Monday, November 13, 2023
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Small Changes, Big Impact: MIT & Takeda Join Forces to Nudge Employees toward Sustainable Behavior
Session ID
A1 - Lightning: Snapshots of Program Design and Implementation in Diverse Contexts
Behavior - based Programs
Laura Cappellucci Lan Ha

BioLife Plasma Services operates a network of 198+ small-scale health facilities that collect and store human plasma to manufacture life-saving therapies. This process generates a significant amount of plastic waste and consumes vast quantities of energy, however, we have a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2035 and zero-waste-to-landfill by 2030. To achieve these goals, we partnered with an MIT Behavioral Economist Professor and graduate student to study whether interventions could change employee behaviors to reduce their environmental footprint. Our study used social norms to nudge employees towards more sustainable behaviors without negatively impacting quality standards or the experience of the plasma donor. The interventions focused on reducing wasted collection materials, minimizing time of freezer door openings, and improving recycling practices. Participating centers were randomly assigned to four groups of three treatment arms, with one pure control group. The study found that the interventions effectively promoted sustainable behaviors in the workplace, with the frequency of freezer door alarms falling by an average of 80%, wasted collection materials dropping by an average of 50%, and the practice of collapsing cardboard recyclables improving by 40%. The results also showed that the treatment effects did not wane over time. The study design work contributes to filling the gap in the current literature and can serve as a model for future research in similar contexts, shedding light on successful approaches to promoting sustainable practices in the workplace. The presentation will highlight the importance of proper experimental design and provide 5 key tips for launching a behavior-focused program. The symposium format will allow for inclusion of the BioLife team and research advisors from MIT to share our varied areas of expertise and increase the diversity of backgrounds in the session.

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