Our ambition for community engagement in action on climate change

Our goal for climate action in our community is that everyone who lives, works, studies or plays in Reading understands Reading’s pathway to net zero carbon, is equipped with the knowledge, tools and support required to make their contribution to it, and takes ownership and responsibility for the corporate and individual action required to get there.

Following the declaration of a climate emergency in 2019, an extensive programme of community engagement took place, following the guiding principles for City Climate Action Planning recommended by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). This commenced with a public forum attended by over 120 people. This gathering identified the key themes for the strategy and led to the creation of theme groups which have been open for anyone to join since June 2019. The groups have been advertised online and via conventional media, meeting physically and virtually. The community-led theme groups have had a fundamental influence on the development of action plans within the Reading Climate Emergency Strategy. Individuals and communities have a huge part to play in tackling the climate emergency via the choices they make and the signals they send through, for example, their purchasing and consumption decisions. We therefore need to equip them with the advice and tools they require to understand and reduce their impact on climate change. The consultation process which informed development of this strategy highlighted the enthusiasm and commitment which the people of Reading are willing to bring to the challenge of tackling climate change. We asked what changes people would be willing to make to this end and a selection of responses is shown here.

A climate change communications and engagement plan for Reading

While the community in Reading is relatively engaged in the climate change debate, we know that we have a long way to go before we reach everyone. As such, we have developed a detailed communications and engagement plan, encompassing the launch of the final version of this strategy, and a programme of events and initiatives to support engagement of the whole community in its implementation.

Action plans

Action name Description
(With bulleted list of activities needed to achieve action and links)
Target and
measure/milestone
(i.e. How will we know that we
have completed the action?)
Target completion date Action owner
+ list of delivery
partners
Any resource or
capacity challenges?
(In funding, in skills, in capacity,
missing key partners)
C1
Information hub
» Establish and maintain a hub on the website where all themes are
supported with relevant, practical information for all stakeholders, so
that everything is available in a single place
» Mixture of bespoke content (Reading-centric) and signposts to reliable
sources of information eg WRAP, Wildlife Trust, Energy Saving Trust,
Carbon Trust etc
» Supported by comms programme (conventional and social) to drive
traffic
» This should also have info on how we are doing. Achievements,
measurement etc (does this need to be a separate workstream or do
the theme heads take care of this?)
Published Set up by November
2020, continuously
updated thereafter
Comms and
Engagement Team
Theme leads
Website needs professional
design to make sure it’s engaging
and mobile-optimised
C2
Dashboard
» Develop a dashboard with KPIs that track progress against the targets
in the strategy
» Publish on the RCAN website but also strategic media around the
town, eg large digital sign at the station, buses, The Oracle, Reading
Borough Council venues
Published Set up by
December 2020
and continuously
updated thereafter
RCAN Some of the indicators will be
lagging, these needs to be clearly
communicated
C3
Brand Book and
Stakeholder Map
» Develop brand guidelines, style guide and messaging matrix
» Confirm role of RCCP versus RCAN and relationship with other
organisations within Reading
Brand Book and
stakeholder map created
By end September Comms and
Engagement Team
Will need to be revised and
updated after the governance
audit is completed
C4
Campaign Calendar
» Develop and publish a calendar of campaigns to encourage action on
different issues, eg Beat the Street, Fair Trade Fortnight
» Align with RBC campaigns and initiatives led by other organisations in
the town, as well as national “days” eg Earth Day
» Support with social media and conventional media such as bus
advertising, outdoor, The Oracle, council magazine
Quarterly Rolling Comms
Plan devised and published
By November 2020 Comms and
Engagement Team
May require funding for creative
and media
C5
Climate Literacy
Training
» Offer carbon and climate training, tailored to support the RCAN Action
Plan, to all who live, work or study in Reading
» Begin by training all RBC staff
» Potential to build on the University’s MOOC and/or Climate Reality
training
» Accreditation available from the UNEP endorsed Carbon
Literacy Project
Development of training
Targets for delivery
December 2021 RCAN Carbon Literacy accreditation
depends on securing funding
C6
Third party events
» Take part in/support local public events eg Town Meal, Beanpole day,
Waterfest, Meadows day, school fetes etc etc
Events calendar published
and theme support agreed
10 events per year RCAN Requires portable display
materials as well as volunteer
help
C7
Funding hub
» Establish and maintain a list of sources of outside funding that can be
drawn on to support RCAN initiatives
» Offer grants to support small local initiatives that align with RCAN
goals
List Set up by end of
2020, continuously
updated thereafter
RCAN Opportunity to offer advice
on preparing bids subject to
resource
C8
Volunteer
Programme
» Work with Reading Voluntary Action to establish process to recruit
volunteers to support delivery of RCAN activities
Relationship built and
process established
December 2020 RCAN
RVA
C9
Research
Programme
» Establish a research programme to support the actions
in the strategy
» Work with the University of Reading to develop a structured approach
to matching research needs with students seeking research projects
Programme developed
and approach defined
April 2021 RCAN
University of
Reading
C10
Climate Action
Pledge
» Develop a pledge that residents can sign to commit to taking action
on climate change across a relevant range of impacts
» Possible “eco-journey” starting with simple things and becoming more
advanced
Pledge defined
and published
November 2020 RCAN
Action name Description
(With bulleted list of activities needed to achieve action and links)
Target and
measure/milestone
(i.e. How will we know that we
have completed the action?)
Target completion date Action owner
+ list of delivery
partners
Any resource or
capacity challenges?
(In funding, in skills, in capacity,
missing key partners)
C11
Climate-friendly
Organisations
Pledge
» Define a set of commitments for organisations to sign up to in order to
gain “Climate Friendly” status
Pledge defined
and published
November 2020 RCAN
C12
Climate-Aware
Business
» Embed climate change into the workstreams of the LEP, IOD, Chamber
of Commerce and other local business networks
» Work with leaders of those organisations to convince them of the
strategic importance of climate change for their own organisations
and their membership
All nominated organisations
have climate change as part
of their mission
Summer 2021 RBC
C13
Lobbying for better
business practice
» Identify barriers preventing use of sanctions to address “carbon
crimes”, eg:
– Leaving lights on all night in office buildings
– Having doors of restaurants/retail units open
– Incorporate the GHG Protool (Scope 1, 2 & 3) ?
» Lobby central government for the policy changes
Issues identified and
lobbying programme
launched
Spring 2021 RCAN
C14
Reading Business
Climate Action
Network
» Establish business network for sharing of expertise and knowledge on
sustainable business
» Hold regular events
» Publish business-centric advice and guidance and signpost tools and
models from reputable sources on the RCAN website
» Encourage all Reading Businesses to nominate an employee who is
their representative and can help to engage the company
Network already launched
Events programme
published
Information hub launched
November 2020 RCAN
Ethical Reading
Sustainability
Champions
C15
Sustainable
Business
Accreditation
» Investigate the suitability of BCorp and BITC frameworks and other
accreditations
» Ideally have a free-to-use dashboard system
» Introduce an accreditation scheme for businesses that recognises
achievement at different levels, eg bronze, silver, gold, to create a race
to the top
Research completed and
proposal published
Summer 2021 RCAN May require funding
C16
Divestment
» Divestment from fossil fuels is an important signal of intent
as well as a way to divert capital investment from carbon-based
to cleantech/Greentech innovation
» Run a campaign encouraging all institutional investors
in Reading to divest
Campaign launched November 2021 RCAN
C17
Business
volunteering
» Create opportunities for staff to support delivery of actions from the
strategy via Team Challenge
6 business actions a year First actions
Q1 2021
RCAN
Connect Reading
RBC
Nature Task Force
Econet
TCV
Action name Description
(With bulleted list of activities needed to achieve action and links)
Target and
measure/milestone
(i.e. How will we know that we
have completed the action?)
Target completion date Action owner
+ list of delivery
partners
Any resource or
capacity challenges?
(In funding, in skills, in capacity,
missing key partners)
C18
Working with other
organisations
» Establish links with other groups working on the sustainability agenda
across Reading and showcase their work through the RCAN website
» Enable sharing of events, expertise, knowledge and resources by other
groups
Partner hub set up with
ability for representatives to
contribute content
Partner hub set
up by end 2020
Comms and
Engagement team
C19
Community focused
work
» Identify 2 geographical areas in Reading (up to 10 streets)– and
support the residents in these streets to lead more Climate friendly
lives. Develop competition (eg ’green streets initiative’)
» Identify and work with community groups (i.e. religious, ethnic, age
related) – and support the members to lead more Climate friendly
lives, through community talks and projects
2 areas per year
6 groups per year
First area identified
by Q2 2021
First group
identified
by Q1 2021
RCAN
Action name Description
(With bulleted list of activities needed to achieve action and links)
Target and
measure/milestone
(i.e. How will we know that we
have completed the action?)
Target completion date Action owner
+ list of delivery
partners
Any resource or
capacity challenges?
(In funding, in skills, in capacity,
missing key partners)
C20
Schools-based
interventions
» Working with the Education team and Brighter Futures for Children, to
establish a programme of climate change interventions for schools.
» To cover physical changes (i.e install solar panels, heat pumps etc) and
support with lessons/curriculum/local community engagement (use Eco
Schools framework?)
» Draw on established tools and programmes where possible
Programme launched September 2021 RCAN admin
Brighter Futures
for Children
RBC
www.eco-schools.org.uk/
www.greenschoolsproject.org.uk/
www.wwf.org.uk/get-involved/
schools/green-ambassadors
www.youngclimatewarriors.org/
C21
Reading Schools
Climate Action
Network
» Establish teacher network for sharing of expertise and knowledge on
sustainable schools (for primary and secondary)
» Hold regular events
» Publish school-centric advice and guidance and signpost tools and
models from reputable sources
» Link to home schooling networks
Network launched
Events programme
Information hub launched
September 2021 Brighter Futures
for Children
RCAN
Nature Task Force?
C22
Model Climate
Conference
» Expand the model climate conference to include all schools in Reading
» Bring the outputs back to the RCAN website
» Legacy – Supporting the schools to make the changes they committed
to on the day, through the RSCAN
50% increase in schools
participating in the Model
Climate Conference
November 2021 Just ideas Subject to funding
C23
Young Persons
Climate Assembly
» Explore the potential to set up a Young Persons activist Network – for
young people to meet up with like minded individuals to develop ideas
and support
» regular meetings, Intragram account?
» Work with existing programmes
Research appetite and
develop proposal if
appropriate
June 2021 RCAN Must be youth led and with
proper safeguarding

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