“The cornerstone of both sustainability and health is behavior change. If we are to move toward a sustainable and healthy future we must encourage the adoption of a multitude of actions (e.g., water and energy efficiency, waste reduction, pollution prevention, active lifestyles, hand washing, childhood immunization, etc.). To date, most programs to encourage such activities have relied upon disseminating information. Research demonstrates, however, that simply providing information has little or no effect on what people do. But if not ads, brochures or booklets, then what? Over the last decade a new approach — Community–based Social Marketing — has emerged as an effective alternative for delivering programs to foster sustainable and healthy behavior.”
– Doug McKenzie-Mohr
Now that we know that the largest proportion of energy use in our greenest buildings comes from thing people plug in, we have to address the fact that we humans and our daily habits are the next big hurdle for change. No matter how advanced and automated our building systems become, building occupants will need to understand and embrace their own role in creating and maintaining their optimal workplace. Changing human behavior is as nuanced as it comes. This is a challenge we can sink our teeth into!
Community-based Social Marketing (CBSM) is essentially a hybrid approach to program design that combines a methodical communication strategy process – including research, pilot trials, analysis and modification, if need be, before deployment – and social science research. We like to think, “… if only people understood, they’d surely change.” But it’s just not so. Old habits do die hard. We get stuck in our familiar routines. Just think of all those big budget campaigns from PG&E over the years that tried to convince us to save energy. Were they effective. No. (Were price hikes and municipal mandates. You bet. But that’s another story.) CBSM has been proven to work so embracing some change to advance our effectiveness as communication professionals, makes a lot of sense.
McKenzi-Mohr will be in San Francisco next month and offering his world-renown training at two levels, Introductory and Advance. I attended last year and highly recommend these workshops for anyone working on sustainability programs and communications.
For further information and registration: https://register.cbsm.com/workshops/san-francisco-2017