Finding Carrots

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Finding carrots:
Engaging others in sustainability
Charlotte Bonner - Communities Program Manager
Jamie Agombar - Head of Sustainability
AASHE Conference 2014: Student Summit
What are we going to cover?
Research
Funding
Communications
Programmes
Ground rules
Introductions
Find someone you don’t know
Introduce yourselves: who you are and where you
come from
Key question: what first got you interested in
sustainability?
Who are we? - NUS
600 FE and
HE SUs
• 600 students’ unions
• 7 million students (2.3m in HE)
• 4,700 SU staff; 500 sabbatical
officers
• 230 NUS staff
Societies,
course reps,
trustees
7m
students
What is NUS?
• NUS was founded in 1922. In 1973 NUS was the first
national body to pass policy in favour of LGBT rights,
elected its first women president in 1977 and its first
black president in 1978.
• NUS works to promote, defend and extend the rights of
students and helps develop and champion strong
students’ unions.
• 3 core values of; Equality, Democracy and
Collectivism guide NUS’ work
What we do today
Campaign, lobbying and research on issues that
affect students
• Access to and quality of education, welfare,
liberation
Develop and champion strong students’ unions
• HR, finance, strategic support, activities
coordination, digital platforms, sustainability
programmes
9,010 actions completed this year,
5,566 (61%) as a result of GI
Green Impact Excellence
• Credit union
• Community
environmental audits
• Greening the curriculum
• Community action
• Biodiversity and schools
• Computer recycling
• Chilli Jam
Green Impact Universities and Colleges
• 62 Universities and
Colleges
• 1,205 teams reaching
53,950 members of staff
• 48,834 actions completed
this year, 32,000 (65%) a
result of Green Impact
• MacEwan University in
Canada
• Video
Green Impact in the Community
115 off-campus organizations
12,467 actions completed this
year, 6,974 (56%) as a result of
GI
Total GI action actions
Student involvement in GI
809 students Project Assistants and auditors
Student Switch Off
•
•
•
•
•
•
Targets students in dorms
Behaviour discontinuity theory
Energy-saving competition
Eco Power Rangers: films, quizzes
Encourages simple changes
Video
Student Switch Off 2013-14
•
•
•
•
•
•
54 universities
150,000 students in rooms
28k students (17%) engaged
5.9% reduction; 1,159 tCO2
Schools pilot prepared
SAVES = Lithuania, Greece, Sweden, Cyprus
The opportunity
Students’ Green Fund
£5m pilot fund from HEFCE for student-led
sustainability projects to be run by students’
unions in partnership with their parent institutions
Four key themes:
• Student engagement
• Partnership
• Impact
• Legacy
WHOLE EARTH?
www.nus.org.uk/wholeearth
Reclaiming the Curriculum
UMSU Post-Crash Economics Society
Understanding your audience
• Who is your audience?
• What motivates them?
• What barriers are there to change?
Different attitudes to sustainability
Different motivations and interest
Engaging others
1. Match the groups of people with the types of
motivation that may appeal to them
2. Add your own ideas
3. How could you encourage them to engage with
sustainability? What could you say or do to gain their
support?
Sell the Sizzle
•
The Sausage vs. The Sizzle
•
Focus on the positives and
make it FUN!
How to Start a Movement
Video
The four Es
Encourage
Enable
Change
Exemplify
Engage
The Fun Theory
http://www.youtube.com/w
atch?v=2lXh2n0aPyw
Positive
Negative
And...
Everyone is
passionate about
something, keep it
personal
‘Environmentalist’
rhetoric and imagery is
a big switch-off
Focus on here & now,
tangible not abstract
concerns
Gambling frames
underplay risks for
some and over-emotive
for others
Don’t be concerned
about ‘alienating’
core audience who
respond + to almost
any frame & get need
to broaden support
Diversity works target multiple
audiences using
multiple ‘voices’
Appeals to ‘concerned
majority’ seen as
exclusive and
untruthful
Media seen as
‘negative influence’
by all (‘poisonous’ by
some)
Why do we need funding?
We need to understand the system:
The
system
Proving
our worth
Our
ambitions
Everyone is asking
for more money
Qualitative and
quantitative
assessment
Formal process:
budget
estimations and
plans
Goals of the
university and key
staff
Different
dimensions of the
university and
beyond
Compelling story,
improving the
model
Budget cycles –
planning in Sept?
Sustainability
ambitions
Ambitions of the
student body
Types of funding
University
endorsement
e.g. Green
Offices, society
funds
Grant/seed
funding
e.g. research
pots,
government
funds
Self funded
e.g. Student
Switch Off
and Green
Impact
Green Funds
e.g. USF,
University of
Alaska
Fairbanks
Why do we need to research?
NUS HEA surveys: student interest in
sustainability
100%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
Agree
40%
Strongly
agree
30%
20%
10%
0%
2010
2011
2012
2013
2010
2011
2012
2013
2010
2011
2012
2013
(n=5654) (n=1514) (n=4009) (n=3019) (n=5622) (n=1518) (n=3991) (n=2998) (n=5620) (n=1516) (n=3963) (n=2987)
Sustainable development is something
which universities should actively
incorporate and promote
Sustainable development is something
which university courses should actively
incorporate and promote
Sustainable development is something
which I would like to learn more about
Two thirds feel concerned about climate change in general – with
Concern
over very
climate
change in general
one fifth feeling
concerned
Very concerned
20%
Fairly concerned
42%
Not very concerned
27%
Not at all concerned
7%
Don't know
4%
0%
10% 20% 30% 40% 50%
Q35. How concerned, if at all, are you about climate
change? (base 943)
Evaluating impact: quality of
assessment
High
• Quantifiable impact evaluation with
control group
Medium
• Outputs and reach
Low
• Qualitative interviews with key
stakeholders – examples and anecdotal
evidence
Measuring behaviour change
• Surveys – before/after
• Hard data
–
–
–
–
Energy usage
Waste figures
Procurement data
Travel surveys
• Anecdotal evidence of change
• Focus groups
• Interviews
BUT
• Take care when claiming savings – do you know where these
come from?
• Take care when people are self-reporting
• Don’t underestimate time and effort needed
Dimensions of sustainability in HE
Types of project
Strategy
•
•
•
•
Sustainability
reports
Mission and
visioning
Roadmaps
Policies
Projects
•
•
•
•
One-offs
Business cases
Proposals
Analysis
reports
Programmes
Projects that are
repeated each year
•
•
Student Switch
Off
Living labs
programmes
Events
•
•
•
•
Film evenings
Networking
meetings
BBQs
Swapshops
Criteria for good projects
Students, staff and faculty
Education, research, operations and community
Internal and external partners and initiatives
Programme expectation
Programme reality
Exercise goals
1. Exchange and share good project ideas
2. Collect all the knowledge in the room
3. Develop a set of projects to implement
The exercise
1. Mind map
What are the benefits of engaging this element
with sustainability?
What are the opportunities and potential
outcomes?
2. Develop ideas
What could be/is already being done to integrate
sustainability with this field?
3. Sum up
Describe your projects in one-liners
4. Shopping tour
What are we going to do?
1. Ideas harvest
2. Local action
3. Expanding existing
programmes
4. Keep us informed!
Recommended reading and viewing

Futerra
– The Greenwash Guide
– The Rules of the Game
– Selling the Sizzle: The New Climate Message

Parkin, S. 2010. The Positive Deviant. Earthscan Ltd

Whitmarsh,L., O’Neill, S. and Lorenzoni, I. 2011. Engaging the public with
climate change: Behaviour change and communication. Earthscan

Goldstein, N., Martin, S.J. and Cialdini, R.B. 2007. Yes! 50 Secrets from the
Science of Persuasion. Profile Books

Retallack, S. Lawrence, T. and Lockwood, M. 2007. Positive Energy: Harnessing
People Power to Prevent Climate Change. Institute for Public Policy Research.
London.


Daniel Pinks. The Power of Motivation.
Derek Sivers. How to start a movement.
More contact…
www.nus.org.uk/greener
Jamie Agombar
Head of Sustainability (NUS UK)
[email protected]
Charlotte Bonner @BonnerCharlotte
Communities Programme Manager (NUS UK)
[email protected]
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