Good Moves #2: Olivier Sibony

Welcome back everyone,

A big thank you for your feedback and enthusiasm about Good Moves! We’ve had people from all over the world subscribing and it’s great to see such a level of interest for using behavioural science to make the world more sustainable.

Behaviour change is central to moving towards a more sustainable world. And so is participating in the education and conversations about using behavioural science for sustainability.

When it comes to sustainability, a lot of the discussions revolve around the need to change the behaviour of individuals. This is crucial of course but let’s not forget another part of the equation: the behaviour of businesses.

It would be tempting to think that businesses are being strategic, proactive and rational when it comes to planning for the risks and consequences of climate change. Unfortunately, the reality is far from this ideal scenario.

In this episode, we explore the cognitive biases that prevent companies from making the right strategic choices in the face of climate change.

Enjoy and happy Earth Day,

The Behaven team

Corporate Decision Making and Sustainability, with Olivier Sibony

“If we had wanted to design an ideal problem that cognitive biases would make insoluble, we would have chosen climate change.” HEC Paris and Oxford University Prof Olivier Sibony talks about better strategic decision-making, and individual action in the face of the massive challenge that is climate change.

Read the interview

Cognitive Biases and Corporate Climate Change Inertia

Why are so many organisations failing to adjust their strategies to become more sustainable? One of the reasons lies in the cognitive biases at play in corporate decision-making, as explained in the summary of ‘Sleepwalking into Catastrophe’, an article published by the California Management Institute and written by Daina Mazutis and Anna Eckardt.

Read the summary

Inequality and the Climate Crisis

A new report by the Cambridge Sustainability Commission on Scaling Behaviour Change, informed by over 30 experts and academics from all over the World, shows that the richest 10% of the global population contributes to nearly half of the growth in absolute global emissions, with the wealthiest 5% alone contributing over a third.

A ‘just transition’

To meet the IPCC 1.5 degrees target, the wealthiest 1% of the population would need to reduce their emissions by at least a factor of 30, while the poorest 50% of the World could actually increase their emissions by up to three times current levels. 

Shifts in behaviour should follow the principles of ‘just transition’, based on economic justice, to avoid exacerbating already-existing inequalities. This would include providing access to low-cost infrastructural changes, such as electric public transport, to encourage more sustainable behaviours among broader sections of society.

Individual and system change

According to the report, climate change cannot be address with technologies and regulations alone. Behaviour change fostered by policy interventions, will be required. As the top emitting activities or ‘hotspots’, aviation, diets and heating and cooling behaviours need to be targeted first hand.

Watch the intro video

Download the report

Missed the previous episode?

Check out Good Moves #1, with an interview with Bas Verplanken on habits and sustainability, and a summary of the most effective strategies for encouraging sustainable behaviours.

Read Good Moves #1