Office of Sustainability Promotes Action on Environment

March 26, 2008-The University of Utah’s Office of Sustainability is pleased to announce that the Kennecott Utah Companies, Inc. will sponsor a two-day workshop, Fostering Sustainable Behavior, led by acclaimed environmental psychologist Dr. Douglas McKenzie-Mohr on March 31 and April 1. The Kennecott Utah Companies, Inc. cites this workshop as part of its commitment to sustainable development and long-standing support for education at the University of Utah and in the community.

In addition to the intensive training workshop, Dr. McKenzie-Mohr will give a lecture at the Salt Lake City Main Library auditorium at 7 p.m. on March 31. This event is free and open to the general public.

For two decades, Dr. McKenzie-Mohr has worked to develop community-based social marketing, incorporating scientific knowledge of human psychology into efforts to promote more sustainable practices by individuals, businesses, government agencies, and universities.

Moving toward sustainability requires individuals to take action in the form of social marketing where people are challenged to reduce waste, increase water and energy efficiency, change transportation modes, increase healthy behaviors, prevent pollution, and more. To date, most programs have relied upon information campaigns to create change. Research demonstrates, however, that people’s attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge has surprisingly little correlation to their actions.

Social marketing provides proven tools that work to make positive change. For example, research by Dr. Carol Werner at the University of Utah has shown that participation in the Salt Lake City curbside recycling program increased when signed commitments were obtained from homeowners. Simply sending out flyers with information about the program, on the other hand, had little impact.

Other universities have successfully incorporated social marketing into their strategies. University of British Columbia used Dr. McKenzie-Mohr’s research to create its own department-level volunteer sustainability coordinator program. This team-based effort has led to significant energy and resource savings. Students in the University of Utah Sustainability Practicum course are developing a similar program this semester.

The University of Utah’s Office of Sustainability was established in 2007 to promote more environmentally responsible practices on campus, to foster a culture of sustainability and to establish the University of Utah as a leader in the field of sustainability.

For details about the workshop or lecture, please contact the Office of Sustainability at (801) 585-9352 or visit www.sustainability.utah.edu/dmmworkshop.htm.

For more information about Dr. Douglas McKenzie-Mohr and McKenzie-Mohr Associates, visit http://www.cbsm.com/ or call (506) 455-5061.

For more information about the Kennecott Utah Companies, Inc. sustainability commitment, visit http://www.kennecott.com/ or www.kennecottland.com.        

For more information about the Sustainability Practicum, contact Dr. William Johnson, (801) 581-5033.

Media Contacts For This Story

U of U Sustainability Coordinator
Office Phone: (801) 581-7505