxellois pour la Gestion de l’Environnement (Belgium), Energy Agency of Plovdiv (Bulgaria) and Agenzia Napoletana per l’Energia e per L’Ambiente (Italy).