Here's a bit more about project OFF-ON and where it came from.
The main aim is to encourage employees to behave in a more environmentally responsible way, whilst enabling us to do more good as an agency – one of our founding values.
Like most businesses our office is guilty of wasting on a daily basis, be it from leaving lights on, computers charging, 6 toaster slots firing up when only 2 are needed...
But it's not just us.
As a nation we waste around £7 million every day in the workplace due to energy inefficiency. We felt that there must be a way to encourage staff to waste less and to put this money to better use. To turn this corporate waste into charitable gain whilst encouraging green behaviour amongst employees that could spread to the home.
Which is where OFF-ON came from.
Wieden + Kennedy encourages staff to turn off as many power-consuming appliances as possible when not in use, and invests every penny saved in “turning on” a children’s home in Nairobi with solar power. The idea is to give people a tangible sense that when turning off an appliance in London, they’re turning one on across the world.
As you'll see in the last post, we've developed screensavers and LED floor displays to show employees how much energy they’re using in real time and relate what they’re turning off in London, to what they’re turning on in Nairobi.
By partnering with NGO SolarAid, we’re planning to light up Cheryl’s Children’s Home in Nairobi over the next year, fuelled entirely by people’s behaviour in our London office.
But we don’t want to stop here. We want to expand the project with SolarAid beyond W+K, enabling as many businesses and schools as possible to “turn on” in the developing world.
At present, an estimated 1.5 million women and children die every year in Africa from kerosene poisoning caused by toxic gas lamps, whilst health clinics lack the electricity to run equipment and children work in dark classrooms. Rolling out this project could make a significant different to those without access to electricity.
To keep the project front of mind, we’ve developed our own bespoke system with engineers at Pell Frischmann that uses real time energy monitors to keep employees up-to-speed with their progress.
The number of energy monitors in workplaces across the UK is growing rapidly and whilst they're great at motivating behaviour change in the home, it's easy to turn a blind eye when you're not paying the bills in the workplace. OFF-ON is about creatively packaging this data to make it engaging and relevant to staff.
After the pilot, the plan is to develop the project further, creating open-source software that can work with all makes of energy monitor - making it as easy as possible for other businesses and schools to take part.
We launch later this week and our progress will be online for others to see - we've developed a widget that will show our how much we're 'turning on' in real time, plus we'll be posting regular updates on our behaviour and Cheryl's Children's Home.