ZEN City Fringe hosts networking breakfasts every 3 months to encourage members of the Zero Emissions Network to interact with each other and listen to talks surrounding the topic of reducing emissions. At this breakfast the first guest speaker was Larissa Lockwood, Head of Health at Global Action Plan. Larissa spoke about the work behind last year’s first ever national Clean Air Day. Freddie Burstow, Account Manager at Brainlabs Digital, spoke next about building the company’s internal ‘green team’. Laura Parry from ZEN City Fringe spoke about the origin and growth of ZEN’s Santander Cycle Hire offer which was shortlisted for the Most Innovative Transport Award at the London Transport Awards. Catering was by Elysia Catering, a social enterprise committed to reducing food waste.
The talks and presentations were all interesting and engaging and questions from the audience allowed for a wider discussion around campaigning and zero emissions. Below are some tips we picked up at the event that will help you start your own ‘green’ team or campaign.
Where do I start?
Identify the key areas of your business that need improving. For example, travel, deliveries or waste.
Try to start small and build from there. Small changes will help people notice your campaign and encourage them to take part as they see how easy being ‘green’ can be.
Brain Labs consolidated their amazon deliveries so they are now delivered to their office once a week rather than every day. This is something small and simple that everyone should notice.
Identify your audience - Consider who you are talking to when deciding how to engage with people to promote your initiative. Staff may receive numerous emails a day so it may be beneficial to promote your green team in the company newsletter rather than multiple sporadic emails.
What makes a successful campaign?
Inclusivity Make sure you have elements of your campaign that everyone can take part in. Brain Labs’ green team run an adopt a plant scheme so that people who are unable to cycle to work for whatever reason can still feel involved in helping the environment. Simplicity Make your campaign as simple as possible. At ZEN City Fringe the Santander Cycle hire campaign involved 3 straightforward steps: become a member, complete travel survey, redeem code. Adaptability Be ready to adapt your campaign in order to combat limitations or obstacles you might encounter. For ongoing campaigns, it is important to reflect on the challenges you have faced and how you might overcome them in the future.
Overall the Business Breakfast taught us that whether your campaign is nationwide or office wide the basics of improving people’s impact on the environment start with making small behaviour changes easier for everyone.