University of Strathclyde widens sustainability behaviour change programme

The University of Strathclyde is rolling out an organisation-wide behaviour change project to boost sustainable habits among staff, after a five-month pilot saw the institution reduce its carbon emissions by 15,000kg.

The JUMP pilot project, operated by sustainable rewards scheme supplier Green Rewards, encourages employees to engage in energy saving, sustainable travel, waste reduction and other green actions.

During a five-month trial of the scheme among 250 staff members, participants were encouraged to track their positive actions and earn ‘green points’ through an online platform and mobile app. The staff that collected the most points were then made eligible to win vouchers to spend on retailers and charity donations.

Between February and June 2018, the trial saw employees divert 2,939 disposable coffee cups from entering landfill by using reusable alternatives – the equivalent of 30kg of waste. Emissions reductions were also achieved through sustainable commuting, with the University recording a 15,000kg reduction in its carbon footprint over the course of the trial.

In a bid to drive an even greater improvement in sustainability and wellbeing both on campus and at home, the scheme will be rolled out to the University’s entire staff cohort in October.

Green Rewards’ managing director Graham Simmonds said the pilot had achieved “impressive results”, adding that he was “confident” the University would achieve greater results after a full roll-out of the scheme.

“We live in a world where technology is how people engage in important global issues, and what inspires them to take action,” Simmonds said.

“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. “

Behaviour change challenge

The University of Strathclyde is one of eight higher education institutions in the UK that work with Green Rewards to encourage individuals to live more sustainably. Other clients include the University of WinchesterBrunel University and the University of Bristol, which is aiming to achieve carbon-neutral status by 2030.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is also part of the JUMP programme and has rolled it out across the UK and Ireland after a successful pilot led to a 5% average electricity reduction and 500,000 disposable cups being correctly recycled.

In total, more than one million positive actions have been recorded by the JUMP programme.

Sarah George

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