The challenge is to address the demand from the employees for environmental involvement and to give them a framework of action enabling them to carry on with their ideas. Clubs have to be flexible but with boundaries and to allow for some trivial issues to be addressed to foster a real engagement from the staff.
"Carbon Clubs" were created for the employees of BT in June 2007, in response to their request to do something for the environment. Clubs are a framework for people to share knowledge and ideas with colleagues and take action together. No rules were given: each group is free to explore issues that are of particular interest to them.
- Carbon Clubs members have been gathering support for the idea from other organisations, local or not (local football clubs, the council)
- The Clubs are being aligned with the BT Volunteers programme, to take advantage of existing infrastructure and support (access to equipment, such as video cameras and data projectors, and time off for their activities).
Remaining challenges include:
- Wider involvement within the staff;
- More visibility of the outcomes;
- More partnerships or cooperation with external stakeholders - particularly other business or governmental organisations who share similar challenges.
- By the end of March 2009, there were 120 clubs with over 400 members. The majority are based in the UK, but employees have also joined clubs in Belgium, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, The Republic of Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands and the USA.
- In 2009, BT launched the Carbon Club of the Year award, recognising outstanding achievements and creative ideas. Winning clubs receive £400 to spend on future club activities, with an extra £200 on offer for the "most creative project idea" and support to get it up and running.