The University of Malta has been featured in ‘The Little Book of Green Nudges’, a publication launched by the United Nation’s Environment Programme (UNEP) aiming to inspire students across the globe to reduce their campus’ environmental impact through behavioural change.
The book is UNEP’s first analysis of the behavioural science and nudge theory which focuses on human actions and how to change them. Containing 40 nudges, or simple measures that make it easier to make green choices, the book is also brim-full of evidence-based guidance on how to reset default options, changing of the framing of choices and harnessing social influence. For example, in cafeterias, the offering of smaller plates and no trays would discourage food waste.
The UM was one of the few (around 25) universities featured in the publication, among them being other educational institutes of repute such as the University of British Columbia (Canada), the University of California, Berkeley (US), and Yale University.
Dr Marie Briguglio from the Committee for Sustainability at the University of Malta (C-SUM) talked to Newspoint about the UM's participation in UNEP's initiative. "There are many other simple measures we can adopt, and several which we are progressively introducing. Collectively these green nudges will make a positive difference towards sustainability and in line with UM's strategy" said Dr Briguglio.
Our campus replaced stand-alone air conditioning units with centralised systems that have time controls and default settings to moderate temperatures. Moreover, we have reduced paper use by establishing a default of having students digitally submit assignments and research ethics applications.