LONDON – 04 NOVEMBER 2021 – Ahead of COP Public Engagement Day tomorrow, The Behavioural Insights Team, (BIT, a.k.a The Nudge Unit) are today launching a brand new evidence-based carbon emissions-reduction digital tool. The application, Get-Greener.com, gives individuals personalised, realistic and practical actions they can take right away to reduce their carbon emissions based on their current lifestyle and behaviour.
When it comes to changing climate-related personal actions, behavioural science highlights two main areas that need to be addressed.
The first is knowledge. BIT research has found that people frequently do not have a good sense of what actions they can take are most environmentally impactful. Individuals consistently overestimate the impact of softer actions like recycling and under-estimate the huge cuts to carbon emissions that result from changing domestic heating, diets and travel.
The second big gap is between intentions and action. In the UK, 99% of people say they would take at least 1 climate action they weren’t taking already but only 56% have taken any action in the last 6 months (it was 55% in 2019).
The Get-Greener.com tool, developed in conjunction with Energy Systems Catapult, seeks to fill these two gaps. Unlike most carbon footprint calculators, it only asks four simple questions. But based on these, Get-Greener.com is able to recommend specific actions and behaviours that are feasible and relevant to individual circumstances.
For example people in rented accommodation have little control over the design of their heating system, so any advice to them about heat pumps is of little practical use. Get-Greener.com also recommends steps to take that can help encourage larger behaviour shifts in the future, for example such as taking an electric vehicle for a test drive before having to make any decisions about purchasing a new car.
Luke Ravenscroft, a Director at The Behavioural Insights Team said: “Most of us are on board with saving the planet but it is hard to land on impactful actions, particularly actions that fit our current circumstances. It’s difficult to play your part when you don’t know which actions and behaviours will actually make a difference. We developed Get-Greener.com to help fill this gap and we hope people everywhere will find it an easy way to help them make a real and permanent difference to their carbon footprint.”