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Youth led Sustainability Comms



We take our role in supporting the next generation through climate change and delivering on NetZero targets through travel choices seriously. Our Sustainability Communications programme was developed off the back of research that suggested that 60% of travellers want to travel more sustainably. Coupled with the fact that transport-related emissions from tourism are expected to account for 5.3% of all man-made CO2 emissions by 2030, it is evident a commitment to changing travel habits is critical. Based on this research, we set out to inclusively engage young people to conduct targeted market research regarding sustainability messaging.


The background

  • In 2020, GCRP consulted 850 young people regarding sustainable transport; 80% of respondents identified public transport as the smarter environmental choice.

  • In 2021, we made a commitment to support young people and the climate agenda as a strategic priority.

  • Our 2022 survey of University of Gloucestershire students revealed 78% of respondents wanted to make leisure choices that reduce their carbon footprint with 68% considering choosing rail for leisure to reduce carbon impact. But significantly 64% said they were confused about the term sustainability and what it actually meant.


Our objectives:

  1. Engage with young people to conduct targeted market research regarding sustainability messaging.

  2. Identify the potential to integrate carbon calculation methods related to social value based on CRP programmes and activity through market research.

  3. Based on the research findings, young people to develop and provide a series of communication resources for use on GCRP's digital platforms. These might include; social media posts, graphic design and video.

  4. Activate a marketing and communication plan based on recommendations made, resources produced, messaging and tone of voice.


What we did


The programme kicked off with a fantastic focus group session working alongside The Music Works. In total, 16 young individuals took part and ran a focus group session to explore key themes around sustainable transport, attitudes towards sustainability and transport habits.

We then partnered with Participation People who brought on board a group of young researchers to help develop the outputs of the focus group into a questionnaire which was completed by 584 young people across Gloucestershire and further afield.


Some of the key findings from the research include:

  1. Safety plays a bigger role in young people's decision making about how they travel than the young researchers were expecting.

  2. Older young people (those over 18) are more likely to use the train than younger young people.

  3. Young people perceive travel by rail to be much more expensive than it actually is.

  4. Most respondents live quite close to their local station and they just need a bit of a push to use it more often.


The full results of the research can be found in this report.


The findings from the questionnaire were then dissected in a workshop of 6 young people, facilitated by Participation People at our offices in Gloucester to identify the key data trends which would form the basis to develop new marketing messaging.




We’re delighted with the outcomes of this piece of work and hope to share these comms which were designed by young people, for young people, based on research to help change travel habits across the county. Watch out for these messages on our website, social media accounts, across TrainTripper and other platforms.


Here's a sneak peek...










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