Free tool to engage staff with sustainability

6th January 2012


Empower

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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Employee engagement ,
  • EMS ,
  • Management ,
  • Minimisation

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IEMA

The Carbon Trust has launched a new online tool to help firms encourage their office staff to embrace energy efficiency and waste management.

The “Empower” tool takes individuals through a visual representation of their office, sharing facts on how much energy and carbon is emitted from everyday activities, such as leaving computer equipment on overnight and commuting into work.

As well as giving specific examples of how much money and carbon can be saved through better use of equipment, for example, it also explains the energy and environmental impacts of waste creation and water use.

The web pages include a quick quiz on energy, tutorials busting common myths about the dangers of switching off equipment and offers tips on how individuals can best save energy in the office.

As well as raising awareness on the impacts of wasting energy and what employees can do to improve their organisation’s energy-efficiency, the tool encourages users to take action by pledging to adopt more sustainable behaviours, such as taking public transport and remembering to switch lights off. The website then calculates the carbon emissions saving the individual will have.

According to the Carbon Trust, using Empower to more effectively engage staff could help organisations to cut their energy bills by 15%, saving a typical small business more than £6,000 a year and larger businesses up to £150,000 a year and 500 tonnes of carbon emissions.

“Companies often struggle to harness the huge energy savings that an effectively engaged workforce can help deliver,” said Richard Rugg, director of Carbon Trust programmes.

“Part of the problem employers face is making actions practical, fun and sustained. By creating a virtual tour entirely from an employee’s viewpoint, every aspect of Empower has been designed with the end-user in mind.”
Paul Robinson, team leader, energy and climate change at Oxford City Council, which has already adopted the tool, said: “Empowering employees is a critical way for us to make significant carbon and financial savings.

“The new tool is great fun to use and we intend to roll this out to all our staff in the near future. We will also encourage our Low Carbon Oxford partners to use it with their staff too.”

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