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A targeted social marketing appraoch for community pro-environmental behavioural change

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Publication details

JournalLocal Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability
DateE-pub ahead of print - 29 Apr 2013
DatePublished (current) - 2013
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1134-1152
Early online date29/04/13
Original languageEnglish


Community-level initiatives will play a key role in meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets. This paper examines the experience gained in applying a targeted social marketing approach to foster local-scale community pro-environmental behavioural change in the City of York, UK. This involved determining the neighbourhood carbon footprint, identifying residents that had access to appropriate infrastructure and were receptive to green issues. Six community teams were recruited from the selected neighbourhoods and provided with information, advice and mentoring on how to reduce their carbon footprint over a six-month period. A statistically significant reduction in carbon emissions was achieved. Each participant achieved a mean reduction in their carbon footprint of 2.0 tonnes of CO2e/year. The largest reductions were achieved in the areas of shopping and home energy. In addition, it helped to foster community spirit. Based on the experience gained from implementing this approach, a cost-effective model of community engagement is proposed.

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