Wondering how you can influence behavior to reduce energy usage among businesses as well as residents?
Over the last decade, energy efficiency programs—faced with aggressive goals and fewer easy wins relative to technology—began seeking to change participant behaviors, especially at the household level. One strategy—home energy reports—dominated the program design. Home energy reports feature a model where participants receive feedback on how their energy usage compares to other homes—leveraging social norms. There is now plenty of research proving that households will reduce their energy usage if they learn that their consumption is higher than other peer households.
However, one of the challenges with the home energy report model, is that while we know that households reduce their usage, we don’t know how they reduced their usage, or for how long those reductions will persist.
Cool Choices is thrilled to continue our partnership with Kohler Co. for a second employee sustainability engagement program. Kohler is not only a global leader in kitchen and bathroom products, but they are also an inspiring leader in environmentally sustainable business practices. Kohler believes that better business and a better environment go hand in hand. Providing the Cool Choices sustainability engagement program to their employees helps reinforce these ideals among their workforce, while also inspiring their teams to be part of Kohler’s sustainability successes, and empowering individuals to make sustainable practices part of their daily lives.
More and more, companies are making a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, alongside increased profits. In fact, diligence with the first two can have significant influence with consumers. How entities prioritize and measure the performance of all three is known as a triple bottom line accounting framework. Ultimately, entities want sustainability and social solutions that benefit the triple bottom line—solutions that deliver value to people (customers, employees, and stockholders,) the planet (wise resource use,) while also increasing profits.
In the wake of the US federal government pulling out of the Paris Treaty on Climate Change, cutting the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and reducing national park land, some might wonder what 2018 sustainability trends might look like. However, new entities have emerged to lead the fight to reduce climate change and champion sustainability. We saw more than 2,500 businesses, local governments, colleges and universities, tribal leaders, and faith-based organizations step forward and sign the We Are Still In pledge, committing to tackle climate change, ensure a clean energy future, and uphold the Paris Agreement with or without the help of the federal government. Efforts like We’re Still In demonstrate the power of leadership at all levels.
Last week Cool Choices co-hosted the 10th Annual Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (WSBC) conference at the American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin.
The event – which draws hundreds of attendees from a variety of Wisconsin businesses each year – aims to create a forum where business leaders who are actively working on sustainability issues can share ideas and insights. The event is unique in that all of the conference presenters are people leading sustainability efforts within a company, rather than consultants selling particular approaches. That means there’s plenty of frank talk about lessons learned, enabling the attendees to avoid repeating costly mistakes while accelerating ideas that have a proven record of success.
Corporate sustainability leads often spend a lot of time on technology—identifying the upgrades that will reduce water, energy and emissions. At one level that focus makes sense, especially right now when there’s so much emerging opportunity around smart devices.
Amid the enthusiasm for technology, though, it’s important to remember that people—employees—are at the core of every operation.