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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials The 2degrees Sustainability Essentials Series provides the necessary guidance to a range of topics, for sustainability professionals looking for an easy-to-use guide, companies at the start of their sustainability journeys, or for 2degrees members who are new in their roles. Think of it as a short course to sustainability issues. This document highlights what you need to know about behavior and its influences on energy use in commercial office buildings. This Essentials Guide was put together with the help of Jeffrey Domanski, Director, Sustainability Strategies, Corporate Occupier & Investor Services at Cushman & Wakefield.

Contents Definitions ........................................................................................................................................................ 2 What is meant by behavior change?...................................................................................................... 4 Why is behavior change important to businesses and sustainability? ...................................... 5 What are the barriers to delivering behaviour change? ................................................................. 6 Where to start? .............................................................................................................................................. 7 Embedding behavior change in the long term………………………………………………………………11 The Power of Social Media………………………………………………………………………….……………….…12 More information ........................................................................................................................................ 13

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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials


Attitudes Attitudes are the degree of like or dislike that a person has towards something, in this case measures aimed at improving energy efficiency or other aspects of sustainability. Behavior Behaviors are the actions that people perform. There is little correlation between behavior and

attitudes, so it‟s worth bearing in mind that strategies that influence attitudes may have no effect on behavior and vice versa. Behavioral economics Classical economics largely assumes that people are rational and behave in a way to maximize their individual self-interest; behavioral economics takes into account individuals‟ often irrational behavior on on financial and other decisions. Defaults Individuals tend to go with the flow of pre-set options, or defaults, often regardless of whether these maximize their individual or collective wellbeing. Time discounting or a tendency to discount the future One of the barriers to making energy efficiency improvements is people‟s tendency to discount future benefits and the fact that the benefits are accumulated over a long period of time, whereas the costs associated with them are immediate and sometimes large. Inertia or ‘status quo bias’ This is the reluctance of individuals to try new ideas, adopt new technologies and form new habits. Nudge theory

Nudge theory, as the name suggests, is all about creating an environment that gently nudges people to make better choices by making the desired choice the easy, or natural, choice rather

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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials

than force change on them through legislation or regulation. An example of this could be

installing recycling bins in convenient places to promote people to recycle more. Smart meters A smart meter is an electronic meter that enables two-way communication between the meter and the provider, be it electricity, gas, water, heat or cooling. As well as recording consumption in detail it also allows the end user to see how much they are spending in real time. Social media Social media is the use of web-based and/or mobile technologies that allow interactive communication, such as blogging or Twitter. Social norms Social norms are behaviours or beliefs that are commonly practiced or believed within a group of individuals. People are strongly influenced by the social norms of their group and the influence is often unconscious.

Harnessing Behavior Change to Cut Energy Use In September last year the tallest, and arguably most famous building to receive LEED certification in the US was announced. The 80-year old Empire State Building in New York was awarded LEED Gold for „Existing Buildings‟, recognizing the building‟s major energy efficiency retrofit that is nearing completion. The team behind the project spent the better part of a year identifying the eight most cost-effective measures to reduce energy consumption by 38% and shave $4.4 million (£2.8 million) off the building‟s annual energy bill. Amongst these measures was a program to tackle the behavior of the occupants. The Empire State retrofit is certainly a high profile project, but it isn‟t the only one to exploit behavior change as a way of cutting energy use. In 18 months the „Green the Capitol‟ initiative has slashed the carbon footprint of the US House of Representatives by 74% through a package of measures which included a series of behavior programs at offices. While in the UK, central government cut its carbon

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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials emissions by 10% in one year by applying insights from behavioral economics to departmental policy on how to heat and light its buildings. In the following pages we aim to provide you with an introduction to how behavior change can be used to improve the energy consumption of buildings, the barriers and benefits and where to start.

What is meant by behavior change? How the occupants of a building behave is fundamental to how much energy a building consumes. This might sound like an obvious statement, but it‟s a fact that businesses often fail to grasp, despite it being one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy, cut emissions and save money. Unlike the design and construction of a building, there are no regulations currently that control how much energy it consumes once it‟s occupied. Even if a building is designed to be ultra-efficient, it doesn‟t follow that it will be used efficiently. If the blinds are left down and the lighting on, or the windows open and the heating running, even a well-designed building is going to use more energy than it should. It‟s widely recognized that 50% or more of a building‟s energy consumption is directly influenced by how its occupants use it. Their actions have significant impact on the amount of energy consumed by lighting, heating and cooling as well as by appliances like computers, printers and photocopiers. But it goes further. Occupant‟s behavior directly affects water consumption and recycling rates within a building and emissions associated with daily commutes. So why have businesses not been exploiting this opportunity to curb energy use? The simple answer is that persuading individuals to change their behaviors is far from straightforward. Anyone who wants to successfully implement an energy efficiency plan needs to have a good understanding of what motivates people to behave the way they do- they need to be part psychologist, part salesman and part technician. Before we go much further, it‟s important to distinguish the difference between behaviors and attitudes since these terms are often confused and interchanged. Attitudes are how positively – or negatively – someone feels towards something. For example some people like the idea of being able to recycle their rubbish while others regard it as a chore and avoid doing it. Behaviors on the other hand are the actions that people perform, so although they might consider recycling a chore they still do it. There is little correlation between behavior and attitudes and it‟s worth bearing in mind that strategies that influence attitudes may have no effect on behavior and vice versa. And so it follows that, although people may be concerned about the environment, they might not take the necessary steps to reduce their energy consumption or what they consume.

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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials Encouraging the occupants of a building to become more energy efficiency requires an understanding of how people behave and use energy - and why they aren‟t already being more energy efficient. In commercial buildings, the owners, facility managers, designers and staff all have a role to play in encouraging this behavior.

Why is behavior change important to businesses and sustainability? We‟ve already heard that a significant portion of a building‟s energy consumption is related to how occupants use the building. Within this, „plug‟ loads – the energy consumed by appliances such as personal computers and monitors - represent a large and increasing proportion of the energy use in commercial buildings, up to 20% in some cases, and the amount they consume is influenced by how they are used. For example are printers and photocopiers turned off out of hours and when laptops are not being charged are their chargers unplugged? Obviously, influencing employees to reduce energy use can directly help a business looking to cut its carbon footprint and simultaneously lower its energy use and costs. But behavioral-based changes have other major advantages: 

The benefits can be realized very quickly unlike major refurbishments or system upgrades that can take months or years.

They can be highly cost-effective as the upfront costs are relatively low.

If people can be encouraged to change their behaviors in the workplace, there‟s a strong chance they‟ll take those habits home which means they ultimately have a far bigger impact.

Behaviors are important in the uptake and use of technology, such as energy monitoring and control systems which can have a far reaching impact on long term energy use.

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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials So what sort of improvements can be achieved? A study in 2006 by the University of Oxford indicates that 5-15% in savings can be achieved by behavior change alone by providing feedback of energy usage, for example through energy displays. A project by the UK government has also achieved similar saving. The study, published in 2011 by the Cabinet Office Behavioral Insights team, demonstrated that emissions of central government departments were reduced by over 10% in just one year by applying insights from behavioral economics to departmental policy on how to heat and light its buildings. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and contributing researchers have estimated that potential behavior-based strategies can achieve efficiency gains greater than 20%.

What are the barriers to delivering behavior change? This is where the topic of energy efficiency enters new territory and starts to get interesting. Naturally, any behavior that reduces consumption and enhances building quality in a sustainable way will have a positive impact in the workplace. But how can individuals be encouraged to waste less energy and be more energy efficient in everyday situations? It is overly simplistic to assume that presenting building occupants with information and logical arguments on why they should reduce energy or recycle more - even those based in economic terms will successfully result in a change of behavior. Here are a number of key factors that influence how people behave and deter change: 

Inertia or ‘status quo bias’ - this is the reluctance to try new ideas, adopt new technologies and form new habits, for example persuading individuals who drive to work to switch to car sharing. This may be for several reasons such as being attached to existing ways of doing things or technologies, or the need to invest time, effort or money in changing what‟s already familiar – why fix what isn‟t broken?

Too many choices – when opportunities to save energy are presented in a shopping list fashion, people don‟t know where to start and without expert guidance to prioritize the most efficient actions, people tend to do nothing for fear of making a bad choice.

Single action bias – this is the tendency to respond to a call-for-action with only one response, while many other helpful actions are “left on the table”. For example, someone who has swapped a few incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent lamps may feel absolved from taking further action.

Time discounting or a tendency to discount the future – one of the hurdles to making energy efficiency improvements is that the benefits are accrued over a long period of time, whereas the costs associated with them are immediate and sometimes large. This is often the challenge small businesses face when they consider improving the energy efficiency of their properties and is one of the barriers the UK‟s Green Deal initiative hopes to overcome, by offering energy efficient refurbishments at no

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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials upfront cost with the loan paid back through the savings in monthly fuel bills. Hopefully this will encourage businesses to achieve energy savings in the longer term. 

Risk aversion – being risk averse can prevent acceptance of a new technologies or practices, particularly when there is some question about how new technologies will perform, for example, technologies such as ground source heat pumps might be rejected by householders purely on the grounds that it‟s an unfamiliar technology.

Social norms – individuals are heavily influenced by what others around them are doing, so called „social norms‟. These can be used to encourage the adoption of energy-efficient and green behaviors. A typical example might be providing comparative energy consumption information through real time energy displays. However, social norms may also prevent desired behaviors.

Defaults – individuals tend to go with the flow, or default, often regardless of whether it is to their benefit or not. Useful energy efficiency defaults can be as simple as adjusting temperature set points higher in the summer and lower in the winter, and turning heating and cooling systems off in buildings outside of core working hours.

Where to start? Broadly speaking, solutions for delivering behavior change fall into two categories: those that are implemented in the existing workplace and those that can be incorporated in the design phase of a new build or refurbishment. Our main focus in this guide is on existing buildings where the success of any energy behavior program relies on engaging with the building occupants. In its „Greening Work Styles: An analysis of energy behavior programs in the workplace‟ guide, the ACEEE sets out a strategy for developing an energy behavior program. This strategy includes: 

Setting the tone – what are the expectations of the program, is there senior management buy-in and support for the initiative, what are the costs

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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials and who should run it? 

Building a team – delivering a program relies on teamwork, who will lead and champion it and who will implement it on the ground?

Employing communication channels – how and what tools will you use to communicate to the target audience, why they should do something about their behavior and what they should do?

Deploying engagement techniques – an energy behavior program relies on sustained engagement with the building occupants

The ACEEE guide stresses that support from upper management is important to the development and success of any energy behavior program and it‟s also highlighted in this discussion on 2degrees. However, how you communicate and engage with the building occupiers is also crucial. Some of the more traditional approaches taken include: 

Information campaigns - using posters, circulating literature, emails, websites and talks, to promote and encourage the uptake of more effective energy efficiency measures. When planning these campaigns it is important to make the information specific, make it vivid, personal and include follow-through steps which can be combined with other strategies such as competitions or league tables displaying progress. The „My Green Office‟ website that was developed as part of the „Green the Capitol‟ initiative is a good example of a web based tool for engaging with occupants. Bear in mind that building occupants won‟t think about energy in the same way that the building or facilities manager will.

Financial incentives – attaching a monetary value to energy savings can be a very powerful method of curbing energy use. For example, energy saving targets can be incorporated into a department‟s budget or bonus scheme, which encourages people to pay attention to how much energy they use. Real time displays can also be used to highlight how much energy is consumed – in terms of cost – and how this increases when, for example, an air conditioning unit is switched on. But there is also a risk with this approach, as it can be counter-productive if the individual amounts are small – the amount it takes to power an air conditioner might seem relatively insignificant - and even influence people to use more when they realize how little it costs. There is also the danger that all decisions become monetized because some individuals will not be motivated to save money, such as employees and tenants who do not pay for their energy use.

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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials 

Non-financial incentives – in many instances, money isn‟t the most powerful motivational force. Instead, focusing on personal values can be more effective. You can do this by considering what people care about and spelling out what difference changing their behavior will have. Again, make it personal and appeal to people‟s sense of identity – in other words make people feel that they are the kind of person who cares about saving energy or sustainability issues. Combining both financial and non-financial incentives can be the most fruitful approach.

Tell a story and use case studies – successful energy conservation projects start with a compelling message. It often should be about more than just 'saving money' or 'reducing carbon', because these won‟t influence everyone. Telling a story is a good way to capture people‟s imagination and persuade them to take action, especially if the „story‟ is about someone facing similar circumstances.

Group activities – group-influence can work in favor of desired behavior change, but it can also work against it – an outspoken group member can sway others positively as well as negatively, and „group-thinking‟ can result in poor decision making.

Automated systems and technology – the uptake of technologies such as manual controls for lighting, heating and cooling, and natural ventilation, still represent a fraction of their market potential but can be a way of providing occupants with „ownership‟ of their spaces and prompt behavior change.

Although significant steps have been made in behavioral sciences in the last three decades, it is still very much an evolving field and new approaches are being applied to energy-related decision-making, for example: 

Social norms. A good example of how social norms have been used to change behavior was published by the UK‟s Cabinet Office Behavioral Insights Team in July 2011, which helped central government departments reduce their emissions by over 10% in one year. The methods adopted included publishing monthly performance league showing progress towards the pan-government target. This introduced a competitive element to departmental performance and a strong incentive for departments being labeled poor. Real-time displays were also installed in 19 headquarter buildings, feeding online reports of energy use, which also helped maintain awareness of the program, while also giving departments data about their on-going performance.

Competitions. As mentioned above, competition can be a great motivator. Contests such as the Cushman & Wakefield Environmental Challenge and the Energy Star Battle of the Buildings Competition held in the US, or the 100 Days of Carbon Clean Up Campaign run by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers in the UK, have all worked to raise awareness of simple

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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials behavioral steps and managerial initiatives that can cut carbon emissions from buildings. The project run by the UK‟s Cabinet Office Behavioral Insights Team also included a competition to see which headquarters building could save the most energy relative to the previous month. Details of how the winning department achieved savings were circulated to departments to help to reinforce this behavior as a social norm. 

Advanced information strategies. How you frame your message is important, for example, describing an energy-efficiency opportunity not taken as “lost opportunity” is more effective than as a “potential gain”. Also, the message must be salient to the target audience.

Make it clear. Commitments, especially when written and pledging to perform specific actions or achieve certain targets, increase behavior change and uptake. Starting out with small commitments, which are relatively easy to achieve, can lead to larger commitments and significant behavior change in the long term.

Situation and setting. An appreciation of how the setting in which decisions are made is essential. For example, is it a social setting? Are there positive or negative peer pressures? Is there a choice of options? Are the steps to positive behaviors easy to follow? These factors can dominate behavior far more than intention or attitude.

Engagement and feedback. Use multiple strategies that encourage occupant participation, and a sense of control and ownership as this will enhance take-up. For example, Vornado‟s Energy Information Portal is a system that provides tenants with useful information on their energy use.

Adaptability. People are adaptable. Changing the default temperature settings on heating and cooling systems can deliver huge savings and - within reason occupants quickly adapt to these changes.

Choice architecture and design. The design stage offers one of the greatest opportunities to influence behavior by

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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials creating the appropriate choice-setting and defaults. Giving occupants the power to influence their environment through, for example, opening windows, temperature and lighting controls, provides them with a sense of ownership. Where the design team often fails is at the handover phase; occupants move into the building but donâ€&#x;t fully appreciate how it should be operated and used. The Soft Landings initiative run by the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) in the UK enables designers and constructors to remain involved with a building beyond practical completion. This will assist the client during the first months of operation and beyond, to help fine-tune and de-bug the systems, and ensure occupiers understand how to control and best use their buildings.

Embedding behavior change in the long term The success of a behavior change campaign will ultimately be measured by its long-term influence. After initiating the campaign, the next biggest challenge is sustaining consistent effort. Be sure to balance all of the above points carefully and beware of over-emphasizing any one incentive or initiative. Make sure you engage the occupants and create a building-wide culture that reflects the goals of the company or organization behind the campaign. One way to do this is to make energy conservation one of your organization's Key Performance Indicators. This will help sustain focus and reap rewards through lower energy costs and emissions.

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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials

The Power of Social Media Everyone recognizes the need for behavioral change in order to optimize energy savings in the building sector. We also recognize the difficulties in creating lasting change. Social media can help foster a culture of energy efficiency among building occupants. Most of us are already part of several communities such as home, work, school and recreation. Paradoxically, we often have more communication with people online than with people with whom we work. The greatest value in social networking tools is their ability to help communities develop and grow. It will be people, individuals or small groups who will foster a culture for each place. It is

within the culture of each place that we find the opportunity for behavior change. Expecting social media tools alone to solve the challenge of energy efficiency in buildings is too much to ask. Only the culture of the community in a building will truly affect its performance. The solution then, is to help people build communities within buildings to create vertical neighborhoods. The network becomes a platform to interact with others about issues facing your community, including everything from security to sustainability. This is the kind of place that has a chance of encouraging long-term sustainable behavior as members of the community have a tangible connection to the common good. These new communities will be enhanced by social media tools. At the same time, a professional network based around individual buildings will allow for a collaborative approach to solving building issues. Knowledge based solutions, with input from end users and operations staff, can be created with the help of experts as needed. The operatorâ€&#x;s detailed knowledge of existing equipment supports the consultants design concept that is implemented with the supplierâ€&#x;s product knowledge and is within the ownerâ€&#x;s budget. Wholebuilding solutions, such as this, are made infinitely easier with online collaboration tools in which all parties are involved as early as possible in each phase of the solution. Buildings with strong communities will be more attractive to renters, owners and investors. At some point we will see a culture shift where communities begin the transformation in isolation

and market forces help to drive change throughout a community. Jordan Rodier, Director of Business Development, BuiltSpace.

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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials

For more information On 2degrees Behavior Change in Building Energy Efficiency – feedback from LessEn round-table [Document] Saving Energy: Behaviour change – UK Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team report into how behaviour change was used to cut energy use across central government departments [Document] Awareness to Action - Tools to motivate and unlock behavior change [Webinar] Carrot or Stick? 10:10 Organizations Look At What Works Best For Employee Engagement Across Sectors [Webinar] Achieving Behavioral Change - an overview of the main benefits of engaging employees on energy efficiency [Webinar] Thinking About Energy Behavior: An introduction [Document] - The UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change has published an introductory guide on the different ways of thinking about the way that people use energy. It draws on evidence from behavioral economics, social psychology and sociology to examine different ways of changing energy behavior. Achieving behavioral change on energy efficiency in leased spaces - practical tips on engaging tenants [Discussion] – A discussion sharing ideas and experiences on how you engage tenants to improve energy efficiency? External Sources C&W Environmental Challenge – Cushman and Wakefield‟s annual challenge requires participants to benchmark and report, amongst other things, energy use and water consumption in a bid to cut consumption. Garrison Institute‟s Climate, Mind, Behavior Initiative – this initiative brings together researchers and practitioners to explore insights from current scientific research in many disciplines to develop practical solutions to the world's pressing environmental issues, with a focus on efficient buildings and cities.

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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials Syracuse Center of Excellence engages collaborators at 200+ companies and institutions to address global challenges in clean and renewable energy, indoor environmental quality, and water resources. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency. ACEE also convenes the annual Behavior, Energy and Climate Change (BECC) conference Behaviour Change – UK based Behavior Change works with government, business and civil society to make it easier, cheaper and more appealing for people to lead sustainable lives. Books and papers American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (2010) People-Centered Initiatives for Increasing Energy Savings, Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez and John A. Laitner, Eds., November 2010, pp. 349 Aune, Margrethe, Thomas Berker and Robert Bye (2008), “The missing link which was already there Building operators and energy management in non-residential buildings,” Facilities, Vol 26 Allcott, Hunt and Sendhil Mullainathan. 2010. Behavior and Energy Policy, Science. 327(5970): 1204 – 1205 Schultz, P. Wesley, Jessica M. Nolan, Robert B. Cialdini, Noah J. Goldstein, and Vladas Griskevicius (2007) “The Constructive, Destructive, and Reconstructive Power of Social Norms,” Psychological Science 18, 429 –34 Thaler, Richard H. and Cass R. Sunstein (2008) Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press Bazerman, Max H. (2006) Judgment in Managerial Decision Making. John Wiley & Sons Cialdini, R. B., Reno, R. R., & Kallgren, C. A. (1990) “A focus theory of normative conduct: Recycling the concept of norms to reduce littering in public places,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 1015-1026 Cooper, J., Mirabile, R. and Scher, S. J. (2005) “Actions and attitudes: The theory of cognitive dissonance,” in T. C Brock and M. C. Green (Eds) Persuasion, Chapter 4, pp 63Kempton, Willet, John M. Darley, and Paul C. Stern (1992) “Psychological research for the new energy problems: strategies and opportunities,” American Psychologist 47: 10, pp. 1213-1223 March, J.G. (1978). Bounded rationality, ambiguity, and the engineering of choice. Bell Journal of Economics, 9, 587-608

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Delivering Building Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change 2degrees Sustainability Essentials Ross, L. and R. Nisbett (1991), The Person and the Situation, McGraw Hill Stern, Paul C. (1992) “What psychology knows about energy conservation,” American Psychologist 47: 10, pp. 1224-1232 Weber, Elke U., 2006, “Experience-Based and Description-Based Perceptions of Long-Term Risk: Why Global Warming Does Not Scare Us (Yet),” Climatic Change 77 1-2: 103-120

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2degrees Sustainability Essentials_ Building Energy Efficiency Through Beh  

The 2degrees Sustainability Essentials Series provides the necessary guidance to a range of topics, for sustainability professionals looking...

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