4 ways to get your city's staff and citizens along in the climate story

Climate Actions Coaching 3 min read

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The Province of Limburg has created a list with tons of climate actions for the entire city council. Do you still have colleagues at the Staff and Communications departments who are not aware of the advantages of an ambitious climate plan? Show them which actions are achievable and how they will benefit your whole city!

đŸ¤Ģ At the end of the article you will find a link to a lot of inspiring actions from the city of Ostend.

Grab a pen and paper and write down your favorite actions. Take your shortlist to the Staff and Communications department of your city to make the actions concrete!

⚠ī¸ The importance of communication

Trying to make an impact as a municipality while your own staff isn't on board? Not a good idea. Poor (or none at all) communication, both internal and external, can prevent many climate actions from getting the view.

🏆 What to do as a city

Proper communication about sustainability and climate within your municipality can give all your actions much more impact. Successful external communication towards your citizens increases participation and support.

Internal communication is just as important. Start with your own employees, they are the first ambassadors of all your plans. It increases the credibility of all climate actions that you take.

External actions

Communicate with your city's inhabitants đŸ“Ŗ

  • Create support for certain projects that the municipality wants to realize or considers important. Enter into conversation with citizens through the establishment of an advisory board, the organization of a competition, a debate night, ...
  • Start in your communication from an opportunity for your citizens: what's in it for them? A few examples: saving energy = saving money, sustainable mobility = better air quality, ...

ℹī¸ Did you know... cities and municipalities can, along with coordinating their climate actions, also share them with citizens through the public page in FutureproofedCities? Discover how Hasselt and Brugge do this!

Internal actions

Educate the city's staff 👩‍đŸĢ

  • Organize trainings. Tell colleagues about quick wins to reduce energy use such as switching off lights, taking the stairs,... and climate-friendly behavior such as waste sorting, saving paper, ...
  • Also include climate training for the various departments such as sustainable public works, climate adaptation and spatial planning, sustainable mobility,...
  • Organize eco-driving courses for staff who often have to travel by car, van,...
  • Inform (new) colleagues about the fringe benefits for sustainable mobility: bicycle allowance, public transport subscriptions,...
  • Turn the yearly staff event into a sustainable, climate-friendly scene to set a good example.

Collaborate with other departments 🤝

  • Work out the communication for informative and sensitizing climate campaigns of the various departments, such as car-free Sunday, world party, energy exchange, ...
  • Communicate about the results of actions, even if they are disappointing.
    An example: "We are starting a new awareness-raising campaign around renewable energy today because we see the figures in our municipality are disappointing."

Bet on financial policy 💰

  • Provide budget for the coordination and implementation of climate policy in all relevant departments, not just in the environment department.
  • Search together with content services for financing options for setting up projects. Eg European or provincial subsidies, Fluvius, ...
  • Make sure that savings thanks to investments and energy efficiency flow back to the departments for new projects.
  • Compensate the CO2 emissions of your own organization.
  • Switch to sustainable banking and investing.
  • Keep track of costs as a result of climate disasters, so that the need for preventive measures becomes clear.
  • Use labels and environmental and sustainability criteria in framework agreements for the purchase of products and services.

👏 Noted some actions? Schedule a meeting with the Staff and Communications departments to discuss your ideas. Good luck!

Focusing on Staff and Communications is important for the reach of your projects and the credibility of your policy. However, including other city services in your plans is as important to make your city an enjoyable place to live and work in.

FutureproofedCities allows all different city services to work together in one online tool to realise more climate actions and communicate them to their inhabitants. 💡 Check out Ostend's public page to see how they tackle climate challenges within their city.

(Source: Province of Limburg)

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