Capability and Motivation – why you need both to achieve change.

Posted by on Feb 28, 2019 in Articles, My Book | 0 comments

For change to happen, people and teams need two things: the capability to carry out the required action and the desire to do so. Capability reflects many aspects such as knowledge and skills, as well as resources like time and money. Motivation can be intrinsic due to beliefs and attitudes or extrinsic due to instructions, incentives, penalties or social norms.

Understanding Capability and Motivation can help us develop the right strategy for change.

Capability and motivation are related. An easy-to-implement behaviour change (i.e. one for where the existing capability to act is high) will need much less motivation than a challenging behaviour change (i.e. one which requires lots of resources, time, effort, risk-taking, knowledge, etc).

Understanding the interrelationship between capability and motivation can dramatically increase the chance of success of our change programme.

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Are small actions counter-productive?

Posted by on Feb 25, 2019 in Blog, Books | 0 comments

I started my book on energy and resource efficiency (available free as a pdf) with a traditional saying:

“How do you eat an elephant? Why, one bite at a time, of course”.

In the section on availability barriers to resource efficiency, I argued that we can drive a successful efficiency programme by getting a lot of people to regularly dedicate a little time rather than by getting a few people to commit a lot of time. Clearly, we need to start with where people are at and it is often unrealistic to ask someone to make a large change in their behaviour from the outset. Indeed, asking for too much or holding back for “perfection” are the root causes of many programme failures I have observed with my own eyes. So starting small is a reasonable strategy.

Is that true, though? Some argue that if all that we request in terms of change is a minor action, then this will result in – surprise, surprise – a small result! Folks like Donella Meadows, Bob Doppelt and many others have reasoned eloquently that no less than a fundamental change to our underlying systems will deliver the scale of change needed to address the magnitude of the problems we face. Similarly, Cambridge Professor David MacKay, in his fantastic book Sustainable Energy — without the hot air  asserts:

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Lighting Tool Updated

Posted by on Feb 21, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The popular Lighting tool has been updated to version 1.3. Previous versions may fail to return Latitude and Longitude when a user enters a location name, displaying instead “REQUEST_DENIED”.

The reason for this is that Google Maps has started charging for geolocation requests used in our “mashup”, and so SustainSuccess has now opened an account with Google to cover the costs of these requests.

To protect our budget, we have limited the number requests per day, so if you get this message in version 1.3, please try again the following day or enter a Latitude and Longitude manually.

To upload the new version, please follow the link, right.

 

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Is the EU Emissions Trading Scheme responsible for the collapse of flybmi?

Posted by on Feb 17, 2019 in Articles, News | 0 comments

 

I would probably  have taken little interest in yesterday’s announcement that a relatively small regional airline, flybmi, has ceased trading, if it was not for the fact they were placing the blame, in part, on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). According to the statement on the airline’s website [1]:

The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme.

So, I wanted to find out if this was really the case.

First of all, the background. You may recall from my earlier post that the EU is facing a real challenge for its flagship ETS as a result of BREXIT. The problem is that allowances in the scheme can be traded freely between member states of the EU but if the UK leaves the scheme ahead of the current Phase (running to 2020), there is a very real risk that the now redundant UK allowances, would flood the market and so render the ETS ineffective at capping carbon emissions.

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The UK’s Green Building Council is consulting on what is meant by “Net Zero Carbon”. We need to make sure that the definition is effective.

Posted by on Feb 14, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

 

Hopefully, the definition will be a rigorous tool to help building developers and operators to achieve the maximum affordable onsite improvements in the building’s emissions. Once these onsite improvements are achieved, the definition will further set out how the residual emissions can be genuinely reduced through credible, independently verified offsite activities, leading to “net zero” or event “net negative”.

Alternatively, the definition could be a cheap and nasty fig leaf facilitating another decade of flat-line performance on emissions in the property sector.

In order to avoid the latter it is important that folks respond to the consultation on the meaning on “net zero” in buildings, which closes on the 1st March. Looking at the consultation, I would say that the outcome is finely balanced – so please do make the effort to understand the issues and make your voice heard in the consultation. Filling in a response will take around ½ hour – what better use of your time?

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