When Environmental Sustainability staff at La Trobe University (LTU) realised there was a mismatch between their commitment to sustainability compared to their performance against environmental targets, they decided a fresh approach to communication was the answer.
With an understanding that effective communication is an essential element for creating behaviour change, the LTU Infrastructure and Operations group engaged Currie Communications to develop a Sustainability Communications Strategy and Implementation Plan to better engage and motivate staff and students to act on environmental sustainability.
With a stakeholder base of around 40,000 staff and students located across eight metro and regional campuses, Currie Communications approached the challenge with a multi-phased engagement strategy based on principles of social marketing and behaviour-change theory.
After agreeing three key focus areas for behavior change (water and energy saving, reducing waste including more recycling, and a reduction in single car commuting), Currie conducted a desktop communications audit that included internal and external digital platforms, marketing collateral and existing communication channels.
To then gain a deeper understanding of the current situation, Currie designed and delivered a series of dynamic and interactive stakeholder consultation sessions at regional and metro campuses.
These stakeholder sessions yielded multiple benefits. In addition to providing insight for strategy direction, the workshops raised visibility and identified future engagement opportunities for both Infrastructure and Operations group and the Environmental Sustainability Unit.
Key themes identified by stakeholders during the consultation process were used to guide strategic priorities and inform tactical choices, particularly in relation to stakeholder-identified opportunities.
Our stakeholder-focused approach strengthened our ability to identify and build on opportunities to broaden the scope, efficacy and impact of sustainability communications, leverage existing communication channels and address a variety of resourcing scenarios for the LTU Infrastructure and Operations team.
Currie’s focus on building a strategy based on deep understanding and engagement resulted in a comprehensive and meaningful Communication strategy and implementation plan that will encourage improved sustainability behaviours at La Trobe University for generations to come.