National Social Marketing Centre

Making Sustainable Lives Easier

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 14:08

The Sustainable Development Commission recently launched a new report, Making Sustainable Lives Easier: A Priority for Governments, Business and Society.

The report is based on research with over fifty government officials and experts from business, civil society and academia. It concludes that while an increasing number of us recycle, insulate our lofts and choose more 'green' products we are far from living lives that are 'sustainable' for future generations. Those who do try to 'do the right thing' often find themselves swimming against the tide – their behaviour doesn't fit society's norms.

The SDC is calling for UK Government and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland to develop ambitious Action Plans with business and 'big society' organisations to make it easier for people to live more sustainable lives. We also make a number of recommendations to build governments' capabilities, ensure better evaluation of behaviour change interventions and to develop cross government learning.

The report stresses the need for governments to provide the right incentives and infrastructure that make sustainable choices the easy choices. It concludes that the UK Coalition Government's favoured approach – nudge – with a reliance on personal choice and responsibility will not be sufficient without these wider structural changes.

To download the report, visit the SDC website here.

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