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May 30, 2023

Welcome to RIMScast. Your host is Justin Smulison, Business Content Manager at RIMS, the Risk and Insurance Management Society.


Eloise Copland joins RIMScast to discuss the effects human bias has on all decision-making, what bias is, and working with bias by understanding how the mind uses it as a shortcut to process information. Understanding our biases about the environment will help us to direct with intention our decision-making around climate-change issues. Listen to this enlightening discussion to help inform your organization’s approach toward prioritizing the environment.


Key Takeaways:

[:01] About RIMScast.

[:27] About today’s episode with Principal Behavioral Scientist, Influence at Work, Eloise Copland, on the psychology of environmental bias risk.

[:37] All about upcoming RIMS webinars, and more!

[1:17] The RIMS Canada Conference 2023 has been announced for September 11th‒14th in Ottowa! Visit for more information.

[1:34] On September 14th, the Spencer Educational Foundation returns to New York City for its Annual Funding Their Future Gala. The event will be held at the Cipriani 42nd Street. A link is on this episode’s notes. You can also visit

[1:51] Head to the page! The RIMS Legislative Summit is returning to  Washington, D.C. on October 25th and 26th. Visit the link in the show notes.

[2:04] Be on the lookout for the call for submissions for the RIMS ERM Conference, which will be held November 2nd and 3rd in Denver, Colorado! Check your inboxes.

[2:20] RIMS is partnering with Conrad Clark Nigeria for a RIMS CRMP Exam Prep virtual workshop Saturdays in July: July 1st, 8th, and 15th. Start your RIMS CRMP journey today! The link is in the show notes.

[2:41] The “E” in ESG stands for environmental risk. It is on their minds regularly at RIMS and RIMScast. Justin introduces Eloise Copland, the Principal Behavioral Scientist for Influence at Work. Eloise joins the podcast to talk about our approach to environmental bias and environmental risk.

[3:43] Justin welcomes Eloise Copland, or Elle, to RIMScast. El is five hours ahead of New York time.

[4:25] Elle tells about her background, career, and what excites her every day about behavioral economics and addressing environmental bias.

[6:32] It takes well-funded agencies and corporations working together for change to occur. People run agencies and corporations and their biases influence decisions.

[7:10] There isn’t one simple answer to why executives prioritize short-term environmental challenges over the bigger picture. We like to think that with the right information, and with the right resources, people make rational decisions. Research shows that people’s decisions are influenced by mental shortcuts called biases.

[8:43] The four types of biases:

  • Present bias — we value our present selves more than our future selves.

  • Uncertainty aversion — we avoid unknown risks.

  • Optimism Bias — we are overly optimistic about the future.

  • Loss Aversion — we find losses to be more negative than equivalent gains are positive.

[15:49] Execs believe it’s significantly more costly to be sustainable because there’s a lot of investment and you don’t get a lot of payback. Loss aversion overpowers the potential gains an organization might get.

[16:19] RIMS plug time! Sponsor a weekly or dedicated episode of RIMScast! Contact us at The virtual workshop Managing Worker Compensation, Employer's Liability and Employment Practices in the U.S. will be June 20–21, Register by June 19! The three-part virtual workshop on data risk management will be June 15. See the link.

[17:48] The webinar "Large-Scale Risk: How Walmart Manages the Risks Unique to Large and Growing Companies" will be on June 22, 2023. Scott Fenstermaker of RIskonnect will lead the session. Scott tells about the webinar featuring Chip Hargrave of Walmart.

[20:54] Elle describes ways to work with biases. Knowing what influences our decisions can help us to reduce the power biases hold over us. Elle suggests three things to add to our arsenal: changing people’s focus, making it tangible, and making it personal.

[22:42] Change people’s focus by encouraging executives to look at long-term goals. Find ways to reward longer-term achievements and make the environmental threat more immediate. Use hypothetical scenarios.

[25:23] Make the outcomes more tangible by providing people with a roadmap with the steps of what they can do to achieve a larger goal or reduce the uncertainty by telling people what other people are doing. Have them make implementation intentions, such as “If this happens, I will do that.” Research shows that this works.

[26:53] Make the outcome personal by showing people the emotional and oral impacts of climate change on their nations, communities, and families. They will be much more likely to act beyond the minimum requirements.

[29:51] Elle discusses when executives stubbornly pursue short-term priorities instead of big-picture priorities. Elle suggests empathetically engaging executives to see the big picture. Make sure that when we think about systems, we’re thinking in the long term. Biases are not handicaps but are the ways our brains process information.

[34:03] With the understanding of how humans think, we can integrate this understanding into our systems and what we do, to make sure that we don’t hit this situation where someone is too short-sighted or stubborn.

[34:55] About the COP climate change summits, good and bad. Elle describes the “planning fallacy.” Attending the summit and creating a commitment is not taking action. Tie your commitments to measurable and visible impacts.

[41:01] Sponsor a RIMScast episode to reach a global audience! Justin shares other RIMS offerings, including a transitional membership!


Mentioned in this Episode:

RIMS Canada 2023 — Sept. 11–14 in Ottawa!

Spencer Educational Foundation — Funding Their Future Gala — Sept. 14, 2023

RIMS 2023 Legislative Summit — Oct. 25–26 in Washington, D.C.

RIMS ERM Conference — Nov. 2–3 in Denver, Colorado.

Contribute to Risk Management Magazine

RIMS Diversity Equity & Inclusion page

Upcoming Webinars:

The Top 10 Must-Have Reports for GRC and InfoSec Leaders | Sponsored by Resolver | June 8, 2023

Cyber Risk: Sharper Security or Dulled to the Danger? | Sponsored by Beazley | June 20, 2023

Large-Scale Risk: How Walmart Manages the Risks Unique to Large and Growing Companies | Sponsored by Riskonnect | June 22, 2023

Upcoming Virtual Workshops:

RIMS Fundamentals of Risk Data, Analytics and AI | June 15, 2023 | 10:00 am–2:00 pm ET | Registration Closes June 14 | Enroll Now

Managing Worker Compensation, Employer's Liability and Employment Practices in the US | June 20–21 | 10:00 am–5:30 pm ET | Registration Closes June 19 | Enroll Now

RIMS CRMP Exam Prep with Conrad Clark Nigeria | July 1, 8, and 15

Risk Appetite Management | July 12-13

See the full calendar of RIMS Virtual Workshops

Related RIMScast Episodes:

“Earth Day 2023 and ESG with Lisanne Sison of the RIMS SERMC”

“World Water Day, IoT, and Water Damage Reduction with John Dempsey”

“World Water Day 2022 with Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands”

“Earth Observations, Acronyms, and Risk with Dr. Shanna McClain of NASA” (2021)

“ERM, ESG, and More Acronyms with Jana Utter”

Sponsored RIMScast Episodes:

“Insuring the Future of the Environment” | Sponsored by AXA XL (New!)

“Insights into the Gig Economy and its Contractors” | Sponsored by Zurich (NEW!)

“The Importance of Disaster Planning Relationships” | Sponsored by ServiceMaster

“Technology, Media and Telecom Solutions in 2023” | Sponsored by Allianz

“Analytics in Action” | Sponsored by Alliant

“Captive Market Outlook and Industry Insights” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“Using M&A Insurance: The How and Why” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“Zurich’s Construction Sustainability Outlook for 2023”

“Aon’s 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Overview”

“ESG Through the Risk Lens” | Sponsored by Riskonnect

“A Look at the Cyber Insurance Market” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“How to Reduce Lithium-Ion Battery Fire Risks” | Sponsored by TÜV SÜD

“Managing Global Geopolitical Risk in 2022 and Beyond” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“Keeping Subcontractors Safe Through Partner Elevation” | Sponsored by Highwire

“ESG: A Responsibility and a Growing Megatrend” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“Prioritizing People: Focusing on Your Team to Deliver Exceptional Quality and Service to Your Clients” | Sponsored by Gallagher Bassett

“Bermuda Opportunities in 2022 with BDA Chair Stephen Weinstein” | Sponsored by Bermuda Business Development Agency

“SyncR: A Tool to Enhance Your Risk Quality & Insurance Strategy” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“RIMScast: Navigating the Risk Landscape in 2022” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“RIMScast: Prioritizing People: Expertise and Innovation” | Sponsored by Gallagher Bassett

“RIMScast: Risk Findings for the Industrial & Manufacturing Industry” | Sponsored by Aon

RIMS Publications, Content, and Links:

RIMS Membership — Whether you are a new member or need to transition, be a part of the global risk management community!

RIMS Virtual Workshops

On-Demand Webinars

Risk Management Magazine

Risk Management Monitor

RIMS Risk Leaders Series

RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)

RIMS-CRMP Stories — New interview featuring Broward County RIMS President Stacey Nielsen!

Spencer Educational Foundation

RIMS DEI Council

RIMS Path to the Boardroom

RIMS Events, Education, and Services:

RIMS Risk Maturity Model®

RIMS Events App Apple | Google Play


RIMS Buyers Guide

Dan Kugler Risk Manager on Campus Grant

Sponsor RIMScast: Contact or for more information.


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Follow up with Our Guest:


Guest: Eloise Copland

Principal Behavioral Scientist, Influence at Work


Tweetables (For Social Media Use):


“For me, behavioral science is most useful in the context of environmental impact. And I began to sort of focus on understanding people’s perceptions about the environment and their motivations and barriers.” — Eloise Copland


“This idea of losses — they kind of loom much larger in our brains than gains do. So in the context of executives and business and risk and the environment, people are pretty hesitant to invest in climate change solutions … that have unknown or unproven ROI.” — Eloise Copland


“The better we understand what is making and driving the decision-making when … we’re in the boardroom; the better we can ensure our systems and our communications fit with these beliefs. … Don’t communicate … in ways that aren’t going to resonate.” — Eloise Copland


“With the proper understanding of how humans think, we can integrate this understanding into our systems; into what we do, to make sure that we don’t hit this situation where someone is too short-sighted; too stubborn.” — Eloise Copland