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Assess status and explore use of tools and methodologies


If you haven’t reached your target already, and you haven’t been able to engage as many local stakeholders as you need, then you may upgrade your knowledge and your stakeholders’ engagement plan by using the following guidelines: 

  • Identify Lessons learnt from your 1st generation SECAP (feedback loop)
  • Try to Learn from others , ie:

    • Participate in regional, national, European, international LG networks
    • Benchmark issues & cases
    • Cooperate with infra/supra local governments (region, commune...) :

      • Pool resources and piloting structures with local government (LG) from the same conurbation authority
      • Adopt a common SECAP lead by the conurbation authority, with each member (commune) developing its own SECAP on its own buildings and functions
      • Work with neighbouring LG's on common projects that need a broader focus – e.g. on mobility, agriculture, smart grid etc.

  • Review your targets/actions – especially after new GHG inventory + scenario, ie.  

    • Set higher targets if the inventory shows you can do more 
    • Identify more ambitious measures if you are not on the right path
    • Initiate planning activities for complex measure

Exploring sustainability criteria – taking a wider approach

In order to improve your stakeholders’ engagement strategy it is absolutely necessary first to identify the main obstacles that held you back until now. We suggest you try to revise the whole process so as to clarify and record:

  • Successes,
  • Failures,
  • Threats, and
  • Opportunities

encountered when trying to bring local community on board!

A general rule that will help you to do the links is to answer to the following questions:

  • Who did you involve so far, who did you forget to involve?
  • Have you considered their interests or field of action?
  • Did you help them recognise their own benefits throughout the process?

Make a table with 4 columns.
In the first column you put the different types of stakeholders and in the second you put the type of their priorities, as described above, in the 3rd column refer to their involvement so far (which activities have they been involved in) and in the 4rth column you brainstorm all the advantages they would get by being active members of the SECAP development and or implementation.

Stakeholder 1                           
Stakeholder 2....

This way you would have a better insight on which are their main interests and how they could support the whole process from now on. Nevertheless, it would be easier for you to engage them while they would perform best during the implementation of SECAP

Explore how to connect stakeholder strategy to other municipal priorities

Each different type of stakeholder (local businesses, NGOs, cultural or social associations, etc.) have their own strategic goals and objectives. Hence, it happens quite often they think of energy or environmental goals irrelevant to their organisation development. A good way to involve them in the SECAP development process is to try to highlight the ways with which a SECAP may affect their function/operation. First identify the sectors which their operation depends on energy use, then combine their corporate interests to the interests of the municipality/ local community.

A general rule is to link energy action to other LG priorities (social, economic, educational, local jobs, local resources, local pollution, etc.)

Remember Important stakeholders include:

  • local leaders (elected councillors and managers / executives),
  • municipal staff in all departments,
  • the local community,
  • local business and industry,
  • energy suppliers, energy agencies,
  • universities,
  • building sectors,
  • Community groups, church, citizens etc.


Elaborate a Communication Strategy

The next step is to elaborate a Communication Strategy. This will form the blueprint of any activity to raise awareness, gather support and get others to take action. Good strategies provide a structure for identifying issues and actions that need to be addressed; they consider potential audiences and the appropriate messages; they also help identify channels to deliver information.

To write an effective strategy the following steps are recommended:

  • Introduction: General overview of why you are writing a communications strategy for your SECAP or Climate Change Strategy and who will deliver the stratey
  • Background & Governance: Provide a broad outline of the circumstances that prompted the need to develop a communication plan such as increased energy consumption, rising CO2 figures and state the aim and objectives of the communication project, link here to the aims with your SECAP. It is also important to look at the governance of the strategy and how that links to other LG priorities/policies. It would be useful to include the project management communication arrangements and the lines of responsibility. For example:

    • Project Manager/Sustainability/Climate Change Officer
    • Will there be a sponsor for the strategy, what are there responsibilities
    • Manage the delivery of the internal SECAP communications plan
    • Develop communication material as per the communication plan
    • Evaluation of the communication project and actions taken
    • Provide updates on progress to the Steering Group/ Board etc

  • Objectives: Here you are looking to show you key objective. Need to consider the purpose of the strategy, what are you aiming to achieve and what is the ultimate goal/s. These should help you decide  the overall approach to the strategy. Refer to the first generation stakeholder module and ensure that the objectives are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely). This will also make it easier to evaluate the effectiveness of the communication strategy. An example would be to raise awareness of energy saving to small and medium enterprises (SME’s) in the LG area in the next 12 months. This could then be broken down further into more detailed deliverables such as numbers of SME engaged and understanding that good ‘housing keeping’ can save energy and money. This could link to ‘pledge’ type commitments which is explored later in the module.
  • Key Messages: This should define what are the key messages to get across to your stakeholders. What do the various individuals/groups need to know in order for the SECAP to succeed? Key messages need to be clear and concise and linked directly to each stakeholder group. A key message for an older person could be very different then sort of messages you might use to engage young families.  By keeping your messages relevant you will make your communication far more effective.  Ideally you would look to have two to three key messages per stakeholder group, but dependent on the current knowledge of the stakeholder group this could vary.
  • Stakeholders: Use the table mentioned in the first step and if possible add more columns where you may choose the most appropriate communication tools for each type of stakeholder.





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