Global Action Plan’s Tesco Catalyst Scotland programme was crowned best Employee Engagement and Behaviour Change initiative of the year at the prestigious edie Sustainability Leaders Awards 2015 last night.

The programme provided environmental training and employment opportunities to 36 unemployed young people. Tesco then recruited four of the trainees as Energy Ambassadors - full-time behaviour change and engagement specialists – to give energy efficiency support to stores in Scotland over a year-long placement.

The Energy Ambassadors worked shoulder to shoulder with over 3,000 Tesco colleagues across 120 stores in and around Glasgow and Edinburgh. Acting as positive disruptors, they challenged energy inefficient behaviours and helped stores across Scotland cut their energy use.

This innovative staff engagement approach led to an increase in the number of staff who understand how their jobs contribute to energy use and the costs of running stores. Staff awareness about Tesco’s environmental commitment, and opinion about support they received from colleagues improved by 20% since the start of the programme.

The Energy Ambassador programme helped us understand where behaviours make a difference on energy consumption. Having passionate young people challenge existing ways of working and connect retail, maintenance and energy on the ground really moved us forward.

Bernd Leven, Global Head of Energy at Tesco.

We funded the initiative as part of our Global Skills to Succeed Programme, which aims to equip more than 3 million people worldwide with the skills to get a job or build a business by 2020. The Tesco Catalyst Scotland programme demonstrates how collaboration is key to tackling challenges such as youth unemployment and the need for decarbonisation. It is a working model which can be replicated across many sectors.

Camilla Drejer, Director of Corporate Citizenship, Accenture UKI

I’m really proud of this project: both because of the excellent behaviour change results that have the potential to save thousands of tonnes of carbon (and millions of pounds), and because of the amazing young people we trained to deliver such a solid result. It has been exciting to work on this partnership project with Tesco and Accenture, showing a new model of how you can deliver scaleable environmental change in the retail sector.

Philippa Ward, Partner, Global Action Plan

This is the latest in a string of awards and commendations that Global Action Plan has won this year for their engagement programmes.

Find out more.