Best practice from Michon.
Creative design agency, Michon, was tasked with developing an internal awareness campaign for E.ON. The energy company wanted to engage staff in improving environmentally conscious behaviour at its own offices.
The campaign, supported by Global Action Plan, the charity that helps people live greener lives, was to communicate three key messages: reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Michon’s aim was to develop a quirky and humorous campaign that brought a tired subject matter to life and dispelled the myths surrounding energy conscious behaviour.
The campaign centred around the dialogue that takes place in a person’s conscience and the decisions we make about what is right and wrong. Michon created an ‘Environmental Saint’ and ‘Environmental Sinner’ to give the project a voice and personality.
Employees were encouraged to analyse their own behaviour and demonstrate the results that can be achieved by reducing, reusing and recycling.
Michon created an online quiz which employees could complete from the day of the campaign launch. This enabled staff to engage with the project which generated a personalised carbon score and tailored message for the ‘Saint’ or ‘Sinner’.
The concept launched in August 2007 and since then has spanned across 19 E.ON locations, targeting up to 18,000 employees.
Creating an impact
The ‘Saint or Sinner?’ communication ran across multiple E.ON sites with a different emphasis on the three themes each month: reduce, reuse and recycle. The main graphics had an interchangeable element for different messages to ensure the design was cost-effective and to reinforce the reuse message.
Michon used a variety of media around the buildings to create an impact, including large format stands, graphics and posters that were printed on 100% recycled and recyclable materials.
Michon wanted the messaging of the campaign to be relevant, so created tangible comparisons (such as comparing the amount of waste disposed by E.ON with the weight of a Mini car).
This was further emphasised by the facts and figures being specific to each E.ON site to give staff a greater understanding of their work environment.
E.ON’s end of year audit, conducted by an independent company, showed it was using less energy per employee and recycling a greater percentage of waste. The campaign was showcased at E.ON’s ‘Top 200’ Managers Conference as an example of an effective internal activity.
E.ON also submitted the initiative to the Green Awards 2008 and was a finalist in the category of ‘Best Green Internal Communications’.
E.ON was so impressed with the ‘Saint or Sinner?’ campaign that Michon was asked to do a follow-up project over the 2008 Christmas period. Qualitative research at E.ON found the initiative to be effective and memorable and the company wanted to replicate the success and reinforce the three key messages of reduce, reuse and recycle.
A green Christmas
The Christmas ‘Saint or Sinner?’ campaign was entirely digital and consisted of an online advent calendar, email alerts and e-cards.
The advent calendar displayed a new environmental theme behind each of the 24 doors, each day focusing on a different topic and tips centred around the three key messages.
Examples included a day where employees could enter their reduce, reuse and recycle feedback into an electronic ‘suggestions box’, a day with a downloadable PDF of Christmas leftover recipes and a final day on a New Year’s resolution theme.
A charity initiative was also incorporated with E.ON donating ten pence to The NSPCC every time an employee across E.ON’s sites correctly answered a multiple-choice question based on that day’s content.
Email alerts were sent out on key activity days and designed to act as a ‘teaser’ to that day’s particular theme. It also contained a reminder that a new door was available to open on the advent calendar.
E.ON employees were able to create their own personalised e-cards that could be sent both internally and externally to family, friends and colleagues.
This not only created a fun element to the campaign that employees could engage with, but also reinforced the messages of waste and encouraged people to send electronic greetings as opposed to paper cards.
Michon devised a Swap Shop day to highlight the reuse and recycle messages. Employees from across different E.ON sites brought in unwanted items that were in good condition and swapped them with others.
This created a further buzz around the Christmas campaign, enabled employees to get involved and engage with the project and each other, as well as preventing unwanted items from ending up in the bin.
The Christmas results
The ‘Saint or Sinner?’ campaign was advertised on the E.ON intranet portal, which is used regularly by the majority of staff.
This helped to publicise the messages and during the campaign, the ‘Saint or Sinner?’ website was visited over 22,000 times, with 73% of employees who used the site returning to it.
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