London Borough of Enfield partnered with digital technology company OnePlanet to collaborate and develop the company’s existing sustainability platform to support the council to achieve their climate action targets.
London Borough of Enfield partnered with digital technology company OnePlanet to collaborate and develop the company’s existing sustainability platform to support the council to achieve their climate action targets. The desired outcome was to use technology to enhance coordination and delivery of the Climate Action Plan while streamlining the reporting process, and trailing an innovative technology that could be used across the council. The 2022 Climate Action Plan review was published as an interactive OnePlanet ‘Mind Map’ and a PDF report auto-generated from the OnePlanet platform.
Enfield Council declared a state of climate emergency in 2019 and in August 2020 adopted its ambitious Climate Action Plan. The council has committed to becoming a carbon neutral authority by 2030 and set a target of 2040 for the rest of the Borough. Enfield’s sustainability officers were facing the following challenges:
- a small team trying to deliver an ambitious action plan
- ensuring collaboration and accountability on climate action across all departments
- reporting on carbon is resource intensive and often not in real time.
Responding to the growing climate crisis can only be met through a whole government response. OnePlanet supported Enfield in addressing this complexity by focussing on outcomes that Enfield is aiming to achieve and aligning objectives across departments.
The OnePlanet platform is supporting the review of the Climate Action Plan by:
- Strategy mapping: Mapping out ten of Enfield’s key existing strategies to understand where there are synergies and conflicts across departments.
- ‘Ecosystem Plan’: Synergies are identified as Shared Outcomes and Shared Indicators which are used to create the sustainability vision of the council in an Ecosystem Plan.
- Mind map view: OnePlanet’s innovative Mind map illustrates the connections of council’s actions and how they contribute to different outcomes.
- Alignment and collaboration: Shared Outcomes and Shared Indicators can be adopted into the different council strategies to facilitate collaboration towards climate action.
- Action management and accountability: All Actions can be allocated to council staff, simplifying management, and tracking of cross department strategies.
- Framework mapping and filtering: The ‘Lens’ function in the platform allows users to reorganise, filter and visualise data in multiple different frameworks such as: UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- External view of the Mind map: Enfield Council can make the Mind map of the reviewed Climate Action Plan public facing. As the Plan goes through its consultation phase, respondents will be able to evaluate the Climate Action in an Interactive Mindmap. Allowing the consultation process to be more engaging for viewers to understand the connections of the actions and how they contribute to outcomes.
- Automated reporting: The data structure allows council wide, service, or specific Indicator reports to be created at the touch of a button.
The Ecosystem Plan and Account Management features of the platform enhance collaboration across multiple departments in the council. This ensures that there is a collective effort towards climate and increases the effectiveness of people’s actions.
The adoption of Shared Indicators into plans allows the council to easily access data across departments. The Lens function of the platform means that Enfield can view information by department or any required sustainability framework. All of this can then be automatically collated into a well-structured report. These reporting features of the platform help to save valuable time and therefore increase capacity and save the council money. The 2022 Climate Action Plan progress review was generated through OnePlanet and published in both a PDF and interactive mind map format.
By facilitating collaboration on climate action and reducing time spent on reporting collectively allows the Climate Team to focus on the delivery of key actions.
How is the new approach being sustained?
After a successful pilot between OnePlanet and Enfield Council’s Climate Team, thoughts have now turned to how to sustain this approach and expand it more widely across the council and the borough. The options are currently under review, particularly around which additional strategies and plans can be managed via OnePlanet and which external stakeholders to connect to Enfield Council’s Ecosystem Plan.
Throughout the process OnePlanet and Enfield Council have been in regular contact to understand what functionality needed developing on the platform to meet the council’s needs. This consistent communication will continue to ensure that any further functionality that is needed gets provided.
Both factors of expanding the use of the OnePlanet platform and ensuring any further functionality is developed will ensure that this approach is sustained and that the reviewed Climate Action Plan is delivered successfully.
Before the trial it was clear that a council’s response to climate change couldn’t be driven by a single department, and this message has been reinforced by the pilot.
This approach can be used to manage other cross-cutting issues such as public health and social inclusion. Furthermore, if these issues are managed simultaneously the co-benefits of climate action or public health interventions are much more apparent, reinforcing the case for these actions. This allows activity to be rationalised and focused on the actions that will have the broadest impact.
Reporting is becoming an increasing, though necessary, challenge to local government. Effective reporting requires ongoing coordination between many departments, and regular updating of activity - and this can be streamlined by having a consistent and networked data management platform.
This approach has proven an effective tool to aligning council strategies, addressing and managing multiple goals simultaneously and reducing the burden of reporting. Maximising the benefit of the tool would require all council strategies to be managed on the same system - which requires buy-in from all departments.
Contact: [email protected], Climate Officer at Enfield Council