Phase 4

Behavioural Roadmap to Circular Consumption

Phase 4

A way forward for Australia’s policy-makers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs and advocates, to transform Australia’s systems of production and consumption to significantly reduce Australia’s material footprint.

Transforming Australia's systems of production and consumption

Behavioural Roadmap
One-page summary

Download the full Roadmap
Share our one-page summary


Between February and July 2022 we undertook the final phase of the Responsible Consumption Mission. The purpose of this phase was to leverage program research and learnings to create a ripple effect towards the wider mission goal, by collating and presenting this information to Australia’s interested stakeholders.

This phase involved the BehaviourWorks Australia team reanalysing and interpreting outputs from previous phases to produce recommendations for next steps to achieve responsible consumption. Preliminary results were presented to consortium partners and other stakeholders prior for feedback and refinement, prior to publishing.

What we did

We reanalysed and repackaged the outputs from early phases of the Mission, along with outputs from a parallel stream of work on waste prevention into a ‘Behavioural Roadmap to Responsible [Circular] Consumption’ outlining the behaviours that need to be widely adopted in order to achieve Responsible Consumption, recommendations on initial priorities, and insights into where/how to get started. 

Specifically, we:

  • Mapped out the 470 original behaviours from the behaviour identification process using a multi-level framework, connecting all behaviours that contribute to the same ultimate behaviours into ‘chains’ of behaviours, into order to break down and simplify the large number of overall behaviours. We then connected these chains into a full behaviour system map. We also relabelled many of the behaviours to match the language from the parallel National Waste Prevention Framework.
  • Reanalysed the prioritisation outputs to provide guidance about which behaviours will be critical to achieve in the long-term, and which may be easier in the short-term, including simple recommendations on where to focus. We then combined this with systems thinking principles about intervening in systems to determine initial priorities for next steps.
  • Collated information on drivers and barriers from the co-design behaviours, as a resource to support stakeholders keen to develop appropriate behaviour change strategies and to encourage efforts that align with and amplify the efforts of the trialled Mission intervention.
  • Developed a final Behavioural Roadmap document with clear, upfront takeaways and necessary information layered in further sections

What did we find?

We found 8 behaviours that can reduce material consumption, but 3 have the greatest system impact:

  1. Borrow/rent item or service: Focus new behaviour change efforts on enabling and encouraging both individual and organisational consumers to borrow or rent items instead of buying.
  2. Source item second-hand: Continue and expand behaviour change efforts to mainstream 'buying second-hand instead of new' for individual consumers; and explore scalable practices for organisational consumers.
  3. Buy items built to last: ensure retailed products are built to last, through minimum design/import standards; then include 'built to last' into sustainable and circular procurement policies of organisations.

For more information, see Behavioural Roadmap to Circular Consumption:

Download the full report
      Download the one-page summary
Read our media release

Collaborate with us

The Behavioural Roadmap presents the initial findings from our behavioural system mapping work. However there is much more that can be done to consolidate and extend this important research.

Speak to us about how you can support and collaborate with us on further research to speed up the transformation of Australia's systems of production and consumption.