How to Motivate People Toward Sustainability

How to Motivate People Toward Sustainability

Maya Fischhoff May 22, 2012
Moving sustainability forward in companies isn’t just about technological innovation. Different groups of people – employees, consumers, communities – can make or break a company’s sustainability efforts. How can managers get these groups to work for, not against, the cause? (Hint: It doesn’t involve images of drowning polar bears.)

Key groups to consider
How can managers positively influence these different groups? Psychology researchers have studied what motivates people, and the field of “environmental psychology” looks specifically at what motivates actions related to the environment. Some key findings can be useful to managers trying to get the best from the people with whom they interact.

Seven motivation strategies are: 
Takeaways for motivating employees, customers and communities

These strategies are a tool-kit for managers as they engage employees, customers, and communities around sustainability. And the good news is, these approaches generally don’t just apply to sustainability – they’re good practices in any interaction. Here are some key takeaways for each group: 

Find Out More

The NBS Knowledge Centre provides more insights, including Systematic Reviews, in the areas of employees and culture, consumers and communities. Also look for the NBS systematic review on Social Change to be released late 2012.

Additional Resources

Thought Leaders

Make environmental issues as relevant and personal as access to medicine or freedom from discrimination.

Timothy Devinney
Systematic Review

Community engagement can offer firms and communities vital benefits. This research identifies what we know about how to achieve them.

Reports and Articles

Discover ten ways to develop a workforce that values good business ethics and corporate responsibility.