Tools of Change soliciting nominations for its 2013 Landmark behavior change case studies

Tools of Change is soliciting nominations for its 2013 Landmark behavior change case studies in two topic areas – (1) home / building energy conservation and (2) sustainable transportation. If you know of anyone working on a particularly effective or innovative approach for changing energy or transportation behaviours, please consider nominating them – or yourself. All nominations must include measured impact results.

Designation as a “Landmark” (best practice) case study through this peer selection process recognizes behavior change programs and approaches considered to be among the most successful, innovative, replicable and adaptable in the world. Designated programs gain exposure, credibility and free, on-line program case study materials, which may make it easier for them to maintain or increase program funding.

Nominations are screened by Tools of Change staff and then the most promising are rated by peer selection panels based on a standard scoring grid. Designated programs are captured in detail and presented to other social change practitioners through webinars, transcripts and video recordings of the webinars, and written case studies. Program organizers get a Landmark designation logo for use on websites and in electronic newsletters, providing click-through access to the program’s case study materials. Individuals nominating Landmark case studies are also suitably acknowledged.

The nomination form, which can be downloaded from, must be submitted by May 31, 2013. Designations will be announced by October 2013, and case study webinars will be presented between January and May 2014.

To view Landmark case studies designated in past years, go to

Tools of Change was launched in January, 2000 as a collaborative effort between Cullbridge™ and such partners as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Health Canada, Natural Resources Canada, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Environment Canada, and Canada’s National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. Founded on the principles of community-based social marketing, Tools of Change engages program planners and facilitators from around the world to share and learn from their collective experiences. Its mandate is to build the capacity for planning and implementing more successful health, safety and environmental promotion programs.

The Tools of Change website, sections of which are based on a workbook co-authored by Jay Kassirer and Doug McKenzie-Mohr, currently hosts about 100 full-length case studies. An impact evaluation of site users found that most returned to the site many times, had improved their programs as a result, and had used the site to help explain and justify their ideas to colleagues and decision makers. Many had replicated ideas found on the site. The website was awarded the Society of Environmental Journalists’ highest rating as an information source for environmental journalists, and was recognized by the Infography as one of six superlative references on social marketing.

Recent Landmark Designations
The following are some recent examples of programs that have been designated.

Home / Building Energy

  • The Energy Smackdown uses engaging game play to involve community members in energy conservation, and television and webcasts to make visible the energy-saving efforts of teams of households. The Smackdown is organized into two broad challenges. In the household challenge, participants are evaluated based on their percent reduction in per person CO2 emissions as well as per person carbon footprint. For the team challenge, members of a community or organization work together to expand their impact and organize special challenge events that highlight key issues and raise awareness in the community. Season two participants reduced their home energy use by 17%.
  • Opower helps individual utility companies to send customized home energy use feedback reports to their residential utility customers. The full-colour reports include a comparison with other similar households, offer tips and strategies to reduce energy use, and provide seasonal energy consumption information. The program delivered 400 GWh (400,000,000 kWh) in energy savings over multiple regions in 2011.
  • BC Hydro’s Power Smart program is a great example of applying the “loyalty group” approach to progressively engage participants in changing behaviours. Energy savings for FY2010 were estimated at 5.15 GWh (5,150,000 KWh)

Sustainable Transportation

  • Bear Creek and Green Communities Canada’s Safe Routes to School programs both illustrate how much and how quickly transportation habits can change through elementary school programs. Over two years, the proportion of students walking or bicycling to Bear Creek consistently throughout the school year increased from 25% to 70%.
  • Edmonton’s LocalMotion project used a combination of special community events, a challenge, and opportunities for hands-on experience of alternate modes of transportation, to encourage residents in one neighbourhood to drive less. Vehicle volumes at six intersections decreased between 21% and 34%.
  • England’s Sustainable Travel Towns demonstrate how a sustained transportation demand management program can have greater impact when coupled with infrastructure improvements. By investing £10M over a five-year period, three towns in England have decreased car use and increased sustainable modes of travel. The number of walking trips per head grew by 10% to 13%, compared to a national decline in similar towns.
  • Fondaction and Carrefour provide a great model for businesses of all sizes. Employees who use alternatives to driving alone when commuting accumulate points. These points, based on greenhouse gas reductions, are redeemed each year for gift certificates for outdoor gear, fair trade products or charitable donations. To make it easier to make these choices, employees are also offered a 50% discount on public transit passes, reserved garage parking for carpoolers and free bike tune-ups. In the first two years of the program, Fondaction employees avoided 79 tons of GHG emissions and their use of public transit increased from 18% to 37% of all trips.

Author: Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

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