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Cooling the campus: Experiences from a pilot study to reduce electricity use at Tufts University, USA, using social marketing methods

Kristin Marcell (Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA)
Julian Agyeman (Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA)
Ann Rappaport (Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 1 June 2004

Abstract

A community‐based social marketing (CBSM) campaign to reduce student electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions was undertaken at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Social marketing methods follow a commercial marketing model and involve market research into the planning, pricing, communication, distribution, and evaluation of methods designed to encourage a desired behavior change rather than a product. Two upper‐class suite‐style dorms were used in the study. Residents of the control dormitory were exposed to an educational program on climate change detailing how their electricity and computer use creates greenhouse gas emissions. Residents of the experimental dorm were exposed to the same educational program as well as a social marketing campaign encouraging students to turn personal computers off when not in use. Before and after surveys suggested that the social marketing campaign had a greater impact on student environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors than the educational program alone.

Keywords

Citation

Marcell, K., Agyeman, J. and Rappaport, A. (2004), "Cooling the campus: Experiences from a pilot study to reduce electricity use at Tufts University, USA, using social marketing methods", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 169-189. https://doi.org/10.1108/14676370410526251

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited