‘Behavioural Insights for a Circular Society’ – new research project at MSC funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation


The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded a research project grant of DKK 7 Million to Professor Lucia Reisch to enable her and her colleagues in the Consumer and Behavioural Insights research group to investigate how best to employ measures based on behavioural insights (“nudges”) as part of an effort to shift consumption choices towards more sustainable and resilient options.


The project, Behavioural insights for a circular society: Using behavioural insights to create an urban food system that fosters sustainable food styles and promotes a circular society (BeaCon), focuses on the food system, which is crucial for building resilience and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals, since it is one of the key impact areas as regards climate change and environmental harm (e.g., biodiversity, soil health, water quality).

BeaCon logo

As its specific focus, the present research targets urban food systems and uses the case of Copenhagen as a practice example. The two major behavioural changes it aims to spur are reducing meat consumption and hence environmental and social footprint (“peak meat”), and second, reducing food waste, an explicit target within SDG 12.


The main empirical approaches used are evidence synthesis (systematic mapping and reviews), experimental and quasi-experimental testing of interventions (pretested in the lab, then conducted in the field together with practice partners in the Municipality of Copenhagen), and human-centered design allowing for true participation of a diverse set of stakeholders to co-design a common understanding and vision of a circular society. In partnership with the city’s sustainable food strategy, the project group plans to run human-centered design workshops to co-design and develop – and then employ, test, and evaluate – behavioural approaches and pathways for change with a high public acceptability.


The project runs for four years, starting in September 2021. The project team consists of Efthymios Altsitsiadis (co-PI and WP leader), Jan Bauer (WP leader of the field experimentation) and three scientific experts (Meike Janssen, Maria Figueroa, Kristian Roed Nielsen). For further information about the project, please contact: PI Lucia Reisch, lre.msc@cbs.dk.


Read more about the Consumer and Behavioural Insights Group (CBIG), located in the CBS Sustainability centre at MSC.