Professor Elizabeth Kirk, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science

The world has been grappling with energy efficiency for decades. Much attention has been focused on how government can encourage energy efficiency, but there has been essentially none on industry perspectives of which government interventions are necessary to encourage these actions to become the norm. We address this gap through a study of industry views as to which government interventions prompt corporate actors to adopt energy efficiency measures across three industries (building and construction, energy/utilities, and hospitality) in Canada and the United Kingdom. Our findings demonstrate that industry responses mirror recent literature on the need for a mixture of policy tools. Where our findings depart from this literature is that we find a strong endorsement of the use of information provided by government and antipathy towards the use of economic instruments to engender new norms of behaviour. This finding is particularly significant given that much of the literature focuses on the benefits of economic instruments in advancing sustainability goals. We also find the express norms found in command and control instruments are, in the views of industry actors, necessary to make a shift from energy efficiency actions being carried out only by leaders within the industry to these actions becoming standard.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Laurel Besco, University of Toronto Mississauga, Department of Geography, Geomatics, and Environment and the Institute for Management and Innovation

Elizabeth Kirk, University of Lincoln, Lincoln Law School