Exeter University wasgiven the task of applying theories of behavioural change, usinginnovative techniques within the context of specific lifestyle groups. It employed a brandmarketing approach to demonstrate how a model of environmental behaviour could be used todevelop policies for change. The work cost us £21,000.Other work went to the London-based "green" consultancy,Brook Lyndhurst, which wasasked
about"nudging the S-Curve". This shows an initial period of slow change; a period of acceleration, and rapid change; and a period in which change slows down as some sort of limit togrowth is approached. This project sought better to understand the S-curve in order to promotepro-environmental behaviour change. For us, there was no change from £21,150.Then, another consultancy, the National Centre for Business and Sustainability,got to do "Innovative approaches to influencing the behaviour of small businesses." This was to find outhow existing mechanisms and approaches could be used innovatively" to influence the behaviourof small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a pro-sustainable development policy context."For that, we paid £22,225.This earlier period also saw DEFRA investing ina behavioural surveycommissioned from theBritish Market Research Bureau. At a cost of £458,440, this sought to establish then currentpublic attitudes, knowledge and behaviour in relation to the environment, in order to provide abaseline for further studies.At the same time, the department was exploring a range of issues and public attitudes,wondering, for instance, whether invoking the concept of "social justice" might help to lock inthe government's view of environmental policy. To that effect, in 2006 itcommissionedareport
from National Economic Research Associates at a cost of £77,361.More than a little of the work carried overtly Orwellian overtones, such as the project carried outby thePolicy Studies Instituteentitled: "Pro-Environmental Behaviour: Risk, Innovation andReward." This sought to identify "potential directions and options for research exploringinnovation, demonstration and learning on ways to increase consumer take-up of sustainableconsumption behaviours." The cost was £25,169.Not a little money was spent trying to assess the effects of DEFRA's own initiatives. Thus wefind the departmentBrook Lyndhurst£82,980 in 2008 to tell it whether its online "CO2calculator" is actually having any effect.Half a million people had accessed the site but, it noted, "relatively little is known about whythese individuals are logging on, how they are understanding and using the calculator, what theymake of the results and whether or not this has any long term effect on their behaviours, whetherpositivie (sic) or negative."The department also spent £109,710 asking Brook Lyndhurstto report on"Public Understandingof links between climate change and energy and food consumption in the home".