Skip to main content

Our publications

Policy briefs

Policy Brief 216 - "Nudges green": new incentives for green behavior (March 2011)

Policy Brief 216 - "Nudges green": new incentives for green behavior (March 2011)


" Nudges green ": new incentives for green behavior (March 2011)



  •   The theoretical interest of behavioral strategies
  •   The nudges green already in action
  •   Overcome limitations in party
  •   What prospects for the use of behavioral sciences in environmental matters?

The ecological behaviors faces many obstacles, be they physical, financial or psychological. These constraints limit the effectiveness of traditional approaches that combine advocacy, technological and economic instruments and normative. Therefore, the contribution of new methods that may induce lasting changes in consumption patterns should be considered.

Among these methods, some suggest the use a strategy after the behavioral sciences known as the nudge (to "blow thumb "). This strategy aims to lead the individual to make choices that move in the direction of the general interest, without being prescriptive or guilt. Applied Ecology, this new type of incentive, which is referred in this context of "green nudges", plays on several behavioral levers as the weight of the comparison to others or the inertia to change in order to invite citizens to adopt lifestyles more environmentally friendly. They are experienced abroad for environmental purposes such as energy savings or the fight against pollution.

The results of these experiments demonstrate the character of both operational, efficient, adjustable and little nudges binding. These behavioral incentives needs to be further refined to overcome various limitations observed (adverse effects, difficulties in scaling, low sustainability of results). Without constituting miracle solutions to environmental problems, the nudges green remain no less interesting process incentives to complement the tools already in use.

  •  Authors: Olivier Oullier and Sarah Sauneron , Social Issues Department, Centre for Strategic Analysis.
  •   Notes published in the symposium "Incentives and behavioral environment": click

Press contact:

Jean-Michel Roullé
Communications Manager
+ 33 (0)1 42 75 61 37 - 06 46 55 38 38


Centre d’analyse stratégique