Social influence in the adoption of digital consumer innovations for climate change

To meet international climate change targets and develop a sustainable energy transition, economic and social transformations are urgently required across all areas of daily life. According to the UK Committee on Climate Change, two thirds of measures necessary are social and behavioural, with the single most important category being low-carbon technology adoption. In recent years, digitalisation has enabled a surge of consumer innovations to emerge which challenge high-energy consumption norms and offer additional benefits, such as, support for local economies (e.g., digital food hubs), relational networks (e.g., ride-sharing), social capital (e.g., neighbourhood electricity trading) and healthy living (e.g., food-pairing apps). However, many remain trapped in small market niches. With their impact limited thus far, insights are needed regarding diffusion strategies for rapid extensive adoption. To help accelerate innovations to the mass market, this paper investigates the diffusion of information through social influences for a wide range of digital consumer innovations for climate change.

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