European Commission > Energy > Intelligent Energy Europe

ENGAGE - local authorities communicating to engage stakeholders and citizens (ENGAGE)

Project brief
Key action: European networking for local action
Status: Closed
Coordinator: Mr Jan Pierre Vallar
Energie-Cités, France
E-mail: jean-pierre.vallar@energie-cites.eu
Tel: +33 (0)3 81 65 36 85
Partners: City of Liege (Liege), Belgium
City of Liege (Liege), Belgium
City of Ivanic-Grad (Ivanic), Croatia
City of Ivanic-Grad (Ivanic), Croatia
City of Helsinki (Helsinki), Finland
City of Helsinki (Helsinki), Finland
Citie of Rennes, France
Citie of Rennes, France
Energie-Cités (EC), France
Energie-Cités (EC), France
City of Heidelberg, Germany
City of Heidelberg, Germany
Comune di Rimini, Italy
Comune di Rimini, Italy
Municipality of Heerlen, Netherlands
Municipality of Heerlen, Netherlands
Municipality of Bielsko-Biala (Bielsko-Biala), Poland
Municipality of Bielsko-Biala (Bielsko-Biala), Poland
Oeiras Municipality (Oeiras ), Portugal
Oeiras Municipality (Oeiras ), Portugal
City Council of Pamplona (Pamplona), Spain
City Council of Pamplona (Pamplona), Spain
Futerra Sustainability Communications Ltd (Futerra), United Kingdom
Futerra Sustainability Communications Ltd (Futerra), United Kingdom
The council of the City of Newcastle Upon Tyne (Newcastle), United Kingdom
The council of the City of Newcastle Upon Tyne (Newcastle), United Kingdom
Website: http://www.energie-cites.eu
Benefits: Awareness raising concerning the EU "3x20" objectives; Concrete implementation of sustainable energy solutions
Keywords: EU climate & energy objectives, Covenant of Mayors of Mayors, Participative, Engagements, Cities ICT, Local actors
Duration: 01/06/2010 - 30/11/2012
Budget: EUR 1 961 878 (EU contribution: 75%)
Contract number: IEE/09/774

Summary

The ENGAGE project aimed to directly support the EU’s Energy & Climate Package targets by involving local authorities having signed the Covenant of Mayors (not exclusively) and encouraging them to share the EU "3x20" objectives at local level and to mobilise all actors to reach them. Having signed the Covenant, Mayors commit to "Mobilise the civil society in (our) geographical areas to take part in developing the Action Plan". ENGAGE was all about encouraging individuals to play their part! ENGAGE was a participative communications campaign implemented by European local authorities. They used this initiative as a communication tool to share the CoM objectives locally. Indeed, this campaign commited all citizens and stakeholders to make personal energy-saving pledges and therefore contributed to the cities’ own energy targets. Thanks to a user-friendly online tool, local authorities could create participant posters. Showcasing the pledges of every participant demonstrated the power of combined energy-saving actions. The objective was also to develop efficient local communications campaigns which lead to tangible energy savings via the monitoring of participants' energy consumption

Results
  • The development of a user-friendly online poster tool - A common branding for ENGAGE cities - The opportunity to create attractive and personalised posters in a few clicks
  • A successful ENGAGE participative PR campaigns organised in 12 pioneer cities and other European local authorities - 12 PR campaign plans prepared - 12 ENGAGE days organised - Almost 60 ENGAGE cities in 20 European countries
  • Local involvement - More than 8,500 public servants, stakeholders and citizens engaged - Each tangible engagement displayed thanks to a publicly visible poster on the European Gallery: http://citiesengage.eu/european_gallery.html - 780 engagements monitored and evaluated with compilation of results to the local territories and European level
  • A participative communications campaign leading to concrete energy savings - 422 citizens monitored have avoided 884 tonnes of CO2 emissions - 82 organisations representing 648 stakeholders have avoided 7,182 tonnes of CO2 emissions - 94 entities monitored representing 212 public servants/elected people have avoided the of 32,017 tonnes of CO2 emissions - On average, a citizen has reduced his/her CO2 emissions by 12%
  • Sustained local authority collaboration and networking: - 6 European Users’ Clubs; - Study tours (1 per pioneer city); - The launch of the European ENGAGE campaign by pioneer cities in the EU Parliament of Brussels during the 3rd Covenant of Mayors Ceremony. - Presentations in European and national events.

Lessons learnt
  • A European campaign in difficult financial climate The 12 pioneer cities have easily surpassed the number of posters and participants required but some struggled to carry out their monitoring. Despite inspiring campaigns it has been difficult to attract a lot of new cities. Communication campaigns do cost money and cities that have carried out the most impressive campaigns have surpassed their budgets. Unfortunately in financially hard times "soft" activities are deemed surplus to requirements.
  • Monitoring ENGAGEments is challenging The pioneer cities that had the most success monitoring citizens were those that worked with existing initiatives directly involved with citizens. They also centralised the data collection process by creating forms to be filled in and simplified the data that was required. The main result "average individual % of CO2 emissions avoided for citizens" returns the focus on the individual effort to improve which is important in poster campaigns.
  • Campaigns need to be dynamic and varied to have a longer lasting durability! Heidelberg’s climate protection campaign has already been running for 3 years before the start of ENGAGE. The public media have known the campaign since 2007 and although some local ENGAGE activities were very impressive, local media only release small articles! The challenge is to keep communication varied and integrate ENGAGE into all existing projects that lead to energy savings in the local authority.
 

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