COP26 series: How SSE powers everyday climate action with Do Nation

SSE entered Do Nation’s metaphorical HQ (we’re fully remote) back in April 2021 looking for a programme that could help connect and engage employees with their net zero strategy and partnership with COP26.

Julia Chalmers led the charge and, with a helping hand from the Do Team, designed a brilliantly successful engagement programme. Let’s find out how they did it.

“We wanted to enable people to feel that sense of connection and contribution to something that we see as very noble and important.”

Julia Chalmers, Group Employee Engagement Manager


SSE launched their programme in June 2021 so colleagues could pledge and complete a Do Action or two ahead of COP26 in November.

Elaine pledged to grow some veg

SSE impact on COP26 Energy day

COP26 is a turning point for humanity; if we’re to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we need our world and business leaders to pledge the bold policy, investment and infrastructure changes required to keep global heating under 1.5 degrees.

The energy sector has the power to make a biiiiiig impact so we’re proud that SSE are part of the Do Nation family, engaging their employees in everyday sustainable behaviour change. We admire that SSE view climate action holistically; while they attend to their own net zero and renewables strategy, they asked their 10,000 employees to look at their own, personal green agenda. 

“The Do Nation programme is important because of the opportunity for legacy. COP26 is on all our radar for all sorts of reasons, but finishes in November. 

It’s critical that we create a legacy that goes beyond November and continues well into the future. Twenty one days creates a habit and Do Nation facilitates that.”

Stewart Hughes, Team Captain and Head of Group Security and Investigations

So far the brilliant people at SSE have:
+ Made 7,133 pledges
+ Pledged to save 503,290kg of CO2, which is the equivalent of 142 car journeys around the world.
+ Saved 1,103kg of plastic by reducing single use plastic
+ Walked 32,260 miles through walk on, which is 65 round trips from Glasgow to Egypt!

Employee engagement success

SSE’s employee engagement campaign is their most successful internal engagement campaign to date. We’ve been blown away by the commitment, energy and personal interest Julia and her team bring.

At Do Nation we say that people follow people, and they led by example by setting an enthusiastic, optimistic and compassionate tone.

Key to their success is clear and tangible link to their wider organisational goals. Relevance is so important to any employee engagement programme. SSE’s Do Nation campaign has a strong core message ‘pledge to power change’. This neatly echoes their wider net zero mission ‘We power change’ that underpins their net zero strategy and legacy partnership with COP26.

Real time pledge and supporter data keeps people engaged

Pledge for two months to create a new behaviour 

On Do Nation, you can pledge to change up an everyday activity to be more climate considerate. Do Actions range from using a re-usable water bottle and walking or cycling more, to bigger things like installing solar panels, relaxing into slow travel and eating more plants.

Two months after you’ve made a pledge, we check back to see how you got on so we can calculate the carbon, waste and water savings from your activity. This two month pledge period allows new habits to form.

We find on average that half of the people who complete and confirm their pledge form a habit that sticks. 

Struan and family swap car journeys for bike rides

Carbon savings and then some

The SSE campaign was fun, competitive and accessible, with plenty more benefits to add to the individual and community carbon savings.

64% report improved wellbeing

81% say their awareness of, and interest in, environmental and social sustainability has increased as a result of using Do Nation

82% feel part of a community making a difference together

91% say it makes them more proud of what SSE is doing

Download the SSE case study and read some of their tips and tactics.

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