Climate Change Needs Behavior Change

Organization Name: 
1 Million Women

Entry Overview

1 Million Women (1MW) is a global movement of 800,000 women building a lifestyle revolution to fight the climate crisis. We empower women and girls mainly who live privileged lives by global standards to directly act through their daily lives and through every choice they make. 1MW has become the largest women’s movement in Australia acting on climate change and we believe there is no other organisation like us in the world. Founded by Natalie Isaacs, a cosmetics manufacturer at the time. She got her electricity bill down by 20% and realised individual action is key to solving the climate crisis. Determined to empower others to make a difference she launched 1MW in 2009. In 2013, 1 Million Women won the United Nations award for our work. In 2017 Natalie was named Australian Geographic’s Conservationist of the Year
General Information
First Name: 
Last Name: 
Organization type: 
  • Nonprofit
Email Address:
level 5, 66 Wentworth Avenue
2000 Surry Hills , New South Wales
33° 52' 45.5088" S, 151° 12' 36.9432" E
Sectors impacted: 
  • Energy and transport
  • Material consumption
  • Other
Community type: 
  • Urban
  • Suburban
  • Rural
Population impacted: 
women and girls of the world
Context Analysis
Describe the context in which you are operating: 
Profound lifestyle change is crucial in fighting the climate crisis. Approx 17% of the world’s emissions come from our households. 14% of global emissions come from the meat industry. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industry in the world. In Australia we throw away 4 million tonnes of edible food annually. 1MW focuses on women as the agents of change and mainly on women in affluent parts of the world because that is where the greatest per capita consumption occurs. It’s estimated that women now control $29.6 trillion of the world’s wealth. By 2028, women will be responsible for about two-thirds of consumer spending worldwide. Women can scrutinize products, drive consumer trends. Women make 85% of the consumer decisions that affect the household’s carbon footprint and have enormous influence as consumers and through the lifestyle choices they make every day. More profoundly, women and children in the developing world are on the frontline when it comes to climate change
Describe the technical solution you wanted the target audience to adopt: 
We give women and girls the tools, education and empowerment to cut carbon pollution in their everyday life focusing on the key areas of daily living: home energy savings and clean energy options, minimising food waste and other food choices, reducing overconsumption, the economic power of women through what we spend and don’t spend and through how we invest and divest our money away from banks and institutions that invest in fossil fuels, sustainable fashion choices, low-impact travel and much more. We empower women and girls to use their lifestyle actions, their voice and their vote to fight for climate action. 1MW is living data. We capture insights in real time. We collate honest behaviour change patterns and trends every day and we demonstrate that when small actions show immediate results, they do move you onto bigger lifestyle decisions. At our core we aim to profoundly change behaviour and make it stick
Type of intervention implemented (category descriptions)
Select all that apply: 
  • Emotional appeals
  • Social incentives
  • Choice architecture
Describe your behavioral intervention: 
We demonstrate that no matter how small an action is, if done over again, it gives you confidence to do more and can lead you to significant lifestyle change that sticks. We worked with BehaviourWorks Australia, a behaviour research enterprise within Monash University (on our new App). They reinforce that our rationale is robust. Our work is based on their behavioural indicators/motivators. Self-efficacy: the belief in your own ability to change behaviour. Collective efficacy:  the power of being part of something bigger, of seeing the results of your actions as part of the whole helps make the new behaviour stick. The Spillover effect: what takes you from action to another. And we identify the Rebound behaviour: ie - People reverting to their old behaviours because energy efficiency measures were put in place. We focus on what we can do rather than what we can’t, about solutions as opposed to problems and collective impact versus individual isolation. Our ongoing campaign of ours is a good example of how a quick win can foster long-term behaviour change. We asked people to make a simple change at the supermarket by leaving pointlessly packaged fruit and veg on the shelf and choosing loose ones instead. It’s an easy action. It makes us feel powerful and it sends a direct message to the store owners that their customers don’t want layers of packaging on their food. The spillover effect is that it makes you more aware about food and avoiding food wasting.
As needed, please explain the type of intervention in more detail.: 
Sweeping lifestyle change is a hard topic. It’s not easy to change behaviour because in order to do it we have to get ourselves outside of the structured framework of our high consumption society. Our new app and Roadshow launching in November will give our community live feedback of their own climate action contribution along with the larger aggregated global contribution of all users. Daily actions tailored to a user’s profile attributes and other specific classes (e.g. location, season). Reminders and alerts encourage the user on their journey. A visual map will highlight, in real time, how many people are taking action. Influencer circles will show users how their own small actions can influence others. More info below
Describe your implementation: 
We have created a mass movement with genuine global reach and reach millions of women every day. The release of our new App in November 2018 is next stage of our evolution. 80% of our community engage with us on their mobile phones and in a survey more than 80% said they wanted us to develop an App. Smart phones are the most accessible communications technology in the history of humanity and that’s where 1MW needs to be. Free to download It will: 1. Everyday offer a choice of daily ‘climate actions’ and make it easy to track the actions undertaken. 2. Showcase individual and collective impact, locally and globally, through a real time ‘map’ showing where in the world users of our App are undertaking activities today and how much carbon is being saved. Our aim is to demonstrate the ‘power of us’ when we are all take the same daily climate actions and acting at the same time. 3. Show deeper ways to transition to a net zero carbon lifestyle. 4. Connect women with each other through an in-App live conversation feed - sharing our stories, ideas & solutions. 5. Celebrate milestones to keep App users motivated and inspired 6. Capture critical data on behaviour change that we will share with our partnering government agencies, councils, policy makers and researchers. Our new Roadshow– A half hour interactive workshop focusing on lifestyle issues that are affected by climate change – Health, happiness and wellbeing, poverty and saving money and through the lens of climate change we will challenge the stronghold overconsumption has on us and how as consumers we have enormous power to change that. It includes on-line slides, videos and a step guide on how to conduct a workshop. Our goal is to enlist 10,000 ambassadors from around the world to take our roadshow and conduct it with their own families, in their school assemblies, universities, workplaces and communities. Our new Free App will be their main tool encouraging everyone to download it.
External connections: 
Foundations and philanthropists support the development of our App. 15 local councils across Australia have invested financially to be our App council partners. NSW Government through their love food hate waste programs – ie - We help their goal to reducing household food waste by 70%. Ambassadors from all walks of life. Some of the world’s most influential women climate leaders support our 1 Million Women mission. ‘1 Million Women has always been ahead of global agenda when it comes to individual responsibility and action on climate change.’ Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice ‘The 1 Million Women App offers an opportunity to distill down daily action and turn the energy transition into practical things we must do. It is really pioneering and would join the ranks of a few platforms around the world that try to do similar things.’ Ms Rachel Kyte, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, CEO, Sustainable Energy for All We have several Corporate partners – Australian Ethical, Bank Australia, Nissan, KPMG,KingWoodMallesons and many womens orgs, schools and Universities.
Who adopted the desired behaviors and to what degree?: 
We reach millions of women of all ages. 110,000 have taken our carbon challenge. Our tool to pledge to cut pollution from you daily life. 620,000 on our Facebook, 3 to 5 million weekly reach 76,000 insta/twitter 10,000+ schools girls 4,331,188 blog view in 2017 from 200 countries 40,000 attended a 1MW event. 62,000 signed our Great Barrier Reef letter to World Heritage Committee 373,000 on our website 15,000 pledges - #leaveitontheshelf campaign 11,000 participated in our Food waste survey. 3 examples of our events Our Women in Climate Change series, a first of its kind in Australia where we discussed the intersection between gender and climate change - 3000 attended 6 events. Our Save Summits - how to save money through cutting carbon pollution - 1300 attended 2 events. Our Recipe for Change - Over one weekend women got together over a cuppa and talked about the solutions to cutting carbon pollution in their homes - 1000 registered get-togethers engaging 5000 women
How did you impact natural resource use and greenhouse gas emissions?: 
Our New App will gather insights into different audience segments ie - low income earners rural, regional groups etc and capture data such as: 1. Measure carbon savings real time data. 2. Gather valuable insights into women’s thinking (and blokes too) on lifestyle change and climate action. 3. Track what makes behaviour change stick. What’s trending. 4. Identity what actions lead to other actions (spillover) or the rebound effect and what creates profound behaviour change. 5. Analyse what communities are thinking. Spontaneous App polls and questions will be configured and fed into the news feed of our App users to gain additional insight into their climate change reactions. We’ll drill down to country, state and council level to gain deeper insights. 6. We’ll analyse the impact of various messages for solutions across different audience segments such as low income earners or regional groups to see if there is a trend of what different groups focus on.
What were some of the resulting co-benefits?: 
Our community are our heartbeat and the social impact of what we do is a key measurable outcome in demonstrating our influence. We know our approach connects and inspires women and that this has huge personal reward including increased happiness and wellbeing. This is not theoretical. It is evident through our reach and engagement. This is also multi-layered. Acting in your own life helps you find your voice to put pressure on Governments. It influences your vote and every choice you make and putting pressure on brands not doing the right thing. 1MW helps our community save money through cutting carbon pollution ie cutting your electricity consumption by 20%, reducing food waste, embracing a less is more approach saving $ is a strong co-benefit and in some cases the main driver. Through empowerment and being part of our movement our community emotionally connect on the issue of climate change deep in their hearts. Its key to profound lifestyle change. Its about reconnecting with/loving the Earth. .
Replication and Scale
1MW is a team of 6 plus interns/volunteers funded through a mix of ways. Over a 2 year period we successfully raised A$680,000 for the full development of our ground breaking App from philanthropists and foundations. This money included an in-depth scoping phase, user experience testing and full App development. We have secured 15 Local Government Council partners across Australia for the app. The participation fee gives 1MW a valuable source of sustainable funding and our aim is to continue to expand council participation here and around the world. Our own community fundraising includes raffles, end of year donations and a regular giving program. We get corporate sponsorship annually and some Gov grants.
Return on investment: 
1MW is a lean operation. The money we raise runs our programs. We have solid financial controls and a deep understanding of the proof needed for the return on investment for our partners. We run at a modest profit every year since inception and our programs are accurately measured and results reports to our stakeholders. Through our new App we will track actions, monitor drop off points etc. We will see which features of the app are most used and how users interact with calls to action to spill over from one action to another so we can continue to improve the App and our ability to motivate our community. This information is essential for our stakeholders as well, to learn deeper levels of lifestyle change and barriers to that.
How could we successfully replicate this solution elsewhere?: 
Our new App and Roadshow will give us scale and the ability to rapidly become a truly international movement. It will take what we do and make it more accessible to women and households around the world and give us rich data on behaviour that we can share with researchers and policy makers. Key to our Apps success will be from the acts of learning from our community as we go along. Our App will need continued financial assistance to help us do that. Our App developers anticipate A$70k for this first year of upgrades and enhancements. The first 3 months have already been covered so we are wanting to raise a further approx. A$52k to cover the rest. We will start fundraising next month but if we won this amazing contest the money would go directly to this piece and would be extraordinarily valuable to our work. Our aim is that millions download our App from around the world.

Contest Partners

conservation international logo
the nature conservancy logo
UNDP logo
world wildlife fund logo

Contest Sponsors

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Humanize Institute