Many people want to consume more sustainably – still, we do not always succeed. The gap between will and action is something that Beteendelabbet – the Behaviour Laboratory – wants to help future organisations understand and overcome. The Behaviour Laboratory designs environments that encourage people to behave in ways that are better for themselves, their communities and for the planet. Nudging, which is about tailoring situations to coax people from mere will to taking action, is one of the methods employed by the Behaviour Laboratory.

One example is the work done together with ICA, which wants to get its customers to reduce their meat consumption and choose vegetarian alternatives. The project was initiated with an analysis of store environments, customer surveys and discussions with store owners. Insights on product placements and difficulties in going from will to action proved to be major obstacles to reduced consumption. In order to get a noticeable effect, the project focused on two of the most common Swedish meals, Bolognese sauce and tacos.

The environments were redesigned to make the greener choice more available. Carrots were placed in the meat counter and the beans on the taco shelf, along with footsteps on the floor and pennants that encourage customers to reduce the amount of minced meat they use. During the seven weeks of the project, the sale of minced meat decreased by 915 kilograms, while the sale of carrots and beans increased by 956 kilograms.

If this was to be implemented at all ICA stores over a year, the climate effect would be equivalent to more than 25,000 trips around the world in a car!

Country: SE

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