RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

The impact of ‘gamification’ on green behaviour

7th July 2011 Print

Recyclebank, the company that rewards people for taking everyday green actions, has just issued a report with Google and ROI Research into “Using Games for Good: Motivating a Shift in Consumer Behaviour with Social Gaming” that I thought might be of interest. The report reveals how gamification can be hugely effective at encouraging awareness and uptake of green actions amongst consumers, and follows a recent “Green Your Home” challenge run in the US by Recyclebank that reached nearly 49,000 participants.

In particular, the report identified the following major findings:

Gamification can increase awareness of positive environmental actions. 97% of participants surveyed said the game increased their knowledge about how to help the environment. This confirms Recyclebank’s belief that games can be an effective way to educate consumers on green living 

Games can drive individuals to take positive social and environmental actions. 54% of existing members and 58% of new members said they are very or extremely likely to take green actions as a result of participating in the challenge. This indicates that online games can be effective in encouraging real-world positive behavior change, as demonstrated in the following bullet 

Games hold power to impact actual green actions. When reviewing the reported green actions for those surveyed both before and after the contest, there were significant increases in several actions that were featured in the Green Your Home challenge and even some that weren’t mentioned at all prior to the launch of the game. For example:

What green actions do you take?
Pre Post % ±
I turn off the lights 18% 26% +44%
I use CFL/eco bulbs 28% 38% +36%
I conserve water/energy 34% 45% +32%
I buy local produce 0% 14% ----
I wash clothes in cold water 0% 7% ----

Games are an effective and appealing educational tool. 86% agreed online games and contests can be a good way for companies and brands to inform and educate them personally, and 73% thought games/contests are a good way for companies to interact with consumers in general. The data also confirmed this; compared to visitors, challenge participants spent nearly three times as long on the site learning about ways to live greener, and viewed nearly three times more pages. This indicates a significant opportunity to use games as a means to not only entertain, but also educate people on the environment and other causes in a way that truly resonates

“The data and insights we’ve gained from the partnership with Google and ROI Research confirm our philosophy that the carrot is a very effective approach to motivating a major shift in consumer behavior, and that people are eager to learn how they can live greener lives,” said Javier Flaim, senior vice president of global marketing at Recyclebank. “We’ve already started implementing some of the lessons we’ve learned to create the best possible experience for our members and ensure that our future initiatives make the biggest impact on the environment.”

Following the success of the Green Your Home challenge in the US, Recyclebank are now planning on implementing a similar challenge in the UK.