What We Do

We’re using an established, evidence-based process to speed the adoption of climate safe, zero emission buildings.

With each program we focus on a specific decision maker (such as developers, lenders, home buyers, and renters) to make it easier for them to choose a zero emission building.

We’re making it easier for people to make good decisions when it comes to buildings. Because these decisions impact our lives in countless ways—and for many years into the future. 

 

Change Requires Much More Than Facts

As one journalist writes, when talking about issues like climate change or zero energy buildings we often proceed “from the assumption that your audience lacks facts — that is, that they have a deficit — all you need to do is give them the facts, in clear and eloquent and dramatic enough terms, and you can make them feel like you want them to feel, how they ought to feel, how you feel.”

But this approach usually fails.

“That’s because it appeals to reason, and reason is not what drives human behavior. For more than 50 years, the cognitive sciences have amassed a mountainous body of insight into why we think and choose and act as we do. And what they have found is that facts alone are literally meaningless.”

We’ll say it again: change requires much more than facts.


An Established & Effective Process

We as a society examined what occurs when a person picks up a cigarette. We looked at the social costs (cancer, heart disease, children with asthma) and, when we decided these costs were too high, we found a way to respond to the issue: target the behavior.

We made important investments to support the work of behavioral scientists who then found ways to prevent people from picking up cigarettes in the first place. They found related behaviors—how people get introduced to smoking, when they get the urge to try it, which people model the behavior—and they developed programs that interrupted the cycle. 

Erase40 is using the same process to speed the adoption of climate safe buildings. 

 

3 Paths To Better Buildings

There are three ways to speed this transition from conventional buildings to zero energy ones. Which one is best, fastest, most effective? 

1

Mandate change via policy or code changes

Mandating a behavior is difficult to do and meets with a lot of resistance. This will only come after a very long wait and we don't have the time to spare.

Slow

2

Give financial incentives to developers, home buyers and others

Financial incentives are simple and can be effective. But they are also expensive, difficult to sustain and often fail to address the underlying problem.

Costly

3

Find small behavioral levers that speed adoption of climate-safe buildings

What about behavioral levers? These efforts are targeted, low cost and effective.

Fast


A Rapid Switch To Zero Energy Buildings

Erase 40’s mission is to develop initiatives that result in the widespread adoption low emission, climate-safe buildings.

Switching to zero energy buildings may be one of the easiest, fastest and least costly ways to greatly reduce carbon emissions around the world.

Buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of all carbon emissions in the U.S. and globally, but a switch to this low carbon building technology can reduce this number drastically. 
 
There are other benefits too.

Reduced exposure to air pollution. Lower their monthly energy and repair costs. Reduced asthma rates. Higher savings rates. Fewer children growing up in noisy and polluted environments. Reduced financial stress for low income populations.

 

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