Leeds Climate Commission is running a campaign to encourage organisations to share their climate commitments.
The #LeedsActsTogether campaign aims to inform, educate and motivate people to take climate action to make Leeds a better place to live.
We want Leeds organisations to help us show that tackling climate change through practical action can immediately improve people’s lives.
Our call is for organisations, institutions and businesses to lead the way and help us achieve a healthier, fairer, more sustainable future for everyone in Leeds that also respects the wellbeing of others and protects ecosystems worldwide.
We know that people in Leeds are concerned about the climate and nature crisis. Communication is key to tackling this.
In 2019, Leeds declared a climate emergency with a net-zero target for the city of 2030.
Following that, more than nine out of ten respondents to the Big Leeds Climate Conversation said they are worried about biodiversity loss and extreme weather events. They also said they cared about the impact of climate change on future generations.
But, when it came to taking action, many didn’t know where to start.
Almost all respondents to the Big Leeds Climate Conversation also believed that public sector organisations (96.8%) and businesses (96.7%) have a responsibility, not just to reduce their own carbon footprint, but to make it easier for individuals to make more environmentally friendly choices.
Call to action
The Leeds Climate Change Citizens’ Jury, which was made up of a representative sample of people in Leeds, gave the city a set of recommendations. One of these was that organisations should come together for a large-scale communications drive to help inform and educate people about the need for climate action, and how to do it.
We got a similar message from stakeholders involved in our Climate Action Readiness Assessment, which Leeds Climate Commission held in 2020. They particularly wanted us to communicate the benefits for whole community regeneration of taking action on climate change.
People want and expect organisations and businesses to lead the way, so our initial call to action is to them. We anticipate opening the campaign up to individuals later in the year.
With climate action in Leeds the focus of national BBC radio coverage during 2021-2022, it’s the perfect opportunity for us as a city to get our message out.
From May 2021, BBC Radio 5 Live is broadcasting a strand called Leeds: City on a Mission, finding out from the people of Leeds about what they are doing and what they think about the city’s highly ambitious target. It's intended that the regular coverage will continue for a year, also involving live broadcasts.
The Leeds Climate Commission is taking the opportunity of this national spotlight on the city to run a separate, independent social media communications campaign, “Leeds Acts Together”, to showcase the immediate benefits of tackling climate change, not only for nature but for all of us as we go about our daily lives.
Radio 5 Live’s coverage will have different themes each time, and we’ll be picking up on those and exploring and amplifying them through our campaign, which will run for one week a month whenever the broadcasts fall.
The first themed day looked at the past and future for Leeds, in August the theme was leisure, and the forthcoming theme for September is housing and buildings.
The Climate Commission is keen to broaden the conversation into other areas so we will introduce additional relevant topics into our campaign. Areas likely to be included in our campaign include fashion, travel and transport, nature, hobbies and sport, waste, the home, energy, buildings, and climate justice. (Do tell us if there are other themes you would like us to include).
We hope the themes will help organisations and businesses to engage widely; even if a particular topic is not your core business or area of interest, think of polling your staff to find out what they are doing and share how your organisation can learn from them.
Everyone in Leeds can benefit from this campaign – and the more organisations that take part, the bigger, better and more effective it will be.
Specifically, for participating organisations, this is an opportunity to demonstrate the kinds of practical actions you are taking, and perhaps to promote existing compatible aims. The Climate Commission will look to give all organisations a shout out and retweet on Twitter and, if you’ve got a great story about how your actions are making a difference, we’ll consider adding it to the library of inspiring local case studies on our website.
While this is a social media campaign, we want this to encourage practical action “on the ground” so the campaign is also a great chance to have discussions within your organisation about its own net-zero journey.
How to get involved
We would like organisations to share posts on their social media channels about what they are doing to tackle climate change. Feel free to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram - even TikTok if that's your thing.
Below is a template format for organisations and businesses to adapt, using the shared hashtag #LeedsActsTogether. The template is a guide and helps to introduce the theme, so we’ll update it each time on this page. Feel free to use your own words of course – just make sure you include the hashtag!
When to post
For each month, we invite you to post on social media either on the day of the BBC Radio 5 Live coverage, or any day(s) of that week.
We will post the information about the dates and theme in the bulletin updates, which you need to sign up to (see below).
Template and theme for September
Our next campaign will run 17-24 September 2021 and the theme is housing and buildings. This theme encompasses both housing for Net Zero and making our housing and buildings more climate resilient.
This is a broad topic which hopefully will encourage many different organisations to get involved.
Angles to consider exploring include (but are certainly not limited to): retrofit, reducing emissions in the home, reducing construction emissions, circular economy in construction, greening urban infrastructure, planning, climate resilient housing, access to housing, fuel poverty. It's important to consider actions that range from the simple (such as changing to eco-friendly lightbulbs) to the complex (such as retrofit).
Two suggested templates (guide only –you might want to compose a thread going into issues and solutions in more detail):
Around half of Leeds’ carbon footprint comes from heating and powering our buildings and homes.
We’re trying to help reduce this by *insert actions*
You can bring your bills down, make your home cosier, and help reduce emissions by *insert suggestions*
Our climate is changing and Leeds will experience more extreme weather. How can we make our homes and buildings greener and more resilient?
We’re playing our part by *insert actions*
You can play your part by *insert suggestions*
(Feel free to insert a URL to your website for more information.)
A graphic to use with your posts is shown below. This will be updated with a new image for each month’s campaign.
This month's graphics have been prepared by Daniel Clark from Northern Flags.
Sign up for updates
Sign up here for campaign updates to receive the latest information about #LeedsActsTogether.
We will circulate regular information on how the campaign is performing, who took part and alert you to what the following month’s theme is so you can start planning!
This page will also be refreshed with the information.
For any questions about the campaign please contact Kate Lock, Communications and Policy Officer for Leeds Climate Commission, on K.M.Lock@leeds.ac.uk
*You can unsubscribe from our campaign list at any time by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Header image credit: Carl Milner / Leeds City Council