Sebastian Günther et al. publish article in Global Environmental Change, a top journal in environmental sciences

We are proud to announce that the manuscript "The Behavioral Response to a Corporate Carbon Offset Program: A Field Experiment on Adverse Effects and Mitigation Strategies" (authored by Sebastian Günther, Thorsten Staake, Samuel Schöb, Verena Tiefenbeck) got accepted by the journal Global Environmental Change. The paper investigates, by means of a randomized controlled trial, whether and to what extent individuals change their environmental behavior when organizations offset the negative externalities associated with the individuals’ behavior (i.e., CO2 emissions). Such scenarios are nowadays frequent: For instance, Lyft, Gett, and DPD provide consumers with climate-neutral services. In the corporate setting, some companies (e.g., Microsoft, HSBC) are already fully carbon-neutral due to the use of carbon offset programs.

Our results indicate that such corporate carbon offset programs may actually induce adverse behavior by dampening individuals’ curtailment efforts. Besides that, our results suggest that feedback may serve as a remedy to counteract this adverse behavior.

Link to the publication