With climate change firmly in the news and with COP 26 coming up, Eco Rewards, an award-winning scheme addressing climate change, is currently achieving spectacular results.
Eco Rewards are currently working with 10 schools in Bracknell Forest and across the wider community. Participants have already shown a 51% behavioural shift to mainly walking and cycling as well as other forms of sustainable transport.
In the recent MJ awards, the Thames Valley Berkshire Smart City Cluster was awarded Best Digital Transformation*, and Eco Rewards was highlighted as one of the successful schemes funded by the partnership, supported by Bracknell Forest Council.
Eco Rewards offers rewards and incentives through schools, businesses, and residents to encourage people to choose greener travel and healthier lifestyle options and reduce local congestion. Cycling, walking and green travel journeys can be reported by tapping smart tags on blue readers, scanning QR codes or using an online form.
League tables, medals and carbon savings calculator keep motivation high, plus participants can take part in special challenges, be entered into prize draws and access discounts and cash-back from thousands of well-known online retailers.
They can log their routes, achieve goals, all while helping to save the planet. They also love taking part with one member saying: “Hi Eco-Rewards, many thanks, this scheme really gets me walking and active. Kind regards, Andrew”.
Another milestone was reached this month when over 825,000 green miles and over 227 tonnes of aggregated carbon savings were reported across the scheme. To put this into context, this distance is equivalent to 3 and half times the distance to the moon!
Eco Rewards started with a small pilot in Surrey and then established a full-scale trial in Bracknell Forest working with the council, schools, and businesses.
Erika Vincent, a director of Eco Rewards said “At Eco Rewards we are passionate about promoting and sustaining green travel and healthy behaviours. Our unique reward scheme offers incentives to achieve long-term behavioural shift.”
It is starting to have a real impact with local schools in the area, with Anna Kennedy, Head Teacher at Warfield CE Primary School reporting that since joining the scheme: “we have much less demand on our carpark and pick up at the end of the day is running a lot more smoothly”.
A recent survey of Bracknell Forest participants in the Eco Rewards scheme showed that most respondents 47%, reported driving as their main form of transport before joining. The vast majority, 82%, have reported that they are walking or cycling more or using green transport, up 7% from the last survey. 90% of respondents are worried about the impact of climate change. An amazing 100% of respondents are motivated to take positive steps to help to reverse climate change.
The survey confirmed a variety of reasons that motivate participation with rewards, prizes and tackling climate change dominant. Participants also cited reporting their green journeys and getting more exercise as important.
The survey also had some great comments from participants including this one below:
“A great scheme to “try” and educate and change habits with pupils and their parents/carers. This has also led us as a school to form an Eco group and join a further eco scheme”
*For more information on the MJ award, please see https://awards.themj.co.uk/winners/2021-winners/