Changing the Habits of a Lifestyle

One of the afternoon workshops

The Great Room, RSA

Royal Society for the Arts, 11th June 2014

This was a joint event between Ashden and the Climate Change Collaboration. The conference addressed the barriers to changing everyday behaviour around the way we use energy, and why the social norms are what they are. There were presentations and panel discussions with speakers from several organisations that have funding from the CCC and previous winners of Ashden Awards.


The first part of the conference comprised a series of presentation from organisations conducting cutting edge work in this field. The second part involved table discussions and a panel session focusing on how we make calls for action on climate change more credible and constructive.


The Climate Change Collaboration ( is a group of four Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts: Ashden Trust, JJ Charitable Trust, Mark Leonard Trust and Tedworth Trust. This group came together in 2011 to support pilot and research projects to find ways of reducing CO2 emissions quickly. Ashden ( champions and promotes practical, local energy solutions that cut carbon, protect the environment, reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. The Ashden Awards bring to light ground-breaking green energy champions in the UK and developing world and inspire others to follow.

Both organisations recognise that changing everyday behaviour and social norms around the way we use energy is increasingly urgent to reduce carbon emissions and deal with climate change. Each organisation aims to encourage and facilitate collaboration in order to speed up sharing and dissemination of learning and experience. To assist with this, a conference entitled ‘Changing habits of a lifestyle’ was held on the 11th June. This featured presentations and panellists from several organisations that have had funding from the Climate Change Collaboration or which have previously won Ashden awards.

Matthew Taylor, chairing the event, welcomed participants to the event. Whilst many may find it difficult to visualise a future where low carbon behaviour is the norm, he gave the example of the social transformation that has occurred in the UK with respect to smoking. This required a mix of scientific evidence, legislation, social norms, making it easier for people to make the right choice and technical solutions. A similar, multi-faceted approach may enable the transformation that is necessary in terms of climate change.

You can download the full report here.

Conference slides can be downloaded here.

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