U of M prof. initiative to nudge consumers toward sustainability practicesby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — A sustainability initiative by a University of Minnesota professor aims to teach businesses and government agencies how to encourage consumer behavior that's good for the environment.
Researchers who study human behavior have something to offer any organization that wants to market earth-friendly products or actions, says Akshay Rao, who teaches marketing at the Carlson School of Management. Rao is recruiting corporations and government agencies to join a consortium that would oversee research to make such marketing more successful.
Many corporations are already interested in the idea, he said. Rigorous research will discover effective ways to market earth-friendly products and actions.
"What is it we can find that is so fundamental about human behavior that it will lead people regardless of ideology to act in a manner that is beneficial to the planet?"
Wells Fargo is contributing $250,000 for the project. Rao hopes to raise as much as $10 million in the next year.