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OFF4FIRMS accepted as Climate-KIC Innovation Project

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Katja Halbritter

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Off4Firms – Employer-led CO2 and Energy Reductions by Employees”, a project initiated by Prof. Renate Schubert, has recently been accepted as Climate-KIC Innovation Project.

Climate-KIC is an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) that is designated to drive innovation in the area of climate change adaptation and mitigation through an integrated European network of global and regional partners from the private, public and academic worlds. Climate-KIC recently selected Off4Firms as Innovation Project for project intake into Climate-KIC Business Plan 2012. In total, 18 innovation and 17 pathfinder projects had been submitted by the Climate-KIC community in fall 2011. As one of them, Off4Firms successfully passed the project review process and will receive financial support from Climate-KIC for a period of two years. Off4Firms aims at reducing CO2 emissions and energy consumption in private households through employer’s initiatives and programmes.

OFF4FIRMS – Reducing Emissions in Private Households: a Win-Win Situation for Employees and Firms… and the Environment! Households are among the world’s largest energy users and CO2 emitters. An effective way of triggering change in households is through household members’ employers – a great, yet unexploited lever. If designed and implemented effectively, subsidising and initiating programmes that offer a set of measures to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions in households – such as insulation or solar panels – could be a “win-win” for both households and firms. Households will benefit financially, and firms will have reputational gains with respect to their (potential) employees as well as to their environmental performance. In addition, firms will be better prepared for any future carbon market policies. Off4Firms will develop a comprehensive toolkit for firms to use this great potential in an efficient way.

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Off4Firms will compile and evaluate existing voluntary measures aimed at reductions in energy use and CO2 emission in employees’ private lives. Evaluation criteria will be the environmental impact, cost efficiency, and the measurability of emission reductions. Surveys among employees of several companies will reveal the attractiveness and uptake of different measures. Furthermore, the role of social networks – which strongly influence uptake decisions – will be investigated. Programmes consisting of effective measures will be tailored to company-specific contexts and needs. A company-specific programme ready for implementation will be the result. The toolkit for creating such programmes will be brought to scale by a dedicated business unit.

The Off4Firms project team comprises both academic and business partners of the Climate-KIC network. In addition to ETH Zurich, Wageningen University (The Netherlands) and the carbon asset management company South Pole Carbon are core project partners. Swiss Re and EWZ are further project partners. Off4Firms will officially start on April 1, 2012.

The Off4Firms team is still looking for a further project partner from the business world. If you are interested in a collaboration with Off4Firms, please contact the project coordinator Katja Halbritter.

 

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© 2014 ETH Zurich | Imprint | Disclaimer | 28 March 2012
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