Bristol City Council turns to blockchain to incentivise behaviour change
Bristol City Council is seeking to spur progress towards an ambition to create a carbon-neutral city by 2030 by teaming with a Manchester-based energy technology firm to incentivise employees to act more sustainably through a blockchain-enabled platform.
Bristol City Council has partnered with EnergiMine to reward council employees who partake in sustainable actions by using the EnergiToken (ETK) blockchain platform. ETK uses blockchain technology to incentivise actions that promote energy reduction, clean transport use and social cause initiatives. Employees can earn tokens to spend on rewards or donate the equivalent value to a registered charity.
“The pilot to deliver rewards to our staff for being more energy efficient will undoubtedly reduce carbon emissions and save the council money on its energy bills, but we hope that some of those positive behaviours will overlap into people’s home lives and in time influence friends and relatives,” Councillor Kye Dudd, Bristol City Council’s cabinet member for energy and transport, said.
“This behaviour change at a city-level will be key in the coming years as Bristol forges ahead on our journey to carbon neutrality.’’
Bristol City Council has recorded a 71% reduction in carbon emissions from its direct activities against a 2005 baseline, surpassing a target to reduce emissions by 65% by 2020. The council will soon propose new targets in due course.
It is believed the new targets will be linked to the city’s decision to declare a “climate emergency” in November 2018, when the council backed a commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030.
The council sourced 21GWh of energy generation from solar, wind and biomass in 2018, enough to power 24,000 homes for a month.
Projects including street lighting upgrades, increasing renewable energy stocks, implementing energy efficiency measures and closing certain corporate estate buildings all contributed to the achievement.
Bristol City Council is also rolling out city-wide projects to assist with wider carbon reductions outside of its direct impact. Heat networks and a City Leap initiative to transform the city’s energy infrastructure and ecosystem have been introduced.
Bristol City Council joins Liverpool City Council in using blockchain to drive climate action. Last Year, Liverpool City Council announced a new partnership with the Poseidon Foundation to offset more than 110% of its carbon emissions, with the city announcing its bid to become the world’s first climate-positive city by the end of 2020.
“The first step in the fight against climate change starts with the promotion of energy efficient behaviours,” EnergiMine’s chief executive Omar Rahim said.
“Following the latest IPCC report, we at EnergiMine are proud to have partnered up with Bristol City Council, whose forward-thinking and courageous response to the threat of climate change will surely pave the way for others to follow suit. We really look forward to driving carbon emissions down with the help of the EnergiToken rewards platform. We are leading incentivisation towards a carbon neutral world of tomorrow.”
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