Inspiring staff at Cranfield.

Change begins with people.

We have worked with Cranfield University since 2010 in staff engagement. Our joint effort not only saved the university over £170,000 in energy waste reduction but won in the Energy Awards 2014 ‘Behaviour Change and Engagement’ category.

How we did it.

Key to the success of Cranfield University’s Staff Engagement Programme was the development of a thriving team of ‘Energy Champions’. These inspired individuals lead by example, spreading the word and propagating savings through the university.

Their Challenge

Cranfield University’s commitment to achieving a 50% cut in their carbon footprint by 2020 was the catalyst to seeking significant behaviour change among its staff.

Cranfield approached ZapCarbon to inspire staff to join its 2020 vision. However, staff have limited time to give to such initiatives; thus, any solutions had to be resource efficient.

Our Solution

A rolling programme of staff engagement was launched in 2010. This resulted in the creation of a team of Energy Champions.

Champions were given targeted training, and their capabilities matured over time.

Walkabouts were undertaken with Champions to better understand their energy challenges.

ZapCarbon’s Automatic Meter Reading package was integrated to give champions detailed information on their local energy consumption.


“ZapCarbon assisted us in designing and delivering engagement programmes for university staff and students. Savings of around £50,000 over 12 months—very worthwhile.”

Gareth Ellis, Energy & Environment Manager, Cranfield University

  • Cranfield now has an active, autonomous, university-wide group of Champions capable of identifying and implementing improvement projects.
  • A Weekend and Evening Shut-down Culture continues to grow in departments and residences.
  • Savings in excess of £170,000—and counting.
  • An 2014 Energy Saving Award in the ‘Behaviour change and Engagement’ category.