Barista café staff member handing over coffee in takeaway cup

WRAP and Behaviour Change unite to fight the climate emergency

25 January 2022

  • 45% of UK emissions arise from the products we use and how we use them – behavioural change is a vital part of reaching net zero.
  • WRAP and Behaviour Change to work together to scale up interventions that can help hit net zero goal through people power.

With concern over the climate emergency intensifying in the wake of COP26 but too little focus on the impact of individual consumption, sustainability NGO WRAP has joined forces with not-for-profit social enterprise Behaviour Change to fill this void.

The partnership, effective from 5th January, brings together the two organisations’ distinct skillsets. These span behavioural insights and strategies, piloting, testing & scaling interventions and communicating with the public through established citizen campaigns across work with government, businesses, charities and foundations. It expands WRAP’s behaviour change capabilities on some of society’s most pressing environmental issues such as food waste, plastic pollution, clothing & textiles and recycling and brings Behaviour Change before a wider range of businesses, charities, public sector bodies and foundations.

The partnership will empower the public to be part of urgent action necessary to ease pressure on the environment through the carbon emissions embedded in the items we buy and use every day.

Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP said, “The world is in the middle of a climate emergency. We have the perfect storm of a growing global population consuming more resources and putting greater pressure on nature. With nearly half of all UK emissions associated with the products we use we must change public behaviour about how we shop, eat, dress and dispose of things. If we don’t, we won’t begin to address climate change and will significantly undermine our ability to cut emissions. Changing behaviour at scale can generate huge benefits and together Behaviour Change and WRAP will drive forward change through the businesses and governments we work with – here and around the world – and through our work with the public.”

David Hall, Executive Director of Behaviour Change, said, “Behavioural science has come a long way since we set up Behaviour Change in 2009, with more and more organisations now recognising that human behaviour lies at the heart of the challenges they face. We all know that people have a tendency to make decisions that are against their own interests and those of society and the planet. We are focused on learning about what really works to change behaviour for the better and then scaling it up. Working hand in hand with WRAP will enable us to do this in bigger, more effective ways that start to answer the huge sustainability challenges that both organisations exist to tackle. This new partnership is all about impact and we are excited about the new possibilities it will bring.”

The new partnership means a deeper and closer relationship between WRAP and Behaviour Change. It will significantly help businesses who work with the two organisations reach their customers with environmental messaging more effectively, and by engaging directly with the public through a suite of citizen facing brands including Love Food Hate Waste, Recycle Now, Love Your Clothes and Clear on Plastics. And support a range of environmental commitments made by organisations and governments including those under Courtauld 2030, the UK Plastics Pact and Textiles 2030, as well as business-specific commitments and UK wide targets, such as the 6th Carbon Budget. 

The agreement formally cements years of work already undertaken on behaviour change interventions by WRAP and Behaviour Change. Recent examples include trials with Boots and Unilever to drive up recycling of bathroom bottles, a pilot with Dorset Council that led to a 46% reduction in recycling contamination and work with Love Food Hate Waste to promote better understanding of date labels.

Behaviour Change will operate as a subsidiary of WRAP working across all their impact areas, while continuing to work with its own customers to deliver social and environmental projects.  Past successes include work with Mars Wrigley developing interventions that reduced littered gum by up to 64%, creating the National Trust’s long-running “50 Things to do Before You’re 11¾” campaign and designing behaviour change strategies on topics as diverse as cycling, energy saving, healthy eating and financial inclusion.

David Hall, Executive Director of Behaviour Change and Director Rob Moore will continue to manage the company and work closely with WRAP’s Director of Collaboration & Change Catherine David. The social enterprise will have a new governing Board including Directors and Trustees from WRAP and an independent non-executive member, while David Hall joins WRAP’s Senior Leadership Team.

The move comes after big years for both organisations. Behaviour Change continued to expand in 2021, winning new work from clients including the Art Fund, Co-op, RNIB and climate crisis focused VC firm Amasia, while WRAP – which delivers programmes in 40 countries worldwide - delivered the biggest ever Recycle Week and the world’s first Food Waste Action Week which this year (7 – 13th March) will go global.

ENDS

Notes to Editor

  • WRAP is a global NGO based in the UK. It is one of the UK’s top 5 environmental charities and works with governments, businesses and individuals to ensure that the world’s natural resources are used more sustainably. It is the charity leading the UK Plastics Pact (a world first), Courtauld Commitment 2030, Textiles 2030 as well as the citizen campaigns Love Food Hate Waste, Love Your Clothes, Clear on Plastics and Recycle Now. It also runs Food Waste Action Week and Recycle Week in the UK. WRAP works collaboratively and develops and delivers evidence-based, solutions to reduce the environmental cost of the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the plastic packaging we use. Founded in 2000 in the UK, WRAP now works with partners in forty countries, across six continents and is a Global Alliance Partner of The Royal Foundation’s Earthshot PrizeFollow our citizen campaigns on Instagram: @lfhw_uk @recyclenow_uk @WalesRecycles @ClearOnPlastics @LoveYourClothes_UK 
  • Behaviour Change is a social enterprise, founded in 2009.  We help businesses, charities, government and foundations to create social and environmental change with big ideas grounded in behavioural science.
  • WRAP and Behaviour Change experts are available for broadcast interviews, briefings and comment – contact: Ian Palmer, Media Relations Manager WRAP. [email protected] 07802 873 431 www.wrap.org.uk - @WRAP_UK