The three-month Be the Change pilot aims for all 6,000 staff to save energy and water, purchase sustainably and adopt sustainable travel, while keeping active and engaging in volunteering activities.

Staff will be able to earn rewards for pledging to avoid single-use plastics, recycling more and taking positive steps to reduce their waste.

University of Bristol’s head of sustainability Martin Wiles said the programme would help the institution to achieve key targets, such as achieving carbon-neutral status by 2030.

“Engaging staff in our sustainability strategy will be crucial to help achieve our goals,” Wiles said. “We’re really looking forward to seeing how this programme can help us generate mass engagement and feed back to our staff that every small action matters.”

Empowering employees

Led by behaviour change specialists Green Rewards, the programme will enable staff to track their positive actions and earn ‘green points’ through an online platform and mobile app. Staff that collect the most points will be eligible to win vouchers to spend on retailers and charity donations.

Gamification is seen by Green Rewards as a critical tool to create mass engagement, generate excitement and raise awareness of environmental issues.

Green Rewards managing director Graham Simmonds said: “We live in a world where technology is how people engage in important global issues, and what inspires them to take action.

“The success of our university programmes is down to our use of technology and the unique opportunity it provides for employees by empowering them to take ownership of their workplace sustainability. We’re delighted to be working with the University of Bristol and we look forward to seeing positive results from the pilot.”

The University of Bristol – which has divested all investments in carbon-intensive sectors –  the likes of Swansea University, the University of Winchester, Bournemouth University, the University of Strathclyde, the University of Reading and Brunel University London in signing up to a Green Rewards employee engagment scheme. 

George Ogleby

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie