3. Create an action plan

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Time to bring it together!

The final activity for this Task will include completing an action plan for a sustainability initiative of your own design. Let's hop into it!

Record your plan on page 4 of your Memobook 📒


               Steps to building an action plan

Step 1. Consider your personal experiences with sustainability.

Step 2. Building on these personal interests, actions, and observations, brainstorm a concept for your own Inland Rail sustainability initiative.

Think about the observations on individual and local sustainability initiatives you brainstormed earlier. Can they inspire the theme for your sustainability campaign? Choose one idea to focus on and briefly explain why you selected it over others. Try relating the theme of your campaign to the UN SDGs and Inland Rail’s sustainability objectives.

Step 3. In one paragraph, outline your campaign’s significance, aim, and desired outcomes.

Step 4. Outline the scope

The first decision you need to make when planning your campaign is its scope, or in other words, its scale and reach. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself to identify the scope of your campaign:

  • Who will be invited to participate in the campaign?
    Would you like to run an internal campaign or open it up to the public?
    In the context of a workplace campaign, will there be opportunities for employees’ families to join in? For instance, will there be any children-friendly events?
  • Who will collaborate on the campaign delivery?
    What departments would you need to involve in campaign planning and delivery? Marketing department, for instance, would be an obvious choice, as marketing specialists would be able to assist you with developing a campaign communications strategy and creating its distinct visual identity.
    Would you like to keep the campaign development and execution within the organisation or invite external collaborators (e.g., workshop facilitators, public speakers)? 
  • Will your campaign benefit from aligning with external partners (e.g., charities, non-profit initiatives, public figures already supporting the purpose of your campaign)? 

Remember, the bigger the scope, the more effort and resources will be required to get everything up and running. This is especially true when you decide to shift the scope from internal to external and seek contribution from partners outside of your organisation. To keep it manageable, it's a good idea to engage with local communities and initiatives. It’s also perfectly fine to design an internal-only campaign, particularly if it’s your first attempt at campaign design. 

Step 5. Establish a timeline and activities

Sustainability initiatives, much like any projects, are about bringing people together around a shared belief or a common goal. 

In a professional setting, this feeling of collective aim and achievement can increase employee engagement and participation in other work activities, build new connections and trust, and lead to improvements in job satisfaction and productivity.

Think about the campaign participants as much as about the campaign purpose and ensure there is no disconnect between the two. Let's briefly cover things to consider to generate maximum interest in your proposed initiative without disrupting participants’ work routines.

Timeline and activities

Recall that your campaign should be time-based, meaning that it needs to have a predetermined schedule. The key components to include in your campaign schedule are:

  • Initiative duration, launch and final days
    For the launch, consider a kick-off event to boost excitement among participant. The launch day is also a perfect opportunity to communicate the activities that will take place and their overall purpose.
    Similarly, a wrap-up event or activity on the final day will allow everyone to reflect and provide feedback on their experiences 
  • Mid-initiative event
    This can be a contest, a workshop, an invited talk or anything that aligns with the purpose and draws participants in
    The aim of the mid-campaign event is to keep people engaged, so the longer your campaign, the more mid-campaign events you may need to plan 
  • Activity map
    Unlike core events, activities can be something that the participants do individually in their own time. These can include suggesting small daily challenges for your participants to tackle, joining themed discussions on campaign social channels, or engaging with communication materials
    Be mindful of the participants’ other commitments and leave space for rest days in your activity map or allow flexible participation 

This is of course a fairly general set of guidelines, so definitely use it as a starting point, but feel free to be creative and tailor it to your needs. For example, you may want to schedule all your events to be run online and accessed remotely.

Ponder prompt: Consider the following campaign plan and identify if there are any areas for improvement.

Once you've filled out your Memobook action plan, you're all set for the next Task!

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