Climate Change Resources

This section of the site provides quick access to case studies and helpful on-line social marketing resources for those who promote climate change mitigation and adaptation behaviours. We welcome suggestions for additional case studies and resources.

Latest News

October 15, 2018 Three New Case Studies, Two New Resources Added in this Topic Category
We've recently added two full case studies and one short summary from our three new Landmark energy case studies. You can see them in the left hand column below. In the right hand column below, you'll see two recently added resources.  Let us know what you think.

Most Recent Climate Change Case Studies

Landmark Case Study Capitol Hill In Motion  EnvironmentHealth

Capitol Hill In Motion is a recent evolution of the individualized marketing approach used by King County, Washington State, USA. It illustrates how to further engage communities where most trips are already not drive-alone. With remarkably high signup rates, this campaign also delivered a solid 16% average reduction in drive-alone trips (surpassing the campaign goal and King County’s overall goal of a 10% reduction).  Designated in 2017. 

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Landmark Case Study Chicago’s Go Program  EnvironmentHealth

Chicago’s Go Program is an Individualized Marketing program that helps residents walk, bike, ride transit, and use bike share more frequently, while driving alone less often. Compared with past Individualized Marketing efforts in other cities, the Go Programs have pushed the envelope of inclusive, accessible programming that serves a very broad range of Chicago neighborhoods - and the very high participation rates and positive post-program stakeholder input show that this effort paid off. Because of these successes, the Go Program can serve as a model for other communities looking to integrate equity and diversity in Transportation Demand Management programs. On average, 65% of post-program survey respondents report increased walking, biking, or transit usage because of the program. The program’s behavior-changing results led the City of Chicago to designate funding for additional neighborhoods in the future. Designated in 2017. 

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Landmark Case Study Energy Star  Environment

ENERGY STAR is one of the most effective public sector voluntary behavior change programs in U.S. history. The program was designed with the goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the energy efficiency of products. ENERGY STAR sets national specifications for energy efficient products that are in the top 20% of efficiency for the product category. As efficiency in each product category improves, the specification moves up, encouraging continual improvement. Manufacturers that meet the specifications can use the ENERGY STAR label on products and in their marketing. Utilities can set rebate dollars based on a nationally accepted specification which makes it easy for manufacturers and retailers to participate in their rebate programs. Ultimately, consumers can easily identify products that are energy efficient when shopping. This case study was designated in 2017 and is currently under development.

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Landmark Case Study ClimateSmart Home Service, Queensland, Australia  Environment

Once a resident signs up for Queensland’s ClimateSmart Home Service, a licensed electrician visits the home, installs a variety of energy-efficiency products, conducts an energy audit, provides recommendations, and leaves behind materials and prompts. The information collected is then used to create a customized plan that is sent to the homeowner approximately six weeks after the visit, with different audience segments receiving different messaging. A voluntary household energy challenge, wireless power monitors and an on-line portal help motivate and empower participants. ClimateSmart was designated a Landmark case study in 2011.

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Landmark Case Study Opower’s Home Energy Report, Minnesota  Environment

This program is a great example of the use of ongoing individualized feedback and prompts, coupled with norm appeals. Opower helps individual utility companies to send customized home energy use feedback reports to their residential utility customers. The full-colour reports include a comparison with other similar households, offer tips and strategies to reduce energy use, and provide seasonal energy consumption information. A web portal offers personalized insights and tips, and tools for choosing an optimal energy rate plan. In addition, Opower offers utilities the opportunity to send text messages directly to customers to alert them when their energy consumption is high and offer ways to reduce it. Updated as of October, 2014.

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Landmark Case Study Burlington’s Ice Rink Energy Competition  Environment

The City of Burlington's Ice Rink Energy Competition employs a low cost, easily replicable approach to significantly reduce energy consumption, associated greenhouse gases (GHG) and energy costs. A friendly competition to reduce energy at eight of the city's ice rinks helps change behaviours among staff and users, improves facility performance, and extends equipment life without sacrificing facility service levels or user satisfaction. Designated a Landmark case study in 2013.

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Landmark Case Study Class 5 Energy  Environment

This comprehensive, long-term approach combines education, training, behavior change and goal setting with progress tracking, recognition and continuous improvement to reduce energy use in schools, hospitals and other institutional settings.

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Bike Smarts  EnvironmentHealthSafety

The Bike Smarts program was introduced in Lochside Elementary School to educate students about bicycle safety and to encourage them to travel by bicycle. As part of the program, parents of the students became involved in cycling to school with their children and participated in a cycling field trip.

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The Clean Air Commute  EnvironmentHealth

Pollution Probe hosts an annual, month-long Clean Air Campaign to raise awareness about smog, vehicle emissions and related respiratory problems. The main event of this campaign is The Clean Air Commute, a one-day event in which employees pledge to carry out cleaner commuting practices. In 1996 a pilot was conducted to build on the one-day event and measure the resulting changes over a period of three months.

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The Environment Network  EnvironmentHealth

This comprehensive program utilized several strategies including home visits, incentives and starter kits to induce households to reduce energy, water consumption, waste to landfill and pollution.

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In Concert with the Environment  Environment

In Concert With The Environment ( In Concert) is a customizable educational program developed by EcoGroup. It is sold to electric, natural gas, and water utilities in the U.S. who provide the program to local schools free of charge. In Concert teaches about careful use of resources, particularly energy and water use, providing a hands-on, real-life learning experience for students in grades 6-12, and their families.

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Iowa City  Environment

To influence households to reduce natural gas and electricity use, 20-minute home visits were conducted in which conservation strategies were explained, people were asked to participate, and a commitment to participate was requested.

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Jasper Energy Efficiency Project (JEEP)  Environment

To promote energy conservation, Jasper residents received a one-hour home visit in which conservation strategies and a retrofit incentive program were explained. They were also offered energy efficient products, installation included. The JEEP program won five awards, including two from the International Association of Business Communicators.

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Pacific Gas and Electric  Environment

Pacific Gas and Electric was using home audits to encourage residents to improve the energy efficiency of their customers' homes. In order to improve the effectiveness of home visits, the utility trained some of its auditors to obtain commitment from the resident, to frame recommendations in terms of "loss" rather than "gain" and to convey recommendations in a personalized, vivid manner.

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Peterborough Green-Up  Environment

Peterborough Green-Up is a non-profit community environmental organization that helps people become more resource efficient through a home visit service. A demonstration Ecology Park is also run, in conjunction with related workshops and clinics.

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Most Recent Climate Change Resources

Limiting global warming to 1.5 to 2.0°C—A unique and necessary role for health professionals  EnvironmentHealth

 This short paper was written to engage health professionals in our efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, Its central message is that climate solutions are health solutions, and health solutions are economic solutions. Health professionals are among the people best positioned to make sure that the public and policy makers understand this.

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Engaging Teachers to Communicate Scientific Consensus on Climate Change and Other Topics  EnvironmentHealthSafety

When consensus about a risk or mitigating behavior is newly developed and/or not clearly understood, communicating that consensus through teachers / instructors can be critical. While this blog entry focuses on climate change, it may also apply to new understandings in many topic areas.

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Fostering Forest Conservation and Management among Woodland Owners  Environment

A summary of time-tested behavior-change theories and models, and lessons from social movements, that can be used to help foster forest conservation actions and a culture of sustainable forestry among woodland owners. More broadly, the findings are relevant to a range of programs promoting multiple, complicated or long term behavior changes.

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Both Diet Change and More Efficient Farming Practices Required for Sustainability  EnvironmentHealth

Changing consumers'diets and using more efficient farming methods globally are both essential to stave off irreversible damage to the environment, a new study says.

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Bringing the Concept of Climate-Smart Agriculture to Life  Environment

This report offers the most complete overview to date of agricultural technologies considered climate-smart around the world, including specific barriers to their adoption.

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Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health  EnvironmentHealth

The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health publishes highly credible reports documenting the impacts of climate change on health.

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Longer-Lasting Actions and Responses to Extreme Events Can Have Great Impact  Environment

This paper links climate science and behavioural science, estimates the potential impact of behavioural programs, and predicts the three types of behavioural programs with the largest impact.

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Communications Handbook for Climate Change Scientists  Environment

This communications Handbook, commissioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change offers a wealth of research on the science of climate change communication, practical tips and case studies. Also noted below is Climate Outreach's more recent guide to Communicating Carbon Pricing

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Fuel Efficient Automobiles  Environment

Promoting and Sustaining Consumer Demand for Highly Fuel Efficient Automobiles. Canadian consumer segmentation, barrier analysis and strategy suggestions regarding the purchase of highly efficient vehicles. Download PDF

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Practices for Sustainable Communities  Environment

This guidebook contains a range of best practices for overcoming barriers to water efficiency, sustainable landscaping and sustainable transportation through alternative development standards, alternative housing and xeriscaping. It also reviews a range of transportation demand management (TDM) and transportation system management (TSM) strategies, and includes a section on sustainable community indicators. A priced publication that can be ordered on line from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC.)

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The Psychology of Climate Change Communications  Environment

A guide to crafting climate change messages that are engaging, understandable, accurate and effective.

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The Psychology of Global Warming  Environment

Insights from the psychology of judgment and decision making that might help the climate community communicate global warming science to an often skeptical public.

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Americans' Knowledge of Climate Change  Environment

Of those Americans who think global warming is happening, nearly two in three (62%) say they are either extremely (30%) or very (32%) sure that it is. Three years ago, in May 2011, fewer (54%) were as sure. Also, Americans continue to be unaware of the extent of scientific consensus on climate change. Only one in ten Americans (12%) know that 90% or more scientists have concluded human- caused global warming is happening. More than twice as many Americans – about three in ten (28%) – think fewer than half of climate scientists have reached this conclusion.

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Program Impact Attribution  EnvironmentHealthSafety

This document provides a brief summary of options for assessing what portion of any measured behavior changes resulted from your program and what portion resulted from other influences. These options can also be used to attribute the affects of your program on a wide range of related variables such as resources used, pollutants released, accident rates and health status.

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The Rebound Effect  Environment

An assessment of the evidence for rebound effects and net economy-wide energy savings from improved (building and transportation) energy efficiency. Read More »

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