Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Profiles: One Small Step (Ireland)

One Small Step – Social Marketing for Travel Behavior Change

Last year a Journey Logger was developed here in Dublin for use by schools, the general public and/or Partner Organizations wishing to incentivize sustainable employee travel . The Logger is an online diary where registered users can log their sustainable trips. Points are collected for sustainable travel, and users are updated on their personal fuel and carbon savings.

One Small Step is a travel awareness program, which is made up of five complementary strands:
• Public awareness campaign and website
• Workplace travel plans, with some of the largest employers in the Irish State signing up as Partner Organizations (about 45,000 people as of February 2009);
• Pilot residential travel plan in a new strategic development zone
• Developing new mobility management guidelines, in partnership with Dublin City Council;
• Supporting the national Green-Schools Travel program

Purpose and Objectives

Changing behavior is far more complex than choosing one brand over another. The Journey Logger is based on the principles of Community Based Social Marketing, which focuses on the steps necessary to achieve behavior change, as well as raising awareness and changing attitudes.

1. Secure a commitment:
Users are asked to make a pledge to reduce their drive alone trips during registration.

2. Provide for incentives:
• Public users are automatically entered into draws for regular prizes
• Companies can set their own incentives for staff – for example, employees with >250 journeys gets a ½ day extra holidays.

3. Prompt people in a positive manner to think about their travel habits on an on-going basis.
Users are sent a regular reminder email inviting them to log their trips. The calendar forms a visual record of their actions, and helps them identify themselves as ‘sustainable’ travelers.

4. Communicate in a vivid, personal and concrete fashion
Each user can see their personal accumulated carbon offsets, their calories burned and their fuel savings. They can also see the combined results of all users.

5. Remove barriers by making it easier to remember what to do and how to do it.
The calendar form is very user-friendly designed to stimulate habitual sustainable travel.

Findings –

The Journey Logger went ‘live’ in February 2009, and several companies have already registered interest. A similar product in Australia registered a 20% drop in car use amongst participating staff.

Conclusions and Policy implications
This is a “catch-all” tool for general public awareness campaigns, as well as school and workplace travel planning. It is particularly useful in workplace, where employee travel can be monitored and rewarded, and companies can report on CO2 saved, increased staff activity levels and cost savings.

To know more about One Small Step:
* www.onesmallstep.ie (8 page guidelines for your travel plans)
* www.greenschoolsireland.org
Arlene Finn, arlene.finn@dto.ie
Dublin Transportation Office. www.dto.ie
Dublin Ireland

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