Social Marketing for Sustainability: developing a community of practice for co-creating behavioural change campaigns

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Geography

Abstract

This project aims to explore the potential for establishing a collaborative 'community of practice' between academics and practitioners and using this community to develop a series of applications for existing technologies (eg on mobile telephones and on the Internet) for promoting responsible environmental behaviour, focusing on reducing travel and tourism's impacts on climate change.



The project has four objectives:






  1. To build on existing collaborative research between the applicants and partners to establish a Community of Practice to advance social marketing for sustainability


  2. Within this 'Community of Practice', to adopt a co-creative and open innovation approach towards developing social marketing strategies for behaviour change relating to sustainability


  3. To co-create a platform of products using social marketing strategies for promoting environmentally responsible travel and tourism amongst key segment audiences


  4. To work with design professionals to bring one or more these products to the market and test their effectiveness through a pilot exercise.




Through a series of partner workshops, co-creation consumer focus groups, desk research and work with product designers, the project will present proposals for specific products at an end of award launch event.




 

 
Description This project aimed to explore the potential for establishing a collaborative 'community of practice' between academics and practitioners and using this community to develop a series of applications for existing technologies (e.g. on mobile telephones and on the Internet) for promoting responsible environmental behaviour, focusing on reducing travel and tourism's impacts on climate change. Tourism and travel pose a major challenge for those seeking to reduce carbon emissions because of the high levels of mobility in contemporary societies and the value associated with travel and holiday taking. The applicants sought to develop their academic research on travel and the use of 'social marketing' as a potentially effective tool for promoting environmental behaviours. Social marketing aims to use conventional marketing techniques to promote a 'social good' and has been used extensively for tackling health challenges such as smoking, alcohol and drug abuse. Through drawing on both academic and practitioner expertise, the project explored the potential for using social marketing to promote rail travel as an alternative to short haul (domestic and European) flights for holidays. The project focused on two particular segments of the population that have been shown to have a higher propensity to take short haul flights more frequently: young professionals (aged 18 to 35) and 'Empty Nesters' (retired people whose children have left home). Through co-creation workshops, stakeholder meetings and the commissioning of an App developer, the project has developed a prototype App for public download that will promote rail as an alternative to air transport for holidays.
Exploitation Route The project has provided a case study of how to utilise co-creation as a technique for encouraging behavioural change and could be developed across a range of areas.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment,Transport
URL http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/prost/
 
Description This collaborative project created a community of practice for travel professionals and behavioural change practitioners and has been used to generate public debate on the issue of climate change and personal mobility and has resulted in the development of a sustainable travel planner app. The award has also been used as the basis for developing a successful Innovate UK application to work with commercial partners to develop interventions for promoting positive 'real time' travel decision making for sustainability.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment,Transport
Impact Types Economic
 
Description Co-producing Flood Knowledges: a catchment based approach
Amount £5,168 (GBP)
Organisation Exmoor National Park Authority 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 11/2013 
End 01/2014
 
Description ESRC Knowledge Exchange Opportunities Scheme
Amount £25,907 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/L009234/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 08/2014 
End 08/2015
 
Description Social Marketing for Sustainability 
Organisation CAG Consultants
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Leadership of the project.
Collaborator Contribution Full engagement in the project and development of the final outputs.
Impact The development of a travel app: trainaway
Start Year 2010
 
Description Social Marketing for Sustainability 
Organisation Hyder Consulting
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Leadership of the project.
Collaborator Contribution Full engagement in the project and development of the final outputs.
Impact The development of a travel app: trainaway
Start Year 2010
 
Description Social Marketing for Sustainability 
Organisation Strategic Social Marketing Ltd
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Leadership of the project.
Collaborator Contribution Full engagement in the project and development of the final outputs.
Impact The development of a travel app: trainaway
Start Year 2010
 
Description Social Marketing for Sustainability 
Organisation Uscreates
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Leadership of the project.
Collaborator Contribution Full engagement in the project and development of the final outputs.
Impact The development of a travel app: trainaway
Start Year 2010
 
Title Trainaway App 
Description Plan your perfect train trip in Europe with TrainAway. There's no need to fly when you can choose from 80 top destinations within easy reach by rail. Developed in collaboration with Exeter University, TrainAway has been designed to make it as easy as possible for you to lower your travel carbon footprint, with simple train booking just a tap away. The TrainAway app is free and easy to use. - Discover 80 top European destinations and how to reach them by train - Step-by-step guides walk you through your journey - Find logical routes, convenient connections and the cheapest prices - Browse information and pictures of the trains you'll be travelling on 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact New booking system for rail-based holidays for UK travellers. 
URL https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/trainaway/id727047262?mt=8
 
Description Aston University Sustainability Seminar Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A one-off seminar on knowledge co-production and resilience

Interest by professionals and practitioners in research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Desk review: social marketing for sustainability 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of desk review of background research. A presentation to the project partners.

The basis for developing a sustainable travel app.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Exe Estuary Partnership Annual Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A talk to the members of the Exe Estuary Partnership on promoting community resilience.

Interest in the research approach.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description RGS-IBG Annual Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Annual meeting of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). Paper presented: Co-learning and Community Resilience: pedagogies of climate change and flood risk in Devon, UK

Interest in the research project and potential publication activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Scottish Government Climate Change Seminar Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/parliamentarians
Results and Impact A series of academic-led workshops on issues relating to climate change policy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Sustainable travel co-design 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A workshop presentation held at the head offices of Uscreates, London, 11 July 2012 with the community of practice for the project.

The formation of a Travel App, which has been developed on the basis of insights from this exercise.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description The psychology of governing sustainable tourism mobility: Bridging the science-policy gap 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact International conference on governing tourism mobility.

Contribution to key debates in the tourism field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description What Makes Us Green? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact ESRC-funded workshop on environmental attitudes and behaviours.

Further interest in the research approach.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013