The story of the University of Chester and Do Nation

Green Chester logo

Changing behaviour is a tricky subject. Universities know that engaging both their students and their staff around sustainability is good for the bottom line as well as being great for the environment, but making it fun instead of preachy can be difficult. Over the last five years we’ve learned that the secret to making a big impact isn’t grand gestures – it’s small, daily, habit-forming lifestyle changes. We’ve been putting this knowledge to use with the University of Chester for the last two years helping to engage their students in a fun and open way.

Do Chester – Creating Competition

We’ve helped the University of Chester create change by challenging their teams – made up of students and staff in their departments – to out-pledge each other using our Do Actions.

Students encouraged pledges around events and projects they were running – from ‘trashion’ shows to environmental coursework pieces; from their freshers fair to their ‘Fix It’ fair, where they took advantage of our new Fix It Do Action. It was also used as part of their Green Impact programme, with each Green Impact team being in charge of raising pledges within their department or building.

Their Do Nation programme saw the University of Chester win the Environment Award at Educate North Awards and Conference 2015 and be shortlisted for a Green Gown award for Student Engagement. The University of Chester has also received 100% in the Staff and Student Engagement category of the People & Planet Green League 2015 – one of only five Universities to do so. Well done to the team!

They made a fantastic video about their nomination for a Green Gown award which you can watch here:

Their programme isn’t finished yet, but so far over 300 people have made more than 1300 pledges. Here’s a little glimpse of  the impact:

How many chickens worth of meat saved, miles walked, cups of tea efficiently brewed, and equivalents of mount everests climbed by people pledging towards University of Chester's Do Good for Business program

Small actions add up to a big impact…

Even though it doesn’t always feel like it – small actions really do add up. 52% of their pledges were successfully completed, and 49% have been continued for at least a year. Altogether, that lead to savings of a whacking great 60 tonnes CO2 per year. Over 2 years this is equivalent to:

We asked Alice Elliott from the University of Chester what she thought of the first year of running a Do Nation programme: ‘The best thing about getting people to pledge on Do Nation, is it has proved it is so flexible and can be integrated into different departments work, or different pieces of projects within the curriculum. We’re definitely going to keep it on and we’re going to take forward two really good campaigns next year.’

Want more?

Think you can beat the University of Chester’s achievements? If you want to start using Do Nation to challenge teams of students and staff to out-pledge each other and make small, smart changes to their lifestyles, then please get in touch:

We’d love to hear about how we can help your sustainability plans to take off in the new academic year.

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