3 x Nudging: Nudging individuals and companies into sustainable behavior
Ellen Eftestol-Wilhelmsson: Nudging as a regulatory tool
Law and regulation is a strong tool for behavioral change, including the wanted behavioral change needed to combat climate change. Whereas an increased amount of businesses are changing their behavior behavior and include environmental and ethical issues into their day to day decisions, and even base their business idea on these values, many businesses are not doing what is needed in order to reach climate goals. I my presentation I reflect on how law and regulation could be utilized to push industry to make the right, environmental friendly decisions. I particularly focus on private law, which so far has been considered a "neutral" tool available for the parties to fulfill their business transactions, and how environmental information should be integrated in the private law toolbox.
Ellen Eftestol-Wilhelmsson is Professor of Civil- and Commercial law at the Universities of Helsinki and Oslo and Head of the InterTran Reserach Group for Sustainable Business and Law, University of Helsinki.
Michiru Nagatsu: Nudging sustainable behavior: some philosophical problems and a solution
Since it’s birth in 2008 (Thaler and Sunstein), the idea of nudges as a policy instrument to steer people into more rational behavior has become popular in academia and policy circles. However, critics have pointed out difficult methodological, conceptual and ethical problems of nudge paternalism. In this talk, I will sketch a framework in which nudges are construed on a par with economic incentives, and thus are as legitimate as the latter. This framework, building on an ecological view of rationality, will solve some of the problems of nudge paternalism and help policy makers to integrate nudges with incentives, a more well-established policy tool. I will close by discussing some implications for green nudges.
Michiru Nagatsu is a HELSUS associate professor (methodologies of inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability sciences) at Practical Philosophy, Faculty of Social Sciences. Michiru is also an Academy Researcher with the project "Model-building Across Disciplinary Boundaries: Economics, Ecology, and Psychology" (2016-2021). His interests include using philosophy of emotions, philosophy of economics, and behavioral economics for better policy for pro-social behavior, as well as liveable urban design.
Eva Heiskanen: Nudge as a policy tool for sustainable consumption?
Behavioural economics and the concepts of ‘nudges’ and ‘better choice architectures’ have raised significant enthusiasm in policy circles. Greater behavioural insight can certainly improve existing policy making, but there are also expectations that ‘nudges’ can be used as new and powerful policy tools to promote sustainable consumption. In my talk, I critically consider the potential of nudges for sustainable consumption policy, given the scale of the challenge to decarbonize and dematerialize Western consumption. From a very practical policy-implementation perspective, I consider to what extent and how the issues of scalability, contextuality and administrative burden inherent to using nudges might be solved in order to employ nudges effectively and in proportion to the scale of the sustainability challenge.
Eva Heiskanen is Professor at the University of Helsinki Consumer Society Research Centre and a member of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Development.