British Gas Green Streets – British Gas
Best Green PR Campaign Award
Background & Objective
Despite being the greenest of the major UK energy suppliers, British Gas’ competitors were seen as having better green credentials. The challenge was to promote the development and sale of energy saving technologies and services in the context of rising energy prices and a growing cynicism towards environmental campaigns.
There were three clear objectives for this campaign:
- Demonstrate that everyday households can reduce carbon emissions and minimise bills in a world of rising energy costs;
- Improve British Gas’ green reputation and inform the development of energy efficiency products and services;
- Engage political stakeholders with British Gas’ commitment to the green agenda.
The launch warned that the UK was at risk of missing its CO2 emissions reduction target if policy continued to focus on new, rather than existing housing stock.
Momentum was achieved through:
- Inviting media to monthly street meetings where residents selected their equipment
- Releasing interim findings from the ippr with predicted public policy recommendations
- Final results, focusing on potential savings for all UK households.
- Environment Secretary Rt. Hon Hilary Benn, then Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks, and Secretary of State for the Environment and Climate Change Ed Miliband visited the streets.
- A roundtable event hosted in the House of Commons with the residents, British Gas and the ippr was attended by 20 senior politicians and NGO representatives.
British Gas encouraged participants to make lifestyle changes and supported these were possible. As well as improving the energy efficiency of homes by installing insulation and energy efficiency measures, British Gas supported households by replacing energy guzzling appliances, including washing machines and fridge-freezers, and in some cases radios, televisions and . British Gas also encouraged email and the internet as the main form of communication with the Green Streets households.
All deliveries that needed to be sent by post were sent in recycled packaging and letters were sent on recycled paper.
The campaign targeted consumers, political stakeholders and employees.
- Raising awareness via media: The AVE of positive media coverage is £1.9 million and the PR value is £5.7 million, giving a ROI from campaign PR fees of 19 times. The campaign has created over 129 million opportunities to see/hear.
- Evidence of improving consumer perception: British Gas made it into the top five most frequently named brands in terms of consumer perception of green companies for the first time, according to a report the Climate Group, in October 2008.
- Genuine behaviour change: Quantifiable and sustained behaviour change: the streets reduced their energy consumption by an average of 25 per cent, with some households reaching a 70 per cent reduction in energy consumption. These learnings have shaped British Gas’ future commercial energy efficiency offering.
- Mobilising workforce: Employee communications has mobilised call centre workers and engineers at British Gas behind Green Streets.
- Political engagement: Green Streets has been credited as influencing the Government’s Green Neighbourhoods initiative and the Home Energy Savings Plan.
- Integrated communications campaign: The residents are ambassadors of energy efficiency, sharing knowledge and advice within their local communities
Circa £1 million including all installation costs, PR spend and campaign support.