Carbon Reduction for Businesses

Business challenge

Our client wanted to facilitate carbon reduction behaviour change amongst SMEs. In particular, they needed to understand what would encourage these businesses to reduce their carbon emissions and the most effective way of communicating this to them.

What we did

We designed a three-part programme of research to gather the insight our client needed:

SME depth interviews

We conducted 75 depth interviews with SMEs exploring awareness of, current use of, and barriers to carbon reduction strategies.

Expert interviews

We supplemented the individual SME research with 5 expert interviews providing expert consultancy and focus.

Deliberative events

The final part of our engagement involved 2 deliberative events with SMEs representing of a range of different business sectors. Drawing on our insights from the interviews, our discussions focused on barriers to adopting carbon reduction strategies, testing potential messages, and how to best communicate these.


We were able to provide suggestions on how best to communicate the message through capitalising on heuristics that are at play in people’s behaviour (for example, through Social Norms and Loss Aversion) and the importance for individuals/companies to develop new habit loops by disrupting their current behaviours and adopt a new one. We also incorporated the COM-B behavioural change model to reduce the barriers associate with Capability, Opportunity and Motivation and advised our client on how to provide a clearer communication strategy about how to reduce carbon emissions.