Tag Archives: Incentives and Motivation

Response: Our Erstwhile Saviors Mr. Democracy and Sir Capitalism are Destroying…

By Seth A student from the class in 2013 put forward a provocative and interesting hypothesis that democracy and capitalism may simply not be up to the task of mitigating climate change due to their inherent focus on the short term (https://innovbusenergyenviro.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/our-erstwhile-saviors-mr-democracy-and-sir-capitalism-are-actually-together-destroying-our-planet/). Commenters at the time pointed out that it is not clear that other […]

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Changing Consumer Behavior

By Jair H. Many of the topics that we’ve covered are solutions to the underlying problem at stake. Consumers will not change consumption behavior easily, or at all. EnerNOC tackles this challenge by offering a monetary reward to consumers who are willing to diminish their consumption at a specific time. EnerNOC’s solution is actually saving […]

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Mexico City Water Shortage: Changing Consumer Behavior to Effect Change

By Kayley In the Mexico City Water Shortage case, we saw that despite plentiful rainwater, Mexico City still suffered from severe shortages of clean water with persistent theft, leakage, and non-payment despite efforts from a public-private partnership (“PPP”). While in class we focused on various structural challenges that impeded progress – namely dispersed responsibility across […]

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Behavioral change in residential electricity consumption

By Franziska E. The effectiveness-cost pyramid suggests that the biggest potential for energy savings lies in behavioral change. How can we realize this potential for savings by changing the behavior of the demand side? The first lever that comes to my mind is influencing consumption by increasing the price. As we already discussed in the […]

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Our erstwhile saviors, Mr. Democracy and Sir Capitalism, are actually together destroying our planet

By Emma Inaction in the face of environmental degradation and climate change. We know something is wrong. We comprehend that it’s not sustainable. Yet we do either nothing or as close to nothing as we can. We bicker and argue and debate. And whilst that rigorous debate is likely the best way to get to […]

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The History and Future of the Chicago Climate Exchange

By Anonymous In our case on the Aspen Skiing Company, we learned of the company’s initiative to join the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) in 2005. The system was labeled as the only “voluntary, self-regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions-reduction” program in the United States. Organizations that pledged to join the CCX made a legally binding commitment […]

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Why don’t we pay for our trash?

By Elizabeth I should qualify this post by pointing out that my title is something of a misnomer – US residents do pay for waste collection, traditionally through taxes. Communal waste collection and disposal is usually paid through property taxes or municipal taxes.  As these flat fees are levied regardless of how much the individual […]

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Lessons from Economics and Psychology to Dramatically Reduce Waste

By Nathan The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” rang true for me when reading our Sound Group China case because I was astonished to discover how much garbage is generated by a typical urban resident. The fact that I never saw the garbage (who spends much time looking at their trash can […]

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Low energy prices and incremental tariff structure for power companies: the perfect storm

By N. R. As we discussed in class, there seem to be some efficiency projects that are “no-brainers”. A company can reduce waste (be it CO2 emissions, trash, etc), cut costs and potentially market the social responsibility aspects of its actions all at the same time. Right? Wrong. Information asymmetry, cheap energy prices and incremental […]

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The Limits of the Profit Incentive

by Anonymous Can you have your cake and eat it too? Is it possible to be environmentally sustainable while embracing the consumerism that is at the heart of modern capitalism? Those are the questions that I found myself contemplating as we explored greenwashing in the Fiji Water case. In the quest for profit, Fiji Water […]

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