Find your thing for the planet

Giving Everyone at OVO a role in fighting climate change.

Campaign resulting in over 4900+ colleagues taking direct action to contribute to our sustainability strategy, in just one week.

We know OVO colleagues are drawn to our ambitious Plan Zero strategy. However, we saw a clear need to turn these aspirations towards our 2030 vision into practical everyday action.

We brought horizons a little closer, creating an internal engagement campaign calling for colleagues to ‘Find Their Thing for our Planet’ - a week to do exactly that. Giving actionable ways to contribute, based on their individual roles and skills.

Making our brand purpose, personal

Plan Zero is OVO’s unifying purpose - driving progress towards zero-carbon living.

Realigning our entire business around decarbonisation, we’ve committed ourselves to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, optimise 5 million homes with low-carbon technology, and to mobilise a zero-carbon community to halve customers’ carbon footprint, all by 2030.

Given the scale and speed, we need to act - it is critical every one of our 7,600+ colleagues felt accountable, responsible and inspired to deliver it. From Finance to Smart Metering, People to Customer Service - everyone needed to feel as if they were a ‘zero hero’.

We developed a focused week to introduce Plan Zero to employees (a first for many since our acquisition of SSE Energy Services) and broke down the plan into a range of starting points. 

The thing-o-meter quiz learnt about employees’ skills and interests, then served tailored recommendations of how they could contribute to the plan 

We developed other ways to (virtually) engage employees throughout the week:

  • Town Hall Q&A: Senior leaders set out our Plan Zero ambitions 
  • Daily bites: Email nudges of how employees could get involved 
  • Channel Zero - Inspirational talks from internal and external climate experts 
  • 24-hour Zero Carbon Hackathon - a community of digital, tech and data experts explored Plan Zero challenges and developed amazing solutions 
  • Wall of things - A virtual place for everyone to share a photo of their individual Plan Zero commitments, either at work or home


A digital first approach gave us real-time analytics

We planned to reach every one of the 7,600+ OVO colleagues, and for 50% of those engaged to take an action that contributes to Plan Zero targets. We also wanted to increase the sense of pride in working for OVO through the Plan Zero campaign - a stretching task against a backdrop of COVID and teams working remotely.

Because of this, our campaign had to be realised through digital channels - advantageous when it come to measurement.

Engagement was measured daily - data analytics were embedded into our interactive quiz, live-views were recorded, and comments captured. We amassed over 25,000 impressions across our digital activations, with over 55% of colleagues commiting to take an active role in contributing to the plan if we go by the Thing-O-Meter statistics alone. In short we smashed our targets!

The Thing-O-Meter quiz generated invaluable insight by tracking the answers given by employees on what motivates them around sustainability - we discovered the top three ways colleagues wanted to contribute was through ‘problem solving’, ‘having informed conversations with others’, and ‘bringing people together’. Insights we will use in future projects.

We asked colleagues for qualitative feedback throughout, and had an overwhelmingly positive response. They told us they felt ‘inspired’, ‘empowered’, and regained their ‘sense of community’ lost as working remotely,

We also added Plan Zero-related questions into our employee survey, giving us a measure of engagement both before and after the week, and in the future.

Our rules of effective engagement 

This campaign was driven by a 50/50 split of sustainability and communications teams. However, it was quickly picked up by employees, sharing stories and content. Core engagement principles we set from the initial briefing were key ingredients to the shared success of the campaign:

Keeping it light:

We want to inspire action, not scare employees away with daunting climate facts. The last 6 months have been difficult. We wanted to give employees a chance to let their hair down, learn something new and be inspired to face into next year with a smile. From vegan bake-offs to photo-sharing competitions, colleagues happily rose to the challenge.

Empower others

We knew we couldn't reach 7600+ employees alone, so we briefed managers before our launch date. Giving them the mandate to make their own Plan Zero commitments, and create tailored activities to engage teams their own way. 

Make it personal

Our personalised approach not only helped with cut-through but made communications around our big new strategy relatable to colleagues. We tailored our messages and featured real people and real stories from across the business throughout the campaign

Action > words

This was a fundamental. We wanted to give colleagues something to do, rather than passively engage with - a principle written into the call to action for the week “find your thing for our planet”, it was also baked into all of our activations, from taking our quiz, sharing commitments, or taking part in a hackathon.

We created an energy for zero carbon living

Plan Zero week was our campaign to induct employees with our strategy. The measure of success was not just getting this on people's radar, but getting colleagues to take their first steps in fighting climate change in their own way - then sharing this, and setting off a ripple effect across the business.

This culminated in:

16 new projects
were born from the 24H hackathon
752 photos
Shared by colleagues of how they are transitioning to a zero-carbon lifestyle
4,643 employees
tuning in from home for the live Q&A with business leaders
  • 4,191 employees taking our ‘thing-o-meter’ quiz, answering questions around what motivates them about sustainability, then given a tailored action to contribute to our plan
  • Our campaign microsite receiving 6,392 visits and 13,387 page views
  • Daily Bites nudge emails had a good 59% open rate
  • Several teams have already taken the initiative further, creating a Zero Carbon living guide - a new starter/colleague Plan Zero information pack - and some even inspired to write to their MPs about protecting local ecosystems. 
  • Our employee survey question "I understand how I can play my part in Plan Zero" recently scored an impressive 7.7/10 and "I understand what we're trying to achieve through Plan Zero is" an amazing 8.2/10.
  • Our key learning from the project was that an ambitious strategy is all well and good, but you need to hand it over to employees to embed it into the culture - make it about them.



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Find your thing for the planet

Giving Everyone at OVO a role in fighting climate change. We know OVO colleagues are drawn to our ambitious Plan Zero strategy. However, we saw a clear need to turn these aspirations towards our 2030 vision into practical everyday action.

Feel free to get in touch

We'd love to chat

Given Agency

ben.hayman@givenagency.com