Customer story: London Borough of Redbridge Council, UK

Net Zero Simulator
'screenshot of 'London Borough of Redbridge Council, UK
'screenshot of 'London Borough of Redbridge Council, UK

A global emergency

The climate crisis is one of the biggest issues the world has ever faced.

Drastic action is necessary now to prevent disaster in the future. In recognition of this fact, local authorities across the UK officially declared a climate emergency throughout 2019.

But what comes next? Well, each local authority is taking its own approach. One thing, however, that has been widely agreed upon is that engaging with the public on the way through the climate emergency is essential.

London Borough of Redbridge Council is well aware of this. They knew they needed a way to reach their citizens that would be engaging while still illustrating the urgency and complexity of just how a local authority can become carbon-neutral while balancing the needs of citizens, industry and environment. It’s difficult to provide all of this information via a survey - it could easily have filled a 200-page required-reading document.

They used Simulator

Simulator was the ideal tool for consulting on such a complex decision. Redbridge used it to gather insights on how residents would allocate a Carbon Budget. Each respondent was allocated a limited number of points, which they would then ‘spend’ in different categories according to their own priorities. Each decision the respondent made is met with accompanying information on what the real-world consequences of that choice would be.

Redbridge allocated six different categories: transport, waste, property, energy, businesses and food and beverages. Options for spending points within those categories ranged from smaller, localised actions like ‘Creating greener transport for school runs’ to more ambitious actions such as ‘introducing planning policies that priorities green construction methods’.

Simulator worked for Redbridge on two levels: it generated uniquely informed insights and feedback that give the Council a snapshot of where public priorities lie; and it fostered understanding from the public’s perspective about the complex trade-offs involved in climate-related decisions.

Guide: how to involve the public in your climate response.

Simulator helped us test various actions the council could take to address Climate Change whilst understanding our residents’ priorities. The free text boxes also enabled respondents to comment on their response and offer further suggestions. The tool was very easy to set-up and use, enabling us to illustrate the difficult decisions we had to face, with one resident commenting 'it was difficult to choose which proposals should be regarded as a lower priority'.

Victoria Lewis, Policy Assistant, London Borough of Redbridge Council

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