Green Gown Awards 2016–Research and Development: Institution–University of Leeds-Highly Commended

Tags: sustainability | green gown awards | food waste | Research and Development: Institution | University of Leeds | ASDA

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Changing food waste behaviours

Food waste is one of the most significant environmental and social problems facing society. This landmark study field-tested the influence of a large retailer to reduce the food wasted by its millions of customers.

Over two years, food waste reduction messages were communicated in two time limited periods nationally across Asda stores in the UK. Six national surveys over 21 months tracked customers’ self-reported food waste before and after interventions.

The results showed that the combined interventions did reduce reported waste. As a result of this project, 12% of Asda’s 18 million customers are now saving £57 a year by cutting down household food waste. Additionally, this project has helped advance the use and analysis of social influence theory using unique and large scale data developed through co-production methods.

Top 3 learnings

1 Sustainability interventions do influence behaviour through the noise of our busy lives

2 Interventions need to be repeated for consumers to continue to reduce food waste

3 Consumers were influenced by interventions even if they did not remember seeing the interventions.

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