#SustyTalk: Bournemouth University’s Neil Smith on sustainable behaviour change during lockdown

edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with Bournemouth University's sustainability manager Neil Smith discussing how he has adapted a university-wide sustainable behaviour change scheme to account for home working and how the organisation is explaining its net-zero target.

With the UK on lockdown and edie readers working remotely or on furlough, this brand new series of video interviews keeps you connected to the inspirational business leaders who are continuing to drive sustainability and champion climate action from their own homes.

#SustyTalk is all about keeping edie’s loyal readers connected to sustainable business leaders across the world, whilst reminding us all that sustainability and climate action must go on, through the current Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

edie’s content editor Matt Mace discusses the lockdown with Bournemouth University’s sustainability manager Neil Smith ENGAGE week. 

In 2018, the University opened up the JUMP behaviour change scheme to all 2,000+ of its direct and Student Union employees after a successful six-month pilot in 2017. Operated by employee engagement firm Green Rewards, the app-based initiative rewards staff for taking part in activities that support one or more of the 17 Global Goals – such as travelling sustainably, minimising their plastic waste output and reducing their water use. Crucially, participants are told which SDGs they are contributing to every time they use the JUMP app.

Smith discusses how they’ve refined the engagement with this app to account for a domestic setting.

“We’ve just kicked-off our action for May, which is all about sustainable habits at home, so things like energy and water-saving tips, pledging to reduce food waste and other elements,” Smith said. “We’re continuing with the rewards platform and capturing what people are up to…we’ve been able to provide them with ideas and continuing with the actions they were doing before the lockdown.

“There has been quite a sea change over the last 12 months of people’s recognition of how climate change is something that requires rapid change. It hasn’t gone away, and people are focused on dealing with this outbreak, but when we get out of this, climate change will still be waiting.”

Additionally, Smith reveals that the University is exploring a vision to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030/31, and that a lot of work is being placed on what roles different areas of the organisation will have in reaching the target.

Click here to see our catalogue of #SustyTalk video interviews.

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edie staff

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