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Case Study of the Day: Nottingham Trent University Green Reward Programme


The Nottingham Trent University (NTU) Green Reward Programme is an innovative and comprehensive initiative designed to promote sustainable behaviours and practices among students and staff. NTU launched the Green Reward Programme in 2015.


  • Encourage sustainable behaviours among students and staff.
  • Raise awareness about environmental issues and sustainability.
  • Foster a culture of sustainability throughout the university.

Program Design and Implementation

  • Online Platform: NTU partnered with a specialized provider to develop an online platform where participants could track and earn rewards for sustainable actions. The platform included features such as tracking energy and water consumption, recycling rates, sustainable commuting, and engagement with sustainability-related events and activities.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Participants earned points for each sustainable action, which could be redeemed for a range of rewards, including discounts on campus facilities, sustainable products, and local services. This incentivized individuals to actively participate and engage with the program.
  • Communication and Engagement: NTU conducted extensive communication campaigns to raise awareness about the program. They utilized various channels, including social media, email newsletters, and on-campus events, to educate participants about the program’s benefits and encourage their involvement.

Outcomes and Impact

  • Increased Participation: The Green Reward Programme has witnessed significant participation from both students and staff. The program’s user-friendly interface and appealing rewards system motivated individuals to actively engage in sustainable actions.
  • Behavior Change: The program has successfully influenced positive behavior change. Participants reported a heightened sense of responsibility towards sustainability and a greater understanding of the impact of their actions on the environment.
  • Environmental Impact: NTU’s sustainability efforts have led to measurable environmental improvements. The university has observed reductions in energy and water consumption, increased recycling rates, and decreased carbon emissions.
  • Campus Culture: The Green Reward Programme has played a vital role in fostering a sustainable campus culture at NTU. It has encouraged collaboration, community engagement, and knowledge-sharing among participants, contributing to a broader understanding of sustainability.


  • Program Awareness: Despite NTU’s efforts, some students and staff may remain unaware of the Green Reward Programme or its benefits. Continuous promotion and outreach are required to overcome this challenge.
  • Behavioral Persistence: Sustaining long-term behavioral change can be challenging. NTU needs to provide ongoing support and reinforcement to ensure participants maintain their sustainable practices even after earning rewards.
  • Technological Limitations: Technical issues or limitations with the online platform may hinder user experience and participation. Regular maintenance and updates are necessary to address any such issues promptly.

Lessons Learned

  • Incentivization Works: The use of rewards and incentives has proven effective in motivating individuals to adopt sustainable behaviors. It creates a positive feedback loop that encourages continued engagement.
  • Holistic Approach: NTU’s comprehensive approach, encompassing various aspects of sustainability, has contributed to the success of the program. Addressing energy, water, waste, and transportation, among others, ensures a well-rounded impact.
  • Continuous Engagement: The program’s success relies on consistent communication, engagement, and reinforcement. Regular updates, reminders, and educational campaigns help maintain interest and encourage sustained participation.

The Nottingham Trent University Green Reward Programme serves as a model for other educational institutions looking to promote sustainability and foster environmental stewardship. By combining innovative technology, effective communication, and appealing incentives, NTU has successfully encouraged positive behavior change and created a culture of sustainability within their campus community.

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