In 2011, South Ribble Partnership successfully piloted ‘Living Smart’, a project which challenged households to reduce their carbon footprint over a 12 month period. The original project engaged 10 households on a 1-2-1 support basis, which resulted in some households reducing their carbon footprint by up to 13%. During the pilot, a wealth of knowledge was built up in terms of those actions that had the greatest impact and engaged most participants.
This knowledge was used to develop a package of support and information which has been set out in a framework those organisations can use to deliver.
Living Smart II aimed to continue the success of the pilot by encouraging behavioural change in people, helping them make a step by step approach to take action where they are able to reduce their impact on the environment.
Living Smart II was focused on working with employers who would use internal communication tools to engage employees to take up the Living Smart challenge.
The project did, once again, demonstrate the effectiveness of the framework and the tools to help people reduce their carbon footprint and to make a real difference to their energy consumption.
In the initial project, 8 families had been intensively supported throughout a 12 month period; in which they could demonstrate a quantifiable reduction in their carbon footprint and energy usage. This strand of Living Smart did not have the resources to deliver that model, and it was accepted that outcomes would be softer and less quantifiable.
The different approaches adopted by the employers, demonstrated that 1-1 encouragement and support via ‘champions’ was better able to generate involvement from employees.
Active participation and encouragement between colleagues fostered a greater response in getting individuals to take on board messages and engage in activities.
Those who engaged demonstrated the effect that the living smart challenge can make and that the tool kit remains effective. Based on averages and the information collated from participants it is estimated that from undertaking the challenge participants have been able to reduce their carbon footprint by 12%.