How My Green Lab is cleaning up R&D

January 19, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

How My Green Lab is cleaning up R&D Elsa Wenzel Tue, 01/19/2021 – 00:30 Solutions to the world’s biggest problems, including climate change and the coronavirus pandemic, are studied in research laboratories across the globe. But as sterile as those labs may appear, they have a dirty secret: immense carbon footprints. Labs burn through five to 10 times more energy per square foot than offices, an impact that may be magnified tenfold for clean rooms and other specialized facilities. For instance, 44 percent of the energy use of Harvard University is derived from its laboratories, which take up less than a quarter of campus space. Labs also send massive amounts of water down the drain and discard possibly billions of pounds of single-use plastics every year. A unifying force is needed that creates standards and fosters a space for strategies and best practices, according to James Connelly. That’s what he wants to deliver as the new CEO of My Green Lab, which works with life sciences leaders including AstraZeneca and Agilent. “It’s sort of a surprising fact how much energy and water and materials that laboratory spaces consume,” Connelly said. “It’s been ignored by the green building world a little bit because it’s difficult to address. So the unique aspect of what My Green Lab does is, it was created by scientists, for scientists to help work on behavior change and a transformation of how the labs are actually operated and how science and research is performed.” We’re seeing an acceleration of interest and excitement about sustainability through the pandemic, an overall awakening of the life science industry to sustainability. At universities and corporations alike, addressing emissions and waste in labs can significantly drive down costs and further sustainability commitments. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if half of America’s labs shaved off 30 percent of their energy use, the total savings would be equivalent to the annual energy use of 840,000 homes.  “My Green Lab is a brilliant project because it reaches out to change behavior and mindset of scientists in the lab,” said Pernilla Sörme, risk management lead in global safety, health and environment at AstraZeneca, which expanded Green Lab Certification to seven sites across its global portfolio. The nonprofit is the first consolidated effort to educate researchers about sustainability in laboratory operations. Its Green Lab Certification already has labeled more than 400 labs. Last year, the Colorado Department of Agriculture became the first government lab to reach “green,” the highest of five levels. If that sounds similar to green building standards, such as LEED, that’s by design: My Green Lab is gunning to become the leading sustainability advocacy group in the life sciences, globally. Connelly comes to the growing organization by way of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), which he helped expand into the world’s leading proponent of regenerative, healthy and equitable building design —  managing its Green Building Challenge and Living Product Challenge before serving as VP of projects and strategic growth. Projects and progress My Green Lab’s 15 partners and sponsors include biotech giant Genentech, MilliporeSigma and USA Scientific. The nonprofit also has teamed up with the EPA to bring the Department of Energy’s Energy Star label to ultra-low temperature freezers used for COVID-19 vaccines, applied first to equipment sold by Stirling Ultracold, another sponsor of My Green Lab. My Green Lab also runs the ACT “eco-nutrition” label for lab equipment. (ACT stands for Accountability, Consistency, and Transparency). It was created to help procurement officials and scientists with purchasing. The organization is working directly with manufacturers, including scientific instruments maker Thermo Fisher, to set benchmarks on products and packaging design. The label rates the sustainability of products consumed in laboratories including beakers, pipettes, bottles and equipment such as autoclaves and chemicals. The ratings represent data from the GreenScreen safer chemicals benchmark as well as details on packaging and product handling at the end of life. Last April, diagnostics equipment leader Agilent signed up as a My Green Lab sponsor and also to have its instruments certified for ACT. “We chose to work with My Green Lab because, like them, we understand the importance of building a more sustainable scientific industry,” said Darlene Solomon, Agilent’s chief technology officer and senior vice president. “In many cases, product developments in support of sustainability also reduce laboratory risk. As we see the importance and value that our customers place on sustainability growing, the ACT instrument labels from My Green Lab will play a major role in helping those customers to make more informed, sustainable decisions for their analytical laboratory.” The number of standalone lab-greening efforts has grown since Harvard-trained neuroscientist Allison Paradise created My Green Lab in 2013, from about 10 to 90 groups that engage tens of thousands of scientists around the world. “We’re seeing an acceleration of interest and excitement about sustainability through the pandemic, and that represents the general overall awakening and awareness of the life science industry to sustainability that My Green Lab is really helping to catalyze,” Connelly said. “It’s important because it’s a growth industry that’s going to be incredibly important to our future as a society, and to managing things like COVID or in the future other diseases that may come down the pipeline.” My Green Lab is a brilliant project because it reaches out to change behavior and mindset of scientists in the lab. Through certification and education programs, My Green Lab enlists scientists and facilities professionals to clean up the carbon impact of labs. Lately, the group has been publicizing ways to green the cold chain for COVID-19 vaccines , which require sub-North-Pole temperatures. Its Laboratory Freezer Challenge, entering its fifth year, has gotten professionals from hundreds of labs to reduce the energy consumption of their deep freezers. Higher efficiency energy systems in the green building industry don’t address the “guts” inside a lab that really drive energy consumption, Connelly noted. “That’s something I’m really excited about, to dive in deeply and see how quickly we can make an impact on these types of operations in buildings that have such a dramatic impact on climate change.” And because the higher-level sustainability goals of many organizations still haven’t moved down into their R&D labs, that means plenty of low-hanging fruit for scientists and their colleagues to pluck.  Noted energy hogs inside labs include ultra-low temperature freezers — which can eat up as much energy as a house — and chemical fume hoods for ventilation. The University of Glasgow’s Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation blames 42 percent of its energy consumption on centrifuges alone. In many cases, product developments in support of sustainability also reduce laboratory risk. As for the overuse of single-use plastics, the University of Exeter estimated that academic researchers produced plastic waste equivalent to 5.7 million two-liter soda bottles each year.  Thankfully, Connelly has seen more companies thinking through how to change the supply chain of plastics, produce them in a more sustainable way, figure out ways to reuse or recycle them in laboratories, and change the way lab professionals manage plastics. “There’s a ton of innovation happening,” he said. Based on case studies, My Green Lab estimates that participants in its Green Lab Certification can achieve reductions of 30 percent in energy use, 50 percent in water use and 10 percent in waste. AstraZeneca AstraZeneca was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to pursue Green Lab Certification at multiple sites, starting about two years ago. The company already had achieved LEED certifications in America and ISO 14 001 certification in Europe, and its R&D site leaders found a global strategy to steer sustainability in My Green Lab. Reducing waste and energy in its labs aids AstraZeneca’s sustainability targets, issued a year ago, of zero carbon emissions by 2025 and negative carbon emissions by 2030 across its value chain. That includes moving toward 100 percent renewables and a fully electric fleet. The Green Lab Certification has created a framework and a new way of working that becomes second-nature for AstraZeneca’s scientists, Sörme said. “You start thinking, do I actually need to use a high-grade solvent or can I use a low-grade solvent that’s more environmentally friendly?” And scientists can share ideas across the global sites, which is driving innovation in product development as well as employee engagement. “We also have a lot of fun activities,” she said. “For instance, we got our scientists in the U.K., because they love doing research, to do a bit of an inventory. They did ‘a day in the lab’ to find out how much they used plastic-wise. That’s the state we want to be at when people come up with ideas on their own and want to share that.” Each AstraZeneca lab site has a green team with scientists, facility managers, health and safety managers and procurement professionals. A survey kicks off the Green Lab Certification process, reaching out to every scientist, not just key leaders. There’s a lot of best-practice sharing on novel ideas, such as for recycling lab gloves and reducing water use, Sörme noted. A lab in Boston might share solutions for a site in Cambridge, U.K., to adapt locally. Quick-win practices have included changing freezer filters annually and installing LED lights. AstraZeneca in 2019 credited Green Lab with helping it reach a 97 percent recycling rate of biological waste at a facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and sparking the recycling of tens of thousands of plastic centrifuge tubes and serological pipets in Cambridge. The company is exploring how to raise the temperature of ultra-low temperature freezers from minus-80 to minus-70 degrees Celsius to achieve significant energy savings. In a separate effort, AstraZeneca was a winner in the 2020 Freezer Challenge run by My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories. Systemic issues My Green Lab’s intention to address systemic issues by creating an ecosystem of programs echoes the approach taken by the ILFI, which was initially considered aspirational by many in the mainstream building establishment yet has been embraced by the likes of Microsoft and Google and making headway in Asia and Europe. Connelly hopes to see a similar growth trajectory at My Green Lab, which has an ambassador program and accreditation program in development. It’s worth noting that ILFI was an early advocate of identifying social equity as a root cause behind environmental problems, releasing its JUST Label behind building products in 2014, following its Declare Program in 2012 targeting “red list” chemicals of concern in building products. “We want to start driving equity into our program and elevating it to the same position as efficiency and waste reduction and water reduction,” Connelly said of My Green Lab. Pull Quote We’re seeing an acceleration of interest and excitement about sustainability through the pandemic, an overall awakening of the life science industry to sustainability. My Green Lab is a brilliant project because it reaches out to change behavior and mindset of scientists in the lab. In many cases, product developments in support of sustainability also reduce laboratory risk. Topics Chemicals & Toxics Eco-Design COVID-19 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off My Green Lab is helping scientists address the massive energy costs of running high-tech labs. Shutterstock Choksawatdikorn Close Authorship

See original here:
How My Green Lab is cleaning up R&D

Recycling Medical Equipment To Reduce Medical Waste

January 18, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco

Reusing medical devices labeled as single-use sounds sketchy. Especially in … The post Recycling Medical Equipment To Reduce Medical Waste appeared first on Earth 911.

Read the original here:
Recycling Medical Equipment To Reduce Medical Waste

The case for buying climate tech from BIPOC and women-owned suppliers

January 18, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

The case for buying climate tech from BIPOC and women-owned suppliers Marilyn Waite Mon, 01/18/2021 – 01:45 Stopping carbon pollution alone will not bring climate justice. Reaching net-zero by 2050 will not either. Neither will achieving 100 percent renewable energy targets. The entire economy is being rebuilt. From electric modes of transportation to climate-smart agriculture, the low-carbon economy creates new roles, companies and workers. It would be regressive if this green economy excluded the very communities disproportionately affected by a changing climate. Moreover, the climate-friendly transition could provide an opportunity to create a more just workforce — one that includes more women and underrepresented people of color at all levels of leadership and ownership. Right now, this opportunity is not so. A 2019 study by the Solar Foundation and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) found that among all senior executives reported by solar firms, 88 percent are white and 80 percent are men. Another report from the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Energy Futures Initiative found that for energy efficiency jobs, women and Black workers substantially lag the national workforce averages. If these trends continue, the low-carbon economy will be just as extractive as its predecessor. Previously, oil and gas companies topped the list of the largest Black-owned enterprises in the U.S. In the 1980s, the largest 10 of these included five energy-related companies , with combined annual sales of about $854 million in 2021 U.S. dollars: Wallace & Wallace; the Vanguard Oil and Service Company; Smith Pipe and Supply Inc.; the Grimes Oil Company; and the Chioke International Corporation. How can the two principal agents in the economy, suppliers and demanders, bring about climate justice? For customers and procurers, one solution is to buy Black. Support women-owned. Go local. That would require an ample supply of green products and services led by women and underrepresented people of color. So where are these suppliers, who are they and what do they have to offer? Historically in the United States, there have been government and corporate procurement programs that support minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs). Many qualifying certification schemes exist, ranging from local to national, and from public, free structures to private, paid third-party structures. The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), founded in Chicago in 1972, certifies minority business enterprises (MBEs) through 23 regional councils across the U.S. The requirements? A company must be at least 51 percent owned and operated by Asian, Black, Hispanic or Native American U.S. citizens. The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), founded in 1997, certifies women-owned businesses in the U.S. To qualify, a business must be 51 percent owned, controlled, operated and managed by a woman or women. Most procurement programs that have minority- and women-led business targets have their own process for verification, making third-party systems a redundant, unnecessary cost burden. While these systems may appear straightforward, they can be troublesome for the business owner. One Black-led cleantech startup was so frustrated with the NMSDC process that the founder gave up — at the time when she applied, NMSDC would not verify her as Black without her parental birth records indicating race. This information can be hard to come by for a whole host of reasons. Relying on 23andMe-style DNA tests also does not seem like a viable option for privacy and other concerns. Another Black founder explained, “Most procurement programs that have minority- and women-led business targets have their own process for verification, making third-party systems a redundant, unnecessary cost burden.” Others find the whole notion outdated, and most importantly for the bottom line, not helpful for attracting and retaining customers. Can a system established about 50 years ago meet the needs of today? After all, a lot has evolved in the marketplace — the digital age coupled with social media has changed the way businesses interact. The investment landscape, which still systemically and systematically denies access to capital to women and underrepresented people of color, also has evolved since the 1970s. As detailed in a report by the Brookings Institute, only 4 percent of the 22.2 million U.S. business owners are Black, and only 1 percent of Black business owners get a loan in their first year of business compared with 7 percent for white business owners. Finally, the democratization of information has led to a certain public accountability that lends itself to favor self-identification of race, ethnicity and gender. Instead of relying on a paywalled list of suppliers, purchasers form relationships with suppliers through “warm lead” business recommendations, industry vertical networks considered more trustworthy given the focus on subject matter expertise, and other avenues, such as the “crowd,” that help vet potential business partners. Many tech-oriented companies prefer equity to debt, and often can only consider equity at the early stages. The need to offer equity to investors often reduces the percentage of the founder’s ownership below the 51 percent threshold. The need to prove a certain race or gender may be less helpful than just using self-identification; today’s social media mechanisms create some accountability. Many procurement programs that seek to improve representation penalize larger MWBEs. The regulations are also set up to force these businesses to remain small, by putting in place revenue caps of as low as $3 million to qualify and by only having programs for MWBE sub-contractors, as opposed to prime contractors . Perhaps one way forward is to align with the times, where the ecosystem of capital and access to information has evolved. That is, make visible and uplift the MWBEs leading the clean transition, make the list of founders and senior executives open-access, provide early-stage capital (debt, equity, revenue share, non-dilutive grants) for both small and midsize enterprises and high-growth tech startups alike, strategically partner with MWBEs on projects, and remove the red tape that exists in procurement programs to keep underrepresented MWBEs in a subordinate and small position. On the latter point, the wish list for Black women cleantech founders that I spoke to include allowing for more flexibility around equity ownership (51 percent may be too onerous, especially for VC-backed startups), raising revenue caps (let’s say to $100 million), including sustainability and clean energy carve-outs in procurement, and moving away from third-party certification to decide who is a woman and who is a racial or ethnic minority. Black Owners of Solar Services ( BOSS ) is an organization set up to support smart policies that bring about climate justice in the U.S. Below is a list of Black-led companies, both small and midsize enterprises and startups, that are leading the low-carbon transition. Although not as robust as this list , for customers and procurers, this is where you can start. Senior Executive/CEO/Founder    Specialty Company Etosha Cave, Founder and CSO Carbon Economy Opus 12 Lisa Dyson,  Founder and CEO Carbon Economy Kiverdi Donna Sanders, Founder and CEO Energy Efficiency and Buildings Virimodo Donnel Baird, Founder Energy Efficiency and Buildings BlocPower SaLisa Berrien, CEO and Founder Energy Efficiency and Buildings COI Energy Ugwem Eneyo, Co-founder Energy Efficiency and Buildings SHYFT Power Solutions Ajulo E. Othow, Founder and CEO Solar Energy EnerWealth Solutions Dana Clare Redden, Founder Solar Energy Solar Stewards Gilbert Campbell and Antonio Francis, Co-founders Solar Energy Volt Energy Jessica O. Matthews, Co-founder and CEO Solar Energy Uncharted Power Jessica Newton, Founder and CEO Solar Energy OBIPower Ken Wells, CEO Solar Energy O&M Solar Services Kristal Hansley, Founder Solar Energy WeSolar Mark Davis, Founder and President Solar Energy WDC Solar Mina McCullom, President and CEO Solar Energy SynEnergy Monique Dyers, Founder and Managing Principal Solar Energy Ensight Energy Nicole Poindexter, Co-founder and CEO Solar Energy Energicity Rob Wallace, Co-founder and CEO Solar Energy Power52 Salma Okonkwo, CEO Solar Energy Blue Power Energy Kellee James, Founder and CEO Sustainable Agriculture Mercaris Nemo Semret, Sara Menker and Sewit Ahderom, Co-founders Sustainable Agriculture Gro Intelligence Tinia Pina, Founder and CEO Sustainable Agriculture Re-Nuble Zuleyka Strasner, Founder Sustainable Agriculture Zero Grocery Pull Quote Most procurement programs that have minority- and women-led business targets have their own process for verification, making third-party systems a redundant, unnecessary cost burden. Topics Social Justice Racial Justice Corporate Procurement Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

See original here:
The case for buying climate tech from BIPOC and women-owned suppliers

Our favorite environmental TikTok channels

December 15, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Our favorite environmental TikTok channels

TikTokers aren’t just young, fashionable and good at lip-synching and skits. More and more users of the social media platform are on a campaign to save the world. Originally called music.ly and used for sharing user-generated music videos, the platform is now popular with people sharing sustainability tips, promoting veganism and talking about their concerns for the future of the planet. TikTok now has about 850 million active users. Eco-themed hashtags like “moss”, “ biodiversity ”, “zero waste” and “sustainable fashion” have gained millions of views. With so many channels and hashtags on the TikTok app, it can be hard to sift through the noise to find the eco-friendly content. Here are a few of our favorite environmental TikTok channels to keep on your radar. Related: 14 apps to help you live a more sustainable lifestyle @eco_tok who else is on team anti-grass lawns? creator: @caseyc0w #antigrasslawntiktok #environment #grass ? original sound – Kaitlyn eco_tok The environmental collective EcoTok has become very popular on TikTok. EcoTok was co-founded by 27-year-old Philip Aiken, whose special interest is  soil  restoration. During lockdown he started the collective with other young creators. “I see it as like planting seeds, and hopefully that germinates and that person wants to learn more,” Aiken said . His fans constantly message him about sustainability and gardening. Aiken is U.S.-based but earned a master’s degree in renewable energy in New Zealand. “It’s been cool being able to influence the younger generation in that way,” Aiken said. @iamtabithabrown Vegan shrimp for the lunch win!!! #tabithabrown #veganshrimp ? original sound – Tabitha Brown iamtabithabrown Tabitha Brown is an actor who has been in the spotlight for years but became a TikTok sensation this year for her vegan-focused videos. Her channel features funny and inspirational messages and, of course, mouth-watering vegan dishes that you’ll want to whip up in your own kitchen. @diysustainability #upcycle #diy #tshirtupcycle #sustainability #diysustainability #lesswaste #fyp ? Ashes – Stellar diysustainability DIY Sustainability’s 32.9K followers tune in to find entertaining and easy projects to do at home with old stuff. Have you ever wanted to learn to make a haunted house out of old moving boxes? Or to learn to weave baskets out of plastic yarn? Does your guinea pig yearn for new toys made out of old toilet paper rollers? This is the TikTok channel for you. @last20pavement Almost all glass materials can be infinitely recycled🙌 #doyourpart #sustainability #recycle #environment ? Deep End – Fousheé last20pavement The young Canadian behind last20pavement posts jokes and environmental raps, like: “I’m an environmentalist, but I do get pissed, when people walk around the Earth like they don’t give a shit. I’ve got my reusables. Aren’t they pretty neat? Not to flex, but I also don’t eat any meat.” This is a good channel to follow if you’re interested in veganism and recycling . @mvvvc I want a 3D printed building so bad #engineering #3dprinting #concrete #civilengineer #earth #soil ? Heart Of Glass (Live from the iHeart Festival) – Miley Cyrus mvvvc This civil and structural engineer contemplates alternative building materials, high-speed rail, green roofs , politics and the occasional engineering joke. Mvvvc also shows off some incredible examples of architecture around the world. @vismcandleco Someone keeps leaving empty Tito’s Vodka handles around 🤷🏽‍♂️, so let’s UPCYCLE! #candlemaking #upcycle #reuse #recycle #sustainability #dranks #me ? Woohoo – Kirsten Collins jtdrbeauty Jacob Tomás del Rosa is a proud candle enthusiast and upcycler who finds ways to turn many surprising things into candles. If you’re about to throw your old vodka bottles into the recycling, hold on. In a one-minute video, del Rosa will show you how to turn that bottle into a chartreuse green candle instead. You’ll also find helpful tips for safely sanding wine bottles into soft candle holder rims without breathing in tiny pieces of glass. @ethica.clothing Quit Fast Fashion, Join the Revolution #thrift #upcycle #sustainable #ethicalfashion #ethicalfashionbrand #sustainablefashion #secondhand ? Lovely Day – Bill Withers ethica.clothing This is a TikTok channel for the online store Ethica Thrift . The account’s 182K followers eagerly await the next drop of seasonally appropriate, upcycled and thrifted clothes in addition to videos covering environmental facts. @brightly.eco What are some bedroom swaps you’ve made? #ecofriendly #ecofriendlyproducts #zerowaste #zerowasteliving #antiquestore #thrifting #GrowUpWithMe #bedroom ? The Journey – Sol Rising brightly.eco Learn about everything from the benefits of earthships to how to live a zero-waste lifestyle via the brightly.eco channel . We love the Old Me, New Me series, which features simple, affordable (even free!) swaps you can make at home to be more sustainable. @epicgardening pro seed starting tip #garden #tiktokpartner #learnontiktok ? Ice Dance (From “Edward Scissorhands”) – Ashton Gleckman epicgardening Looking for garden inspiration? Hoping to learn more about starting seeds and composting? Check out epicgardening , a verified TikTok account that offers plenty of gardening advice using a real-life backyard garden influenced by the video game Stardew Valley. Image via Kon Karampelas

See more here:
Our favorite environmental TikTok channels

Earth911 Reader: Rising CO2 Shortens Growing Seasons & More News

December 5, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Earth911 Reader: Rising CO2 Shortens Growing Seasons & More News

We keep an eye on the news for useful information … The post Earth911 Reader: Rising CO2 Shortens Growing Seasons & More News appeared first on Earth 911.

Read the original post:
Earth911 Reader: Rising CO2 Shortens Growing Seasons & More News

Replace Disposable Batteries With These Rechargeable Ones

December 5, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Replace Disposable Batteries With These Rechargeable Ones

In the United States, we purchase nearly 3 billion single-use … The post Replace Disposable Batteries With These Rechargeable Ones appeared first on Earth 911.

Here is the original post:
Replace Disposable Batteries With These Rechargeable Ones

Earth911 Reader: This Week’s Sustainability, Recycling, & Science News Collection

November 28, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Earth911 Reader: This Week’s Sustainability, Recycling, & Science News Collection

The Earth911 Reader summarizes the week’s sustainability, recycling, and science … The post Earth911 Reader: This Week’s Sustainability, Recycling, & Science News Collection appeared first on Earth 911.

See the rest here:
Earth911 Reader: This Week’s Sustainability, Recycling, & Science News Collection

Enter to Win a 2021 Tesla Model 3 by Donating to Charity

November 28, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech

Comments Off on Enter to Win a 2021 Tesla Model 3 by Donating to Charity

It’s no joke that electric cars have a smaller carbon … The post Enter to Win a 2021 Tesla Model 3 by Donating to Charity appeared first on Earth 911.

Here is the original post:
Enter to Win a 2021 Tesla Model 3 by Donating to Charity

We Earthlings: The U.S. Recycles Only 34.6% of Its Waste

November 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Recycle

Comments Off on We Earthlings: The U.S. Recycles Only 34.6% of Its Waste

The U.S. recycles only 34.6% of its waste. If recycling … The post We Earthlings: The U.S. Recycles Only 34.6% of Its Waste appeared first on Earth 911.

Here is the original post:
We Earthlings: The U.S. Recycles Only 34.6% of Its Waste

4 tips for changing consumer behavior

November 23, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on 4 tips for changing consumer behavior

4 tips for changing consumer behavior Lauren Phipps Mon, 11/23/2020 – 01:00 When I cover solutions to the plastic waste crisis, I typically focus on infrastructure development and bringing recycling systems to scale, standardizing materials, inventing new ones and designing out unnecessary single-use items, and rethinking business models and supply chains. But once these structures are in place, they only work if consumers embrace new models and ensure that materials move through the system as planned. Otherwise, the entire system breaks down. And if you thought it was hard getting your colleagues to recycle rigid plastic or compost paper towels, or to stop wishcycling — that whatever they throw into the bin will, in fact, be recycled — think about the complexity of changing consumer behavior across a city, country or beyond.  During a recent webcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Natalie Hallinger, a behavioral scientist and behavior change adviser working to translate research on human motivation into real-world behavior change strategies.  Here are four tips Hallinger recommends for designing large-scale interventions:  Make it relatable: “People often think they need to force people to do something they don’t want to do,” Hallinger shared. But brute force is rarely the path of least resistance. “The easier route is to find a way to relate to them. What’s an intersection of a goal they already want that aligns with your goal?” For example, if your generic environmental appeal to an individual doesn’t resonate, perhaps an individual will relate more with a personal desire to visit a clean beach in the summer.  Make it desirable: Culture and social norms are strong drivers of consumer behavior. “The most desirable thing for humans is to fit in,” Hallinger explained. “If you design interventions that create community norms of waste reduction behavior, reusing and repairing, then everyone wants to be doing the same thing. You don’t want to stand out. You do it because of your desire to be part of the community.” Make it contextual: Behavior change interventions must be relevant and salient. Hallinger explained that if you’re engaging employees in a work context about actions they can take at home, it likely will go in one ear and out the other. Focus on actions that people can implement immediately.  Make it easy : The “right” choice from a sustainability perspective should also be the easy choice. “If you create the infrastructure and design built environments that make the behavior you want the default, then you have behavior without even needing to persuade the person.” To eliminate the guesswork that consumers face at the bin, Hallinger suggested that single-stream recycling with back-of-house sorting would design out confusion and contamination and lead to higher recycling rates in certain contexts.  I invite you to listen to the entire webcast here , which includes additional insights on behavior change from Jacob Duer, president and CEO of Alliance to End Plastic Waste; Jeff Kirschner, founder and CEO of Litterati; and John Warner, distinguished research fellow at Zymergen.  Topics Circular Economy Consumer Trends Featured Column In the Loop Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

More here:
4 tips for changing consumer behavior

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 3214 access attempts in the last 7 days.