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Zero Emissions Network

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Patrick Donnelly

on 18 July 2016

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Transcript of Zero Emissions Network

Planning the Project
We involved our design team from the outset and made it clear that we wanted our branding to be unique and stand alone from the council.

Considering our target market (lots of artists, designers, architects) we knew this had to be high quality in order to be taken seriously.

Also...brand everything!

As can be seen in the graph (and associated text) there are a number of employees in the creative / tech / high street sectors.

This was kept at the forefront of our thinking as we developed the project.
Zero Emissions Network
cheaper, cleaner, greener
Used a variety of different marketing methods, namely:

Face to face doorknocking
Events (pop-ups, annual evening event)
Online (twitter, website, mailouts)
Newspaper and press articles

Very important to monitor the effectiveness of your campaigns (cost / benefit analyses)
Events - Pop-up's
Have undertaken 5 rounds of pop-up events, 3 in each borough, 15 in total

Have proved extremely effective at recruiting new businesses (and interacting with hard to reach businesses)

Refined the concept, now offer free bike checks, coffee all day (served and transported by cargo bike), pizza at lunch, BMW i3 (Drive Now), Tesla Model S, electric bike trials and electric scooters.
Started new twitter account (@ZENCityfringe) to give project proper online identity and not rely on social media account of any one local authority. In just two years we have nearly 900 followers and average approximately 2,000 profile visits a month. Useful analytics tool to monitor the effectiveness of your tweets.

Also wanted to maximise use of the email database. Started off using Outlook, didn’t provide the professional image we required (considering our clients)

Moved onto mailchimp which provided a much better looking mailout (with increased functionality)
Also provides valuable insights such as open rates and click rates meaning you are able to test content, subject lines, send time etc.
The two main KPI’s for the ZEN are the number of businesses signed up and the number of pollution reducing measures they undertake.

Recruitment was the first stage and to start with we went back to ‘thinking like a business’.

This meant refining our ‘pitch’


What is the Zero Emissions Network (ZEN)?
Why is it needed?
Planning the project
Lessons learnt
The ZEN is a tri-borough project looking to reduce the impact of business on air quality.

The project recognises air pollution as a “cross boundary” issue and sees Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets working together to combat it.

Why is ZEN needed?

As the most populous city in England and a centre for industry and commerce London has always had to battle air pollution.
Arsenal game in 1952 had to be called off the smog was so thick.

Led to the introduction of the ‘Clean Air Act’ to create smoke free zones.

Today pollution is much less visible which makes it harder to fight against (and market) mainly because people don’t know it’s there.

However on ‘high event’ days it is still visible.

Is the Picturehouse
in a polluted area?
Market Research
When I say Shoreditch
you say..?
The Pitch
Profit – Ultimately the majority of businesses are there to make money and therefore we have to make sure that we can ‘sell’ the economic benefits of joining and participating in the ZEN.

This means we developed some (tangible) arguments as to why the ZEN would save them money.
Brand benefit – Green fatigue can happen if you put this at the forefront of your pitch, however if you’re saying this will save you money and can improve your brand in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability people will listen.

A recent study showed that millennials are becoming more and more willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact with 75% now indicating this was the case (72% for those aged 15-20 and 51% for the ‘baby boomers’)
Brand Benefit
Almost half the workforce (42%) now want to work for an organisation that has a positive impact on the world, according to research carried out by consultancy Global Tolerance. 

Boosted again by the millennials where 62% want to work for a company that has a positive impact (and 52% would prefer this to a higher salary).

The types of measures offered by the ZEN align with these ethical standpoints and mean that businesses can retain and attract the best employees by acting sustainably.

Staff retention
To engage well with businesses you have to think like a business.

First stage, good market research!
Cycling – You’ve heard the arguments before, increased productivity, fewer sick days and so on.

Cargo bikes - Much cheaper to run (fuel and insurance), great branding, can be mobile businesses.

Ebikes (for delivery) – Much cheaper to run (fuel and insurance)

Electric vehicles – Cheaper to run (no parking permits, cheaper fuel, cheap to maintain, no congestion charge and will be exempt for ULEZ charges). Likewise electric vehicle taxi fares cheaper.

Energy and waste audits – Can easily highlight some cheap 'quick wins' in the office to save on energy bills.
You can have a great argument but unless your project is perceived as relevant to a business they won’t be interested.

Had to consider this when developing the ‘pollution reducing measures’ for ZEN as these needed to be relevant to all types of businesses (e.g Dr Bike).
We can help your business work cheaper, cleaner and greener
Events - Annual evening event
Good chance to feed back to existing members, recruit prospective members and also hopefully inspire members to undertake some more initiatives.
Press and
Promoting cycling is a large part of the ZEN offer.
Offer cargo bike trials, Dr Bikes, cycle maintenance lessons, cycle training, cycle seminars.

Dr Bikes and cargo bike trials proved popular, cycle training and seminars (as expected) a harder sell.
Cargo bikes are most effective at removing vehicles as delivery vans are often replaced.

13 cargo bikes will have been purchased through ZEN project by the end of the current round of grants.

Offer free trials of a range of electric vehicles including cars and vans. Reviews are mixed. Problem arises often that electric vehicles and their infrastructure are not fit for purpose (vans are too small and lack of on-street spaces with charging points often means businesses don’t have anywhere to charge).

Electric taxis have been much more popular with 28 businesses signing up to use our provider eConnect cars who operate a fleet of Nissan Leaf’s and Tesla Model S’s.

The ZEN has brokered a 15% reduction in fares for it’s members, who have so far switched 112 trips.

Our newest offer is to provide trials of electric bikes through our providers White Bear eBikes and Emu Bikes. We are now looking at concentrating on switching delivery drivers using scooters to switch to eBike.

All businesses and
trips are catered for
We have completed 30 Eco Audits and delivered 26 Reports.

To date the organisations have undertaken a variety of the recommendations ranging from moving furniture in front of heaters, improving the recycling provisions and replacing lighting units for energy efficient equivalents.

Companies slow to take on advice, given £100 grant to kick start the process.

Lessons Learnt
To work with businesses you must think like a business (market research, branding etc)
Be open to change, make you constantly measure and tweak your project.
Don't undertake a project unless you have sufficient resource (freight consolidation)
Don't be afraid to test ideas on a small scale first (Ebikes)

We can offer up to £2,000 grants to improve facilities to encourage green travel.

Fund a mixture of measures including: pool bikes, pool foldable e-bikes, shower/change facilities, cycle parking etc.

Have awarded 69 grants so far with more still to come.
Pre-cursor to grant is provision of travel to work data for staff. ZEN team then create Travel Plan for each office based on this data, 84 ZEN businesses now have a Travel Plan.

“I'm sure you'd be happy to hear that we have more and more staff coming in by bike, so many that we are in a process of putting in a bike rack for the staff as the railing they currently use for fixing their bikes is sometimes too full.”
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