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Using Digital Engagement to Tackle Climate Change

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Reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 will require everyone to play their part. As local authorities, there is a responsibility to equip and enable people and businesses to become part of the solution and contribute to effective and sustainable local climate action.

Many key conversations at COP26 reminded us that real progress is made when members across all communities are involved in fighting the climate emergency. In this free 13-page eBook, you'll find everything you need to know about the role digital tools can play in getting communities on board with your local climate change action plans and how you can effectively implement those schemes to help your area reach net-zero.

Download the eBook now, or read below for more info.

In this guide you'll find:

  • An overview of our work with key campaign groups
  • Benefits of building a community-led climate strategy
  • Ways to encourage engagement across the community
  • Key barriers preventing people from engaging
  • Case study examples


Across the UK, 74% of all local authorities have declared a state of climate emergency. This is hugely important as it’s placing an even stronger pressure on both communities and their local authorities to get involved. Digital community engagement is already playing a major role in expanding the conversation on tackling the climate crisis and it’s only going to become more important as time ticks on.

Commonplace has delivered over 1,500 community engagement projects with our customers, engaging 4.3 million community members across the UK, North America and Europe. We’ve seen first-hand the big changes that can be made when the local community is actively involved in an open climate conversation and are ready to take it to the next level.

Whether it be sustainable transport, renewable energy, waste reduction or protecting green spaces - our climate engagement hubs help communities to work towards shared goals and making net zero an everyday reality. With our climate engagement Heatmaps local citizens can easily identify areas and topics that they feel need addressing, helping to create local agendas for collaborative climate work.

One of two companies chosen to represent ‘Engaging Communities’ at COP26 (through PUBLIC’s and the Cabinet Office’s Tech For Our Planet showcase), the CEO and CoFounder Mike Saunders talked on the international stage about how crucial proper communication is in the global fight against climate change.

“Cities, towns and neighbourhoods are where our lives happen. Getting them right can help solve massive problems, including adapting to climate change and reducing global emissions."

- Mike Saunders at the Tech For Our Planet showcase.

The core principles

The core principles we’ve identified in this guide have been brought together to help you create the most effective and engaged climate plan possible.

  • Engaging your community

    Gathering the thoughts of your community should be at the forefront of your plan. It’s the people that live, work and play in the local area who know it best and, if given the opportunity, will have plenty of ideas around improvements. The process of publicly engaging with the community immediately publicises the local initiative, raises awareness of local action and helps mitigate concerns that accompany any change.

  • Inclusive community insights

    For any climate project, you need to hear from a diverse range of voices. Climate change affects all demographics and it is crucial to remove any communication barriers that may stop people engaging. You want it to be as easy as possible to share opinions so you can produce sustainable projects.

  • Brainstorm methods

    Highlighting the changes that can be made locally can only be done if residents and communities are at the heart of the discussion. By growing projects that start with the local citizen’s input, Commonplace acts as a hub for idea generation and development - available 24/7 for all that want to engage. Commonplace acts as a “Digital Wrapper” for face-to-face activities such as Citizen Assemblies - it can spread the word before the gathering; communicate the deliberations and decisions, and continue as the information hub for planning and actions.

  • Creating trust in local communities

    A common barrier that can stop engagement between local communities and their authorities is a lack of trust. Trust is not something that can be fostered overnight but there are ways to grow it naturally over time. Being as transparent as possible with the reasons behind your climate initiative is an easy way to start. Show exactly what is being discussed, what will be done and how this will be an ongoing strategy rather than a one-off survey.

Want to learn more? Download the full report at the top of the page.