Leal-Filho, W. (2014), "Editorial", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 15 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-07-2014-0096Download as .RIS
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Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Volume 15, Issue 4
Welcome to another issue of International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (IJSHE) where an interesting set of papers dealing with sustainability at university across the world is presented.
In this editorial, I would like to inform our readers about the Science for Environment Policy bulletin titled “Influencing environmental behaviour through nudging and information”. As the document outlines, one of the greatest challenges facing environmental policymakers is encouraging people to behave more sustainably. The study argues that there is little evidence to suggest that information campaigns alone can actually persuade people to make long-term behavioural changes. A better strategy may be to combine good information with knowledge of how people make decisions, nudging them towards sustainable choices.
The study suggests that “nudging” can alter people’s behaviour by changing their social or physical environment in subtle ways that unconsciously trigger a desired behaviour. The study cites a number of examples of how the public have been “nudged” towards a more sustainable choice, for example, a Danish survey which found that the way people are asked about smart meter installation substantially affects the uptake rate. Making acceptance the default response, but with an opt-out option, resulted in almost 50 per cent more people agreeing to the installation than by asking them to opt in. The study concludes with a call for greater research to strengthen the theoretical underpinnings of this approach to behavioural change. It can be read in full at:
Enjoy your reading.
Walter Leal Filho, Faculty of Life Sciences, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, Germany