Notts Green Rewards' Story
In February 2019, Nottingham Trent University (NTU) were the first partner to launch the Green Rewards platform. The platform was designed to incentivise and encourage university staff and students to undertake positive environmental behaviour change and was aligned with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The platform proved a success which allowed NTU to demonstrate its achievements which led to a Green Rewards programme being adopted by the University of Nottingham.
In late 2020, NTU’s Head of Sustainability presented to the Environmental Strategy Working Group (ESWG - A Nottinghamshire Wide partner group that includes members from each Nottinghamshire district, Nottingham City and County Council, the Midlands Energy Hub and both Nottingham Universities) on the success of the Green Rewards platform.
EWSG thought the platform would be a beneficial tool for driving positive behaviour change with residents, especially in light of the Carbon Neutral commitments partners were making.
After some research, a proposition was put forward to all the Nottinghamshire Partners that they all work together to launch a County/Citywide Green Rewards platform, that would be available to residents in late October, in time for COP26.
The Nottinghamshire-wide Green Rewards Platform would see residents use the platform in a similar way to the Universities. Residents would log their positive climate change actions on the platform, either via an app on their phone or by using their computer or iPad. This would allow them to take part in monthly challenges, earning points to win prizes. The Nottinghamshire Green Reward programme has a clear Carbon Reduction focus and resident’s carbon avoidance metrics will be captured on all the actions they have undertaken. This will help support the Nottinghamshire Partners' commitments to work towards becoming Carbon Neutral.
Jump (the team who created and administered the platform) are exploring the possibility of a County/Citywide totaliser for specific campaigns (this would also include both Nottingham universities) for example, National Recycling Week. This would be a visible demonstration that tackling climate change is very much a partnership approach across the whole of Nottinghamshire.
Useful Learnings from Notts Green Rewards
Engaging your people is key to embedding sustainability and making a real difference. Incentivising and rewarding sustainability actions that will have a positive impact on the environment and for Nottingham/Nottinghamshire is a tool to encourage behaviour change.
Do your research and always offer alternative solutions. Just because one particular option doesn't work it doesn't mean to say that's the end of the project.
Always be willing to compromise. When you are rolling out a project to a strict timeline, with so many different partners, you need to be able to compromise. You are all working towards the same end goal.
Always build in contingency time to deliver a project. We definitely needed a few additional weeks, despite the team being on track for the first half of the project.
Create sub-teams to help with the main project delivery. Each district created a sub-team to help support and feed into the main project group. This helped to keep staff in each district informed of what was going on and made them feel included as part of the process.
Communication is key. Always make sure that you keep stakeholders up to date with what is going on. Their support for the project is vital. Ensure that a project has sufficient staffing resources for delivery. If there isn't help, ask for it.
Notts Green Rewards' Metrics
Number of individual positive actions each staff/student has undertaken.
Carbon impact of each action or the amount of CO2e avoided .