Information Materials and Events

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Information about the energy awareness project, its content, and the necessity to conserve energy needs to be passed on to every employee of the particular organization or the pilot department. First, posters should be placed at gathering point such as cafeterias, canteens, and blackboards. A video on energy or the environment could boost the informative effect through vividness and at the same time function as a role model, showing people acting sustainably. Newsletters, leaflets, and flyers should also be given out. The design and content has to be eye-catching with motivational messages and slogans concerning for example, energy waste, climate change, environmental obligations and/or stating high costs, saving potential, possible chances for the company and the employees. This will raise awareness; awaken interest in the project, and the urge for more information. It is advantageous to send out informing emails afterwards because employees will be primed about the importance of the program and are less likely to ignore or worse still, delete it without reading.

An informing email has to describe the program, the reasons and gains, the plan and schedule, and also the need for active participation in a motivating way. Additionally, it has to include dates about information events and workshops, that the recipient is required to or can attend voluntarily. Obligation has the advantage that high attendance is guaranteed but there could be resentment in return. Optional participation reduces the importance of the issue, risks low attendance but can assume that the participants are truly interested. If mandatory events and/ or workshops cannot be enforced, a fictitious restriction on the number of applicants can increase interest to participate in the voluntary interventions.

Information events can include general information about the climate change, energy conservation, possible chances and advantages but also specifics of the pre-analyses of the plant's energy management (e.g., current energy use, potential savings, measures, advantages, and efforts), the energy matrix, benchmarks, and ideas as well as decisions of the management. The business case for energy efficiency is clear: it reduces energy costs, diminishes vulnerability to increasing energy prices and reduces CO2 emissions. It is equally effective to invite an external expert or celebrity to present climate change and energy issues. The participation and active support of the upper/top management also shows the significance of the program.

Besides solely providing information, these measures and messages already serve as stimuli or cues for raising awareness and promoting desired behaviors (see Section 3.2.3). The attendance, whether obligatory or voluntary, and a (positive) attitude about the issue can be enforced through follow-up constructive discussions, positive responses and social recognition through coworkers, colleagues, and supervisors/superiors.

Depending on the size of the events, workshop settings in the same constellation could follow automatically or large groups have to be split into many separate workshops (<20 person). In the case of large -scale energy awareness programs, workshops should take place with focus groups, leading to more specialized and in-depth results. However, information events and workshops do not necessarily have to be scheduled on the same day but a short time span in between is beneficial since the participants are already sensitized in contrast to the possibilities of disregarding certain contents after longer periods.

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