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Nationwide to mobilise 15,000 staff to cut carbon & costs

The world’s largest building society, Nationwide, is taking action to empower its employees to make energy efficiency savings by adopting a tailor-made tool which involves employees in carbon cutting decision-making and practises.

Nationwide is the first business to work with the Carbon Trust to develop a bespoke version of its online behaviour change tool Empower. The tool will be specially designed to help engage Nationwide’s 15,000 employees with energy efficiency, which the building society is confident will result in significant annual financial and carbon savings.

Nationwide’s own version of Empower will feature virtual representations of familiar locations, accompanied by energy efficiency tips tailored for the building society. Advice will be provided across a variety of business areas. This includes depictions of retail branches and administration centres, as well as transport options for getting to and from work, details on teleconferencing instead of travelling to meetings, and recommendations on how employees can take action in their own homes. Employees will be encouraged to pledge how they will cut carbon and will be provided with additional learning tools such as quizzes and myth-busters.

Information and reporting on pledges will help the building society to target the most effective places to change behaviour, as well as monitor expectations and progress. The tool helps communicate to employees how small actions they can take, such as switching off monitors and lights when they are not needed, can make a big difference across the organisation.

The advice provided to employees will be designed to complement the wider efforts to reduce carbon throughout Nationwide’s business, following their work on developing environmental sustainability strategies with the Carbon Trust. The building society’s energy spend is mostly focused on their own estate. Branches, administration centres and data centres account for the vast majority of their direct emissions, with branches the highest individual element. The Carbon Trust says, behaviour change is a simple and cheap way to have a big impact on this energy spend, with most initiatives having a payback in around a year or less.

Richard Rugg, director of programmes at the Carbon Trust, said:

“We are delighted to be working with Nationwide, which is the first business to create their own version of the Empower employee engagement tool. This shows a pioneering commitment to reducing their carbon footprint through people, not just through technical changes and new equipment.

“We expect that by helping their employees work in a more environmentally-friendly way Nationwide will reap both financial and social benefits. We hope to see staff carry that behaviour into other areas of their lives.”

Lynn Forrester, sustainability manager at Nationwide, said:

“Our employees’ support is vital for us to achieve our environmental targets and environmental sustainability must be embedded into the hearts and minds of everyone within the organisation for our strategy to be truly successful. We are confident ‘Empower’ will help actively engage and inspire our employees on our journey towards a lower carbon future.”

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