Global Action Plan
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|Founded||1993 as 'Global Action Plan '|
|Type||Limited company and Charitable trust|
|Focus||Sustainability, Sustainable development, Environmentalism, Environmental behaviour change training|
|Slogan||Creating the Climate for Change|
Global Action Plan is an NGO that specialises in sustainable behaviour change, and in particular in ESD. There are programs for schools and youth, households and communities, and workplaces. The ethos is that small changes to the choices we make every day make a big difference when widely adopted.
In 1989 Global Action Plan International was established in the United States and the Netherlands on the initiative of David Gershon and Bessie Schadee. The first results from a 'household EcoTeam program' were presented at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The programme was conceived to involve everyday people in creating solutions to environmental problems.
The Global Action Plan idea and methods spread to a number of countries. Global Action Plan International is now an international network with national and regional member organizations around the world. The member organizations are autonomous.
An up-to-date list of members is provided on the web site of Global Action Plan International.
Methods and tools
Ever since its inception, Global Action Plan International has worked in 'action research' mode to learn from experience, exploring what enables actual behaviour change. The organization's 4 main focus areas include Air Quality, Energy, Food & Water and Travel. Numerous research reports attest to the effectiveness of the methods and programs.
Global Action Plan UK
Global Action Plan UK was launched in its current form in the UK by founder and former Director, Trewin Restorick. The first UK programme engaged 30,000 households and was supported by thousands of volunteers, who participated and received action packs that offered practical tips on ways to use energy efficiently, reduce waste, cut water use in their homes and to shop ethically.
Since then new programmes have come online working with businesses and schools. More organizations have now joined the Global Action Plan network worldwide to take up the challenge, with several countries adopting the UK programmes due to their proven high levels of success.
Operation TLC: helps hospitals lower bills, cut energy use, improve patient experience, and create more comfortable buildings for staff.
Water Explorer: Free and fully resourced, the Water Explorer programme empowers future generations through fun, interactive water saving Missions and provides the platform for students to grow into global citizens and ambassadors for positive change.
Big Energy Race: Big Energy Race helps people take control of their bills and cut their energy costs – we want to get the nation energy-fit!
EcoTeams: trains groups of householders to monitor their resource use and reduce over time
Action at School: works with teachers and pupils to green their schools.
Global Action Plan UK's approach
On Global Action Plan's website they express their approach as being:
•Practical and positive - it can be hard for people to tackle overwhelming environmental issues like climate change so we break them down into small steps that everyone can take, like unplugging mobile phone chargers when they're not being used.
•Measurable - we help people to see the difference they are making by measuring the resources saved as a result of their actions and those of their community. For example, just 63 households in our Nottingham EcoTeams programme have collectively saved a massive 7 tonnes from ending up on the rubbish mountain.
•Interactive - changing habits alone is difficult. Watch a team of businessmen build a teetering tower of paper in their corporate lobby, and you'll see what's different about Global Action Plan. By supporting groups of people working together, we make taking action easier, more creative and much more fun.
•Inclusive - everyone gets switched on by different things. Working with all kinds of individuals and organisations has enabled us to come up with a range of imaginative ways to communicate. Try riding our Energy Bike for a totally different way of making the connection between energy use and climate change.
- Ashden Awards. "Ashden Awards case study: Global Action Plan". Retrieved 2009-01-16.