MacKay Hannah

Behaviour Change and Achieving Net Zero after COP: the roles of consumers, companies and public bodies

Mon 6th Dec 2021

SUPPORTERS All Supporters

OVERVIEW View Webinar Agenda

Achieving Net Zero will require big investment in sustainable infrastructure and services. It will mean new approaches to how communities are planned and function. It also demands very substantial change in consumer behaviour. However, while public concern about climate change is now at its highest level, this has not resulted in large scale changes in citizen and consumer behaviour. There is a wide gap between wanting to do our bit, but not doing enough. How therefore can consumers get from anxious to active? How can companies and organisations better drive - and be driven by - transformational consumer behaviour?

Why do some people take action on climate change in their personal lives and actions, both at home and elsewhere, while others do not? Research shows that awareness of climate change is at its highest ever level and that people do feel an obligation to act and would like to do so. So, what stops them? Do organisations in both the public and private sectors understand what motivates and prevents their customers and consumers in acting on climate change?

There is an intention-action gap preventing personal climate-friendly changes from being made. Organisations have a key role to play in informing people of the urgency and practicality of the pathways they can take to close this gap. However, organisations need to realise that to fulfil their role there is clear evidence they must factor in. Consumers have little understanding of the science involved and they value familiar language and concepts. The motivation to save money is a core driver of behaviour change. Deeply ingrained cultural habits remain a core obstacle. Property type and age are key indicators affecting behaviour change.

This webinar explores what drives consumer and customer behaviour on climate change. It discusses what organisations can and should do to support climate change action by better communicating with people. Finally, it examines behaviour change success in other contexts in order to reflect on what works when the challenge is tough, the change is necessary, and the reward is not immediate.

Speakers will consider what consumers think and how they act (or don’t) on climate change, they will discuss how organisations should act and communicate to support and benefit from changed consumer behaviour and they will reflect on approaches to behaviour change elsewhere which could assist in climate related action. 


Iagan MacNeil

Head of Policy and Communications, Smart Energy GB

Alya Hazell

Associate Director, The Behavioural Architects

Kate Thomson

Researcher - ADVANCE, Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Edinburgh

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All of the speakers were excellent - thank you!

Raising Young Scots Conference, November 2017