A key area for universities in the effective management of energy use and the resulting carbon emissions is behaviour change campaigns.
Small behaviour changes make a big difference
A number of institutions have effectively implemented programmes focusing on individual attitudes that lead to resource savings. Some measures include encouraging cleaners to close windows throughout buildings for heat retention. Others centre around motivating students and faculty to turn off lights when rooms are not in use, encourage recycling and using sustainable transportation options or car sharing.
Our survey of sustainability managers identified behaviour change as an attractive opportunity to realise emissions reductions. The Do Nation is a platform that helps people commit to make small behaviour changes that add up to a better world.
The platform is used by universities to engage and communicate their sustainability vision and efforts with different stakeholders. Staff and students are able to make pledges around reducing environmental impacts as well as improving health and wellbeing. Contributions from all participants are compiled to generate an online leader board that measures performance and encourages competition between different departments.
The University of Chester
Over the last three years, the University of Chester have used their Do Nation campaign to raise over 1,500 pledges from staff and students. In total, these actions have resulted in savings of 145 tonnes of CO2e, 5.5 million litres of water, and 9.3 tonnes of waste.
The opportunity to engage with its stakeholders has resulted in 79 per cent of users saying they were proud of the university’s sustainability credentials as a result of the programme. As a result of joining the campaign each user talked to about 12 people about sustainability, demonstrating a positive way to communicate and encourage participation in sustainability initiatives at universities.
Good practice guide for carbon management
This year we have published a good practice guide for carbon emissions for the sector. The guide is designed to give practical advice and insights, and also includes detailed analysis of the challenges and opportunities for institutions. Request a free copy of the guide here