•  › 
  • Blog
  •  › 
  • How to engage employees in climate and sustainability efforts?
Ducky Challenge

How to engage employees in climate and sustainability efforts?

The answer is quite simple: Break down sustainability into something simple, relatable, and social. This will spark people's involvement and engagement.

In a world where climate change continually influences how we live and work, businesses face a crucial task: how to engage employees in sustainability efforts to transition towards greener practices successfully. We often hear that involving employees in sustainability goals and strategies is challenging. Many feel they are shouldering the burden alone, which can seem like an insurmountable task.

But how do you create an environment where sustainability becomes part of the corporate culture, and employees feel ownership and responsibility for contributing to the organisation’s climate goals?

Building engagement for sustainability requires a strategic approach that includes education and encouragement. Climate scientist Per Espen Stoknes notes that many resist communication about sustainability because it feels distant, complex, advanced, and not directly relevant to individuals. Therefore, it makes sense to start by simplifying "sustainability" into something understandable, tangible, and every day. One solution you might consider is the Ducky Challenge—an engaging team competition that makes sustainability fun, straightforward, and accessible. We know it works.

What is the Ducky Challenge?

The Ducky Challenge is a fun and engaging team competition that demonstrates how small individual actions can have a significant impact collectively. Everything takes place in a digital web app, where participants can log various daily activities and learn about their environmental impact. The game quantitatively shows the amount of CO2e "saved" by each activity. This is also a team competition: the organisation is divided into teams, and participants log activities while tracking in real-time how their team compares to others within the organisation. The team that saves the most CO2e wins the competition!


Five reasons why the Ducky Challenge works 

1) A playful competition filled with climate data and insights  

The game has been developed for over a decade to engage as many people as possible. The Ducky Challenge simplifies sustainability and climate action. Built on robust Norwegian climate data, it blends science with fun. Furthermore, the renowned theories of climate psychology and communication by Per Espen Stoknes are fundamental elements that permeate our entire platform, making sustainability approachable, social, and understandable for everyone.

Interested in learning how to communicate sustainability effectively? Check out Per Espen Stoknes' fantastic TED talk here, or take a look at his book, "What we think about when we try not to think about global warming."

2) It is easy to integrate in your workday 

For many sustainability officers, the workday is already packed. Yet, there is a common desire further to reduce greenhouse gas emissions time-efficiently. The Ducky Challenge is designed to be straightforward: Divide the organisation into teams, announce the competition internally, and distribute a link for participation. Participants then spend about 3-5 minutes daily on the platform to log their activities. Thus, This game allows for continuous employee engagement and training without disrupting other work tasks.

Give it a try and see for yourself how conversations around the coffee machine and at the lunch table naturally turn towards climate and environment, fostering increased awareness and commitment throughout the organisation.


3)The information is relevant for participants 

To truly motivate employees to engage in sustainability, businesses must first ensure that everyone understands both the global and local environmental challenges, as well as their personal and collective impact on these issues. The Ducky Challenge simplifies sustainability from something vast, complex, and overwhelming into something that directly relates to you and your everyday life. What is the effect of walking to work just one day? When everyone understands the value of their actions, think how much more exciting it will be to help reduce the organisation’s emissions!

4) Employees actually join 

Climate education wrapped in team-building and fun results in high voluntary and active participation. We are social beings, and when a playful competition is organised, people tend to join in—even those who initially are not motivated to act on climate change. With a typical participation rate of 65% to 80%, it's clear that the Ducky Challenge strikes a chord. Therefore, we feel sure that the challenge will engage your employees as well.


5) Sustainability becomes a shared project in positive frameworks

By recognising and rewarding sustainable choices in the workplace, you can cultivate a culture where sustainability becomes an integral part of the company’s DNA. This leads to heightened engagement with sustainability initiatives and a stronger sense of collective responsibility among employees. 

Hear from those who have tried it

Since its launch, the Ducky Challenge has inspired over 92,670 individuals and supported more than 450 organisations in fostering a climate-conscious culture.

Anna Aanstad, Environmental Officer at Kommunalbanken, shares: "We notice that our staff are discussing climate issues and the potential actions individuals and companies can take more than ever before – they have simply become more aware because of the competition." This heightened awareness is crucial for facilitating change.


Climate awareness: After participating in the competition, Kommunalbanken employees have become more conscious of what they can personally do to reduce carbon emissions. Photo: Kommunalbanken

The competition was also a massive success at Sweco. " As a Climate Strategist, I now have 600 engaged employees to count on as we implement further measures in our climate strategy," explains Ørjan Kongsvik Aall, Sustainability Strategist at Sweco. This engagement and commitment is exactly what we need to achieve our sustainability goals on time.

How do you implement the Challenge in your organisation?  

If you're ready to start a Ducky Challenge within your organisation, it’s very simple—and we'll support you every step of the way. Gain access through our annual license, and start whenever it suits you. We provide you and your team leaders with comprehensive onboarding on the platform, as well as thorough training so that you can link the competitions to your sustainability efforts. We are always here for you and ready to assist whenever you need us. 

Let's enhance climate action and engagement together! 

Are you curious to see if this could be right for your organisation? We're eager to help you build a responsible, strong, engaged culture. Universities in Bergen recently ran a competition among their students, and when asked if they would recommend it to others, the organisers said, "Yes! Absolutely. We want to tell everyone about this!"

Contact us at sofie@ducky.eco for a friendly chat to explore the possibilities.

About Sofie Bjørkøy

Sustainability advisor.